2.4 vs 5 GHz Router – What is the Difference and Which Should You Use?

A reliable and efficient internet connection is vital for all your online activities – working, gaming, schooling, telemedicine appointments and more. One crucial decision is whether to use a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz router to make the most of your wireless network. Each frequency band offers distinct advantages and disadvantages that can significantly impact your internet experience.

The primary distinction between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz routers lies in the frequency bands they operate on. The 2.4 GHz band has been in use for a longer time and is more susceptible to interference from other devices. The 5 GHz band is relatively newer and offers higher data transfer rates but has a shorter range compared to 2.4 GHz.

According to Rob Campbell, Nuvera IT Field Services Manager, 2.4 GHz routers are better for connecting to older devices while 5 GHz routers should be used when linking to newer devices. That said, there are distinct differences and advantages or disadvantages to each.

2.4 GHz Router:


  • The signal can transmit further and across a wider coverage area.
  • Can permeate through solid objects more effectively.
  • Is supported by a vast majority of devices, including older ones that may not be compatible with 5 GHz.


  • The 2.4 GHz band is crowded due to its widespread use, leading to potential interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth devices, microwaves, and other household electronics.
  • The maximum data transfer rates on 2.4 GHz are generally lower compared to 5 GHz, which can result in slower download and upload speeds.
  • In densely populated areas or apartments with multiple Wi-Fi networks, the 2.4 GHz band can suffer from congestion, affecting overall performance.

5 GHz Router:


  • The 5 GHz band offers faster data transfer rates, making it ideal for bandwidth-intensive tasks such as streaming high-definition videos, online gaming, and large file transfers.
  • The 5 GHz band is less susceptible to interference from other devices, resulting in a more reliable and stable connection.
  • As more devices support the 5 GHz band, choosing a 5 GHz router ensures compatibility with the latest technology advancements.


  • The shorter wavelength of 5 GHz signals leads to reduced coverage compared to 2.4 GHz. Walls and other obstacles can further reduce the range.
  • The higher frequency signals of 5 GHz have a harder time penetrating solid objects, potentially resulting in weaker signals or dropped connections in certain areas.
  • Some older devices may not support the 5 GHz band, requiring a dual-band router or an additional 2.4 GHz network for compatibility.

Many newer routers combine the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHZ frequencies into a single network, allowing devices to automatically select the best frequency. But some routers may broadcast separate network names for each frequency, giving the user the choice to connect to either one. If you have Nuvera’s Home Wi-Fi implemented, the device will select the best frequency.

Choosing between a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz router depends on your specific needs and circumstances. While a 2.4 GHz router offers wider coverage and better compatibility with older devices, a 5 GHz router delivers faster speeds and reduced interference. Consider factors such as distance, internet usage, and device compatibility to make an informed decision and enjoy a seamless wireless experience.

Some information for this article was sourced from www.howtogeek.com.