Modified on: Wed, 23 Jan, 2019 at 9:33 AM
5.0 GHz Wi-Fi networks predate 2.4 GHz networks, however 2.4 GHz networks saw significantly higher rates of adoption in homes and small businesses when wireless networks began growing in the early 2000s. As more and more devises were connected to the average home Wi-Fi network, content providers and equipment makers began looking for ways to expand bandwidth needed for services such as streaming audio and video. The solution was to resurrect 5 GHz network technology and make home Wi-Fi routers dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz). By adding the second band to most modern Wi-Fi routers, the capacity of a wireless network can be more than doubled (think doubling the number of lanes from 4 to 8 on a freeway). The number of dual band routers in service is growing rapidly, and most can broadcast both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals simultaneously. However, 2.4 GHz-only networks are still prevalent in many homes and small businesses.
The higher the frequency of a wireless signal, the shorter its range. 2.4 GHz wireless networks therefore cover a substantially larger range than 5 GHz networks. In particular, signals of 5 GHz frequencies do not penetrate solid objects (floors, walls, etc) nearly as well as do 2.4 GHz signals, limiting their reach inside homes. 5 GHz networks typically have a speed advantage over 2.4 GHz networks, and are best suited for streaming video and audio since that band is usually less congested.
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