WiFi Channels, Frequency Bands Explained: 2.4GHz and 5GHz Frquencies

by hash3liZer . 06 February 2019

WiFi Channels, Frequency Bands Explained: 2.4GHz and 5GHz Frquencies

With the radical evolution of WiFi standards and it's appliances, it's important to know what these technologies have to offer and how that might affect our needs and the daily routine. What's it to do with WiFi Channels? Do they have to have any affect on the wireless communication? Surely, they have. It's very often that we hear the word channel and the recommended frequencies while purchasing a router. Choosing the right frequency depends on what kind of wireless communication you want.

In modern days, an average adult spends about more than 60 minutes on video streaming and sometimes you feel like having slow transmission even tough you have a high speed wireless connection. The channel on which the wireless transmission is happening could be the reason. In general, the routers we use at home and small offices tend to have one of these two frequency bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

Well, Band here, also called frequency band refers to a specific range of frequencies. Each band has a lowest and a highest frequency value. As you would have guessed, 5GHz band has more higher frequencies than those provided by 2.4GHz. If you have an old router at home, you would know that it only supports 2.4GHz frequencies. While most of today routers supports both of these frequencies.

Dual-Band

The Broadband routers which are used at homes and tend to have the features of both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz band are named as Dual-Band wireless routers.

Which Frequency Band to choose?

Frequencies can greatly affect the speed and range of your wireless network. As we all have studied in the school:

  • velocity = frequency x wavelength
  • wavelength = velocity / frequency
  • frequency = velocity / wavelength

As can be seen vividly from the above equation that if you tend to increase the frequency of your router, the range (wavelength) of your router will decrease but the speed will improve and if you decrease the frequency, the opposite will happen i.e. speed would decrease but you will a wider range. At the end, it all depends on what kind of network you are trying to employ.

For Example, if you are sharing your WiFi network with your neighbours, you would certainly want a wider range and 2.4GHz band would be suitable for the work. But if it's a project with your colleagues in the same room as of the wifi, which frequency band would be the best, you guess? 5GHz.

Channel

How can you define channel in a Frequency Band? A channel is a defined specific frequency from the frequency band you have choosen. Different frequency bands have different number of channels. For example, 2.4GHz band have 14 channels in general out of which first 11 are permissible to be used in USA. While in europe with the exception of channel 14, all channels can be used.

Note that the higher the channel, the higher would be the frequency. The lowest frequency that 2.4GHz band provides is 2400 (MHz) while the highest frequency would be up to 2500 (MHz). So, that's the 2.4GHz frequency range.

Interference

Some channels which have larger interference are sought to have slow transmission rates. They are generally referred to as crowded channels. Sometimes you have other appliances at home which are using the same frequencies as that of your router or more specifically your channel frequency. So, the both frequencies overlap each other and produce distortion which results in data loss and low transmission rates.

interference

Which Channel should I use?

If you buy a router from Tp_Link or D_Link, you would note that the router changes channel automatically everytime the router reboots but that would be inbetween three specific channels: 1, 6 and 11. So, these channels are sought to be the least interfered channels because of less use of these frequencies.

However, if you still feel like having a slow internet connection or a low transmission rate, make sure to change your router transmission channel.

Conclusion

WiFi Routers are intelligent devices that make use of various technologies and standards in order to make communication work among devices. And that communication depends on various factors among which is the frequency of the router. The right frequency can't just let you increase the signal range but also the required speed. There are frequency bands among which there are frequency channels. Some channels have larger interference than the others.