What are dual band routers? The 2.4 and 5 GHz networks — 2022

With this we are going to start a series of articles in which we will teach you how improve your Wi-Fi . To inaugurate this series of articles, today we will talk about routers with double band . That is, we will explain what the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks , and what benefits each one brings us.

What does it mean for a router to have dual band?

First of all clarify this. What does this mean about the double band ?

We say that a router is dual band or dual-band when it is able to function two frequencies or different bands. And what are those two bands? The two bands that a router can support are those centered on the 2,4GHz y los 5GHz .

Therefore, a dual-band router is one capable of broadcasting two WiFi networks, one at 2.4GHz and the other at 5GHz.

2.4GHz and 5GHz networks

But what is the use of having a double band? There will be some reason to broadcast on two different frequencies, right?

Yes, of course there is, each type network gives us some benefits or other . In fact, it is not optimal to always use one network or another. It would be best to use one network for some situations and another for other situations. And when to use which? We will see that when we analyze what advantages and disadvantages each one brings us …

But before we get into that. Will there be some way for the choice is made automatically , not? Yes. In most dual band routers we can choose to separate both frequencies into different Wi-Fi networks (with a different name), or merge them and have a single Wi-Fi network that we select the best option in each case.

Dual band WiFi activation menu with automatic frequency selection (Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 3).

Doing this automatically avoid must analyze which one is better for every moment. But it also has a downside, and that is that they can produce cuts yes automatically change from one to another . Therefore, there we must decide what we prefer, whether to make the change for us alone or separate it into two WiFi networks.

Advantages of the 2.4 GHz network

The traditional frequency of 2,4GHz it has advantages compared to the new 5GHz band. Which? These are the main ones:

    More coverage.A 2.4GHz WiFi network generated by the same router and with the same antennas, will go further than a 5GHz one. This is because the attenuation over the air of the 2.4GHz network is less. Therefore, by the mere fact of passing through the air, more quality is being lost in 5GHz than in 2.4Ghz. Something that gets even worse if there is walls (or ceiling/floor) in the middle.

    Compatibility.One thing is clear, and that is that the traditional is better supported. Currently the majority of all devices sold support both frequencies, but if you have old devices may not be compatible with 5GHz network. Therefore, the network of 2.4GHz ensures that any WiFi device will be compatible .

Advantages of the 5 GHz network

And these are the advantages of Wi-Fi networks 5GHz :

    Less saturated spectrum.It is true that the signals that are emitted in 5GHz are attenuated faster, but this band is less busy , so that in the section that theoretically reaches the quality will be superior. This is because there is multitude of signs that are transmitted in the free band of the 2,4GHz . For example, Bluetooth also works on that frequency, and many household appliances broadcast on it. Besides that we are not alone in this world, so there are also more WiFi networks broadcasting in the 2.4GHz band. And what does that matter? The more signals being transmitted at the same time on the same frequency, the greater the interference between them, and therefore, lower quality. Therefore, in terms of this aspect, the 5GHz band wins, because it is very little exploited.

2.4GHz spectrum

5GHz spectrum

    Higher speed.With routers that transmit on 5GHz we are no longer limited to transmitting on a single channel. The 5GHz band is wider, and therefore allows for more channels, and therefore, for transmit several data at the same time through different channels .

How can I know if my computer, tablet or smartphone is compatible with 5GHz?

If you are a bit curious, you may have noticed that on very few devices it says what bands accept . This is because the thing is not so simple, since there are several versions of WiFi.

You have probably heard or seen that WiFi 802.11 and a letter. 802.11 is the standard followed by all Wi-Fi networks. And what is the letter? The letter is the version or revision of the standard.

And what versions are compatible with the 5GHz bands ? All devices that support Wi-Fi 802.11n or later . In other words, currently only 802.11n and 802.11n devices are supported. 802.11ac .

System Report view ( > About This Mac > System Report) where you can see which revisions of the WiFi standard a Mac is compatible with.

And how can I know what frequencies my router broadcasts on?

How can I know if my router is dual band ? This is no longer so simple. On the one hand you could enter the router configuration , but that is something more complicated. Or you could look for such information in the cash register or on the device itself. Although a simple alternative to find out would be download an app to analyze it . Doing an Internet search we will easily find some type of app that analyzes the spectrum of frequencies that we can capture with our computer, and by taking a simple look at it we will be able to find out this information.

And the carrier routers do you have dual band? Most routers from Internet companies (ISPs) offer routers not very powerful , especially if it is ADSL and not fiber optics. Therefore, it is most likely that your operator's router does not have it, as is my case. But don't be alarmed, here comes one that does!

Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 3, a dual band router

As we have just told you, we present to you a router of double band .

This is the Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Router 3 , what a long name aside, is a router capable of broadcasting in 2.4GHz and 5GHz. For this, it has four antennas, two for each frequency.

And how can we get this router? This router must be bought from China, and it has a price of €30 . We got it through the page GearBest , and we had no problem. And although it is not the only one with its characteristics, it is one of the best value for money.


As you can see, this is one more technology in our repertoire, which will be more and more present. Without a doubt, something that any technology fan should know.