The primary differences between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies are range and bandwidth. 5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance, whereas 2.4GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but may perform at slower speeds.
In most cases, the higher the frequency of a wireless signal, the shorter its range, or how far your data can travel, will be. The biggest 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 frequencies allow faster transmission of data, also known as bandwidth. Higher bandwidth means that files will download and upload faster, and high bandwidth applications such as streaming video will perform much smoother and faster. Therefore, the 5GHz with its higher bandwidth will provide much faster data connections than 2.4 GHz.
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