A guide to 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks

If you own a “dual band” router (identified on the sticker on the back), you will have the option of using two bands throughout your home: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

What’s the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

Each WiFi enabled device in your home can connect to one of the 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands at one time. The 2.4GHz network is slightly slower, but can cover a large area, as the signal is more effective at penetrating thick walls. The 5GHz network is faster but has a shorter range, offering a better connection for devices within close proximity. It’s worth noting some connected devices, such as older smart phones, are not compatible with 5GHz networks.

How do I find out which band I’m using by default?

Most dual band routers will be set up with two separate WiFi networks by default. Often the 5GHz network will often have “5G” or “AC” at the end of its name. If this isn’t the case, either the router may be selecting the band automatically, or the router or device may not support 5GHz. (Note: 5GHz WiFi is not to be confused with 5G wireless mobile networks).

Some routers will automatically do a quick scan to determine which channels have the least interference and choose the best option for your device. In other cases, your device will connect to its preferred network, which could be the one you most recently connected to, or the one you have manually selected the most often.

To see which band you’re connected to, open the WiFi preferences on your device. Whether you’re using a phone, tablet, computer, TV or another connected device, you should be able to see two WiFi network options in the settings. From there you can select which one you’d prefer to use.

How do I switch between 2.4GHz and 5GHz on my device?

  1. Click on the WiFi icon in the bottom right corner of the task bar.
  2. Then click on the network you want to use from the list of available networks.
  3. Click Connect (type in the password and click Next if it’s your first time connecting to this network).
  1. Click on the WiFi icon in the top menu bar.
  2. Then select the network you want to use from list of available networks.
  3. If applicable: type in the password when prompted and click Join.
  1. On most iOS devices you can tap Settings > WiFi.
  2. Then select the network you want to use from the list of available networks.
  3. If applicable: type in the password and click Join.
  1. On most Android devices you can tap Settings > Connections > WiFi.
  2. Then select the network you want to use from the list of available networks.
  3. If applicable: type in the password, then click Connect.

How do I adjust the settings on my router?

Every router has an IP address (e.g. 192.168.1.1) displayed somewhere on the device. Type that into a web browser while you’re connected to your WiFi network. You’ll reach a login page – use the default login details (written near the IP address on the device) to proceed. Once logged in you’ll see a configuration page where you can edit network preferences, as needed. If you need more help, you can utilise our over-the-phone services listed below.

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