Do you sometimes wonder why it seems your phone actually browses faster than your laptop that’s connected to its Hotspot?
The reason for this is simple – The bandwidth of the Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi Hotspots usually have 2 bandwidths on mobile devices – 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz.
I know by looking at both figures you’ve guessed that 5.0GHz will be the faster one. You’re not wrong but there’s actually a catch to it. It has do with physics – waves in particular. I’ll try to explain it in a way you’ll understand.
5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance while 2.4GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but may perform at slower speeds.
The main reason for this is that higher frequency signals cannot penetrate solid objects like walls and floors as well as lower frequency signals. Thus, the 2.4 GHz has a farther range than the 5 GHz frequency.
Higher bandwidth means that files will download and upload faster, and high-bandwidth applications such as streaming video will perform much smoother and faster
Higher frequencies increase transmission of data, also known as bandwidth. Therefore, the 5GHz with its higher bandwidth will provide much faster data connections than 2.4 GHz.
Most devices only use the 2.4 GHz frequency, and these devices are all attempting to use the same “radio space” which can cause overcrowding of the channels. The 5GHz band has 23 available channels for devices to use vs the 3 available on the 2.4 GHz band. I can’t really say if the 5.0GHz is available on all smartphones but if you’re lucky to have it on your device. It’s worth trying out. If you’re having issues discovering the Wi-Fi on 5.0GHz switch back to 2.4GHz
So, which should you choose, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz?
• If faster speeds are most important to you, 5GHz is usually a better choice than 2.4 GHz.
• If the wireless range is more important to you, 2.4 GHz is usually a better choice than 5 GHz