Should I connect all devices to 5GHz?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

When it comes to connecting devices to a network, it is important to consider the specific needs and capabilities of each device. While it may be tempting to connect all devices to the 5GHz band for its higher bandwidth, this might not always be the best option. In order to determine whether or not you should connect all devices to 5GHz, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of this band.

Advantages of 5GHz:
1. Higher bandwidth: The 5GHz band offers a wider range of available channels, resulting in higher data transfer speeds. This makes it ideal for activities that require a lot of bandwidth, such as gaming, streaming high-definition videos, or transferring large files.
2. Less interference: The 5GHz band is typically less crowded than the 2.4GHz band, which means there is less interference from other devices. This can result in a more stable and reliable connection, especially in densely populated areas.

Disadvantages of 5GHz:
1. Limited range: One of the main drawbacks of the 5GHz band is its limited range compared to the 2.4GHz band. The higher frequency signals of 5GHz do not penetrate walls and obstacles as well as the lower frequency signals of 2.4GHz. Therefore, if you have devices located far away from the router or in areas with many obstacles, the 5GHz band may not provide a strong and stable connection.
2. Device compatibility: Not all devices support the 5GHz band. Older devices, such as some smartphones, tablets, or IoT devices, may only be capable of connecting to the 2.4GHz band. It is important to check the specifications of each device to ensure compatibility before connecting them to the 5GHz network.

Based on these advantages and disadvantages, it is clear that connecting all devices to the 5GHz band may not be the best approach. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which devices to connect to each band:

1. High-bandwidth activities: Devices that require a lot of bandwidth, such as gaming consoles, smart TVs, or streaming devices, will benefit from being connected to the 5GHz band. This will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted experience while gaming or streaming high-definition content.

2. Low-bandwidth activities: Devices that primarily perform low-bandwidth activities, such as browsing the internet, checking emails, or using social media, can be connected to the 2.4GHz band. These activities do not require a high amount of bandwidth and will not benefit significantly from the higher speeds offered by the 5GHz band.

3. Device compatibility: As mentioned earlier, it is important to consider device compatibility when deciding which band to connect to. If you have older devices that do not support the 5GHz band, it makes sense to connect them to the 2.4GHz network. This will ensure that all devices can connect to the network without any issues.

In my personal experience, I have found that following these guidelines has helped optimize the performance of my home network. I have connected devices like gaming consoles, smart TVs, and streaming devices to the 5GHz band, which has provided a seamless and lag-free experience while gaming or streaming videos. On the other hand, devices like smartphones, laptops, and IoT devices are connected to the 2.4GHz band, as they primarily perform low-bandwidth activities.

To summarize, while the 5GHz band offers higher bandwidth and less interference, it has a limited range and not all devices support it. Therefore, it is best to connect high-bandwidth devices or activities to the 5GHz band and low-bandwidth devices or activities to the 2.4GHz band.