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563 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 147169 11-Jun-2014 07:51
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Probably been said / done around here before but found a significant improvement in Wifi network speed, connection quality (no drop-outs) etc in my CBD apartment after switch from the over crowded 2.4Ghz band to the almost deserted 5Ghz band.

Only hangup I've found is that 5Ghz is not supported by all devices (in my case all of my devices do support it except for ChromeCast). This can be solved however by switching your router to dual mode (2.4Ghz & 5Ghz) if it supports it, my Vodafone Station however does not but the trade off is currently worth it.

2.4Ghz band:

5Ghz band:


According to: http://www.speedguide.net/faq_in_q.php?qid=340

Wireless computer network equipment typically uses radio signals in either a 2.4 GHz range or a 5 GHz range.

The GHz range of a wireless radio is only partially related to the speed of a wireless network. For example, 802.11a wireless operates at 5GHz and 802.11g at 2.4GHz, but both support the same maximum data rate of 54 Mbps. However, newer 802.11n and 802.11ac routers have the capability of simultaneous dual-band operation on both 5GHz and 2.4GHz ranges, allowing clients to connect on different bands for more flexibility and less interference. 802.11ac specifically expands on that, running entirely in the 5GHz band.

Advantages of 5GHz:
The 5GHz band is less likely to be congested. The 2.4GHz frequency range is much more prone to interference, as it is commonly used by other wireless networks in the area, as well as cordless phones, garage door openers and other home appliances and consumer products. The 5GHz band can also offer much higher throughput(using the right technology) with the same channel width.

Disadvantages of 5GHz:
In general, the higher the frequency of a wireless signal, the shorter its range. Thus, 2.4GHz networks cover a substantially larger range than 5GHz wireless networks. In particular, the higher frequency wireless signals of 5GHz networks do not penetrate solid objects nearly as well as 2.4GHz signals, limiting their reach inside homes. Recent 802.11ac devices may be able to mitigate some of this disatvantage by using beamforming.

The Bottom Line:
5GHz and 2.4GHz are simply different frequencies, each with its advantages and disadvantages. To get the best of both worlds, some recent routers have the capability for dual-band operation in both ranges simultaneously. 5GHz offers higher throughput at a shorter distance, while 2.4GHz offers increased coverage and higher solid object penetration.

Note: When choosing the band for your router, it is also important to consider the capabilities of your wireless clients. Most current laptops and other mobile wireless devices work in the 2.4GHz band, while media streaming devices have increasingly better adoption in the 5GHz band. The migration to wider adoption of 5GHz will probably continue with the shift to the higher throughput 802.11ac.




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  Reply # 1063149 11-Jun-2014 07:57
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Yip 2.4Ghz is pretty much a lost cause in many urban and CBD environments. Trying to explain that to people however can be very challenging.





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  Reply # 1063153 11-Jun-2014 08:18
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sbiddle: Yip 2.4Ghz is pretty much a lost cause in many urban and CBD environments. Trying to explain that to people however can be very challenging.





Wifi Analyzer on Android does a good job in showing congestion, channel ratings etc in a way most people can understand.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1063169 11-Jun-2014 09:15
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Yep, it is especially fun seeing our neighbours with stock routers and the default setting is to push for 40mhz wide bands in the 2.4 GHZ space. Each one takes up half the spectrum. Finally got decent wifi chips in the work laptops and pushed them onto 5ghz, much better than before. 




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  Reply # 1063185 11-Jun-2014 09:28
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Have been on 5ghz since the new routers came out. Although many home automation devices still run at 2.4 which is fine as long as you have dual band

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  Reply # 1063189 11-Jun-2014 09:34
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How do you find out whether your devices are 5Ghz compatible?.

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  Reply # 1063190 11-Jun-2014 09:35
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On this note, I have 802.11b disabled on router at home because I just don't want more stuff going out since all devices are g/n here... Except when we got a Fitbit Aria WiFi scales and it couldn't see the WiFi because it's 802.11b only... :(





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  Reply # 1063196 11-Jun-2014 09:55
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Does 5Ghz generally have a shorter range than 2.4Ghz? That certainly seems to be my experience with both ranges served from our Apple Airport Extreme router. 

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  Reply # 1063209 11-Jun-2014 10:15
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dclegg: Does 5Ghz generally have a shorter range than 2.4Ghz? That certainly seems to be my experience with both ranges served from our Apple Airport Extreme router. 

Yes

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  Reply # 1063214 11-Jun-2014 10:19
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dclegg: Does 5Ghz generally have a shorter range than 2.4Ghz? That certainly seems to be my experience with both ranges served from our Apple Airport Extreme router. 

I would expect so. Generally low frequency/long wavelength signals travel further/penetrate deeper than high frequency/short wavelength signals.

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  Reply # 1063215 11-Jun-2014 10:19
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sbiddle: Yip 2.4Ghz is pretty much a lost cause in many urban and CBD environments. Trying to explain that to people however can be very challenging.




Ah yes... you can only thoroughly explain things for some people - sadly you can't understand it for them. More's the pity. :(




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  Reply # 1063219 11-Jun-2014 10:24
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RunningMan:
dclegg: Does 5Ghz generally have a shorter range than 2.4Ghz? That certainly seems to be my experience with both ranges served from our Apple Airport Extreme router. 

Yes


Thanks. I may have to look at options to extend the range. I recently started swapping some of our devices over to 5Ghz, but I've noticed we don't get full coverage throughout our house.

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  Reply # 1063240 11-Jun-2014 10:47
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@dclegg. Can you move your router to a more central location?

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  Reply # 1063290 11-Jun-2014 12:01
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RunningMan: @dclegg. Can you move your router to a more central location?


Not at the moment, but this may be reassessed if we switch to VDSL or UFB. For now we can workaround the issue, and all our "mission critical" wifi devices are within range of the 5Ghz network.

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  Reply # 1063292 11-Jun-2014 12:06
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While positioning of APs is important, the real "fix" is to install additional APs.

I'm really hoping 802.11ad ultimately hits the market and succeeds. 60Ghz WiFi will finally deliver what WiFi has promised for a long time. It will however mean that APs will be required in every room, because 60Ghz will not go through walls.


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  Reply # 1063308 11-Jun-2014 12:28
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I have mostly switched over to 5Ghz (Airport Extreme) for all my devices (mostly N and dual channel N).  As already pointed out, the rule is  the higher the frequency the shorter the transmit distance for the same transmission power, so 5Ghz will have a shorter range than 2.4Ghz.

Also,  most devices will select the strongest signal first.  I notice that in Windows (I use 8.1) that it maintains a list of connections,  the last one 'connected' to will be in position 1 (that's using the connect menu).




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