To many of us, having a WiFi connection means setting the router to its default setting—we won’t want to risk changing the setting and pulling our hair after that when it doesn’t work.
The default setting for the frequency band in our routers is usually set to 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g/n). The other setting is 5 GHz (802.11a/n).
The technical explanation of the different bands is pretty complicated, so let’s just say that both bands provide WiFi connections, but “move” in the air quite differently.
The 2.4 GHz band is recommended for most areas as its range is farther: think of a router in a school. You’ll need one that can cover as much area as possible, right? In addition, it can also go through walls better and faster.
However, the downside of using the 2.4 GHz band is that many other devices, other than devices that need Internet connection like your laptop and smartphone, are causing interference in its wave. This includes our microwave ovens, our Bluetooth speakers and our wireless mouse.
We have once published an article that explains this: these devices are like black holes sucking our WIFI connections. In addition, your neighbours are most likely also using the 2.4 GHz setting, so having two “waves” meeting each other is like your ex-girlfriend meeting your current girlfriend: you’re going to suffer.
But we don’t have to make do with that, you know.
There’s a relatively unknown solution: the 5 GHz band. The 5 GHz band is the “older brother” of the 2.4 GHz band. Before the 2.4 GHz band went mainstream due to its cheaper and more readily available parts to make, the 5 GHz band was the default setting.
But that was in 1999—now, people would prefer the 2.4 GHz band due to its wide range. But here’s the thing about the 5 GHz band: it won’t get any interference from any electrical or wireless devices.
However, due to its higher frequency, the range is shorter and it cannot go through walls as well as the 2.4 GHz band. But the speed could be almost three times faster.
Just take a look at this speed test done by a Singaporean on a Singtel connection. The 2.4 GHz band has a download speed of 61.22 Mbps, while the 5 GHz band has a download speed of 161.41 Mbps.
If your concern is about wall interference, you shouldn’t have too much of an issue: my office room door is often closed and the router is in the main office, yet my connection has always been stable. You should be able to connect seamlessly in an HDB flat.
And oh, you’re welcome.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com in 2016 and revised on 26 June 2017.
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