Differentiating the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz frequency bands

The two types of frequencies that Linksys dual-band routers support are 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. This particular feature of the router allows you to choose where to best connect your devices at home or in the office to ensure stability with your local network and internet connection.

Band2.4 GHz5 GHz
ChannelThree non-overlapping channels23 non-overlapping channels
Standard Wireless-B, G, and N Wireless-A, N, and AC
Network Range Wider Range Shorter Range
Interference Higher Lower

Network Speed

The Gigahertz (GHz) range that a wireless device is using does not necessarily determine the maximum speed of the WiFi. A Wireless-A device that runs on the 5 GHz band can also support a maximum data rate of up to 54 Mbps, which is exactly the same data rate that a Wireless-G device running on the 2.4 GHz band supports. The environment in which the network will be set up is what really should be considered.


The 5 GHz band has a lower chance of picking up interference because most wireless devices such as Bluetooth® devices, cordless phones, microwave ovens, and computers use the 2.4 GHz frequency.  


The 5 GHz band has a shorter range compared to a 2.4 GHz band. Because in radio frequencies, the higher the frequency the shorter its range.  In other words, if you are using a lower frequency like the 2.4 GHz, the distance it will cover will be greater than the 5 GHz band.


It is recommended to select the 2.4 GHz band if you will be using computers to access the internet for simple browsing and sending emails. These applications do not take too much bandwidth and work fine at a greater distance.

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The 5 GHz band has a wider wireless spectrum available compared to the 2.4 GHz band, which leads to significantly better performance as the 5 GHz band is commonly used for usage that requires uninterrupted throughput. That is why it is recommended for media streaming and transferring music, pictures, and video throughout your home network.

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IMPORTANT: Setting the channel width to 40 MHz on a 2.4 GHz network will allow you to use 2/3 of the entire WiFi band, thus having a higher chance of interference. It is advisable to use 40 MHz if you live in areas with less crowded WiFi. If you're unsure, you may leave the channel width at Auto. This will automatically adjust the settings to 20 or 40 MHz, depending on which best fits your network.


QUICK TIP: If you want to use the 5 GHz frequency, ensure that your wireless devices and adapters have a 5 GHz capability to have access to the network; otherwise, do not change the default frequency of the router which is 2.4 GHz.

Related Article:

Identifying Linksys dual-band routers and devices

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