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Introduction To Dual-Band Routers
A wireless router is more complicated than it appears. For example, different wireless standards come with individual routers. The current Wi-Fi standard today is the 802.11ac from the previous generation of 11g and 11n protocols. Of course, having a current wireless standard is just one crucial piece of the puzzle. It would be best if you placed the other key puzzle piece to ensure that your internet connectivity is as smooth and fast as possible.
The type of wireless frequency will also play a massive part in your internet connectivity experience. Single-band Wi-Fi routers were the norm years ago, but nowadays, that type of technology is not as practical as it once was. The reason for this is due to its high susceptibility to interference. A single-band Wi-Fi placed in an environment surrounded by other wireless devices is guaranteed to experience signal interference which may cause slowdowns and even stop your internet dead on its track for a couple of seconds.
Dual-Band And Single-Band Router Performance Comparison
Comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges. They are leagues apart, and a dual-band outperforms its predecessor in all regards. A single-band router only utilizes a 2.4GHz frequency which is quite susceptible to interference from other wireless devices. The dual-band, which uses both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies, manage to skirt this problem quite efficiently.
Having two frequencies mean that the router can detect which frequency is best suited at the moment. The router will also automatically switch between the two when needed, which makes things considerably even more convenient. Dual-band routers will also have a more extended range and more reliable signal, making it ideal for streaming HD videos, audios, and online gaming. As for single-band routers, nowadays, it is relegated to being used for checking emails, opening essential apps, and streaming videos on standard quality. Anything more strenuous than those and you will encounter the downsides of using a single-band router almost immediately.
The Advantages Of Dual-Band Routers
Dual-band router provides excellent benefits compared to single-band routers. These benefits include:
Preventing Signal Interference
One of the primary benefits of using a dual-band router is that it can completely prevent the most common issue found in single-band routers – signal interference. 2.4GHz frequency is commonly used in a lot of devices, not just your router. From radios to even microwave ovens, every single wireless device or equipment that give off or receive radio frequencies will typically use 2.4GHz. Now, imagine your Wi-Fi router using 2.4GHz trying to navigate the flow of similar signals. By utilizing 5GHz along with the 2.4GHz signal, the router goes through a different route to avoid the heavy traffic over on the 2.4GHz’s lane.
High Compatibility With Other Wireless Devices
Compatibility is another factor that dual-band router excel at compared to its last-gen counterpart. Dual-band routers are all designed to be compatible with almost every wireless device as it also features backwards compatibility with previous versions of wireless protocols. Since it utilizes two frequency bands, it also naturally extends compatibility even further.
Wireless Network Setting Customization
Current routers provide users with a wealth of customization options. A dual-band router typically comes with the modern networking technology in tow. This also gives dual-band routers high levels of customization to make sure that your internet experience will fit your needs.
Disadvantages Of Dual-Band Routers
Of course, it is not all positives when it comes to the use of dual-band routers. Like any other equipment, it has its shortcomings that we need to address so that we have a realistic expectation. So, here are the disadvantages of a dual-band router you should keep in mind:
It Can Be Quite Expensive
While you can find dual-band routers today that are quite affordable, you should always expect this type of router to knock you back a couple of bucks compared to single-band routers. The brand name will also play a significant role in the overall cost of the model. Expect routers from well-known manufacturers to be more expensive; you should also expect these routers to have better features and quality.
Compatibility Problems With Older Devices
This is an issue that is quite uncommon today, but if you are using an older PC model, then there is a chance that it is not designed to support 5GHz frequency bands. There are two solutions to this issue, either you stick with a single-band router or upgrade your PC. I recommend you upgrade your rig rather than try to stop the inevitable.
Limited Range Of The 5GHz Frequency
You know there is a catch to all the advantage of using a 5GHz band, right? Well, that catch is that 5GHz frequency’s range is considerably shorter than 2.4GHz. This is why the dual-band router incorporates both frequencies to counter the weakness of each signal band.
As you can see, the advantages of using a dual-band router are quite significant and using this type of router is the more practical choice overall. Even with some downsides, the benefits that it can deliver wholly eclipse its shortcomings. With proper setup and use, you can fully optimize your internet connectivity experience with a dual-band router.
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My Best Wireless Routers
While picking the dual-band router seems to be the smart option, and in most cases, it is – there are cases wherein this does not hold. You will need to consider what you need the router to accomplish. Do you need it to support multiple devices and provide optimum speed and stability? The dual-band is the best option. However, if you live solo and only require internet to check emails, apps, and stream videos now and again – a single-band is the more cost-effective solution.
Overall, for home and business use – I highly recommend a dual-band router as it provides efficient and convenient connectivity to the internet. Dual-band routers also come with all the advanced features that will further enhance your internet surfing experience. The only occasion I can recommend sticking with a single-band router is if you only use internet connectivity at its bare minimum.