Who doesn’t get irritated when the network gets congested and the connection becomes slow? You do not need to suffer through this, especially if you want your device to always have the fastest speed all the time. The simple solution is to connect to the 5GHz band.
The fact is, most phones, tablets, and computers are already capable of connecting to the 5GHz band, the same as many routers on the market. Still, it does not mean that they will automatically connect to this network, so you might be missing out on quicker connections and better service from your network.
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Should You Connect To 5GHz?
When you connect to this band, you might enjoy faster speeds and less congestion. This does not, however, automatically mean that it is the best solution for you. Here are the factors you need to consider whether the 2.4GHz or the 5GHz is best for you.
- How Big Your House Is
The size of your house matters a lot when deciding which WiFi band is best. If you have a larger area to cover, then the 2.4GHz is better suited for this. If you live in a small apartment or home, on the other hand, then the 5GHz band will be enough. Plus, it reduces interference from neighboring networks, which is plentiful if you live in an apartment complex. If you are bent on using 5GHz, though, you can extend its reach with a WiFi repeater.
- How Many and What Devices Are Connected
The 2.4GHz network has only 3 non-overlapping channels to choose from, which is why it is prone to congestion. Not only will your devices have to compete, but other networks will fight over this channel space. 5GHz, in comparison, has 24 non-overlapping channels. Additionally, there are fewer devices compatible so the chances of it being congested are much lower.
Basically, if you have old routers, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, microwaves, garage door openers, and similar devices, they can interfere with your connection. Still, take note that the 2.4Ghz band uses longer waves better for a further range but without much bandwidth. For browsing the Internet, it is enough but if you are using high-bandwidth devices like streaming HDTV or gaming, 5GHz is better suited.
- How Fast A Connection You Need
If speed is vital to your work or gaming, then 5GHz is without a doubt the best. They can, theoretically, support speeds up to 1300 Mbps, as opposed to 2.4GHz’s mere 600 Mbps.
How To Connect To A 5GHz Network
The first step to joining a 5GHz network is to set up your router for it. While these steps might differ slightly depending on your router brand and model, you need to follow these basic steps.
- Open your browser and access your router through its IP address. Log in as prompted.
- From the router’s menu, search for Wireless Settings or something similar.
- You will see a list of the bands available for use and you can then set up the channels on each band. Check the security settings and make sure the band is enabled.
You can also use a WiFi scanning tool to check the channels used in the area, so you can choose the ones that are not as congested. Some routers have an auto-select feature that will do this but if yours does not have this, you can opt for a tool instead.
Now that you have set up your router, it is time to connect your device (smartphone or laptop) to the 5GHz network. The steps are not the same if you are using different operating software, so make sure to follow the right instructions.
If you have Windows 10, joining the network is not that complicated.
However, you need to first make sure if your WiFi adapter does support this. To check, do the following:
- Open “command prompt“ by typing “cmd“ on the search bar.
- Type “netsh wlan show drivers“.
- On the results, look for “Radio types supported“. Look for 802.11ac, but if you only see 802.11n, then you have to research online if your adapter can use the 5Ghz network.
Another way is to go to “Device Manager“ using the search bar. Click on the “Network Adapters“ and select your WiFi adapter. Open the “Advanced“ settings to see the properties of your router. If it is capable of connecting to 5Ghz, then you should see it here.
If you have a Mac computer or laptop, you need to follow these steps:
- Go to “System Preferences“ and choose “Network Preferences“. Click on “WiFi“ to view your wireless connections.
- Click on “Advanced“ and search for the 5GHz network you prefer to connect to. Drag it to the top of the list. This will ensure that your Mac will prioritize this connection when it is available.
If you have an Android smartphone, you can fix the settings so that it will only connect to the 5GHz band. Take note, however, that it might not be possible on all devices and your phone will simply choose the best possible and available band. All you need to do is:
- Go to “Settings“, and choose “WiFi.“
- Click on the three dots in the corner to find the option for “Advanced“. Choose “WiFi Frequency Band.“
- Select 5GHz so that all networks using this band will come up. You can now click on the preferred network you want to connect to.
Making Sure You Always Have The Best Connection
Having the choice to use 5GHz when your 2.4Ghz bands are congested is the best solution so that you can still try to get the fastest connection especially when you need it. The best trick is to spread out your devices over the 2 bands so that the competition is much less. Plus, doing so can maximize your network’s performance and keep it secure.
Is 5 GHz always the best option for you? Maybe not, but if your router and devices can utilize this less congested network band, then you might as well learn how to redirect some of your devices to use this band exclusively. You might be surprised to see how much faster your connection will be.