If you have an NBN Router in your home, you’ve probably noticed you have two different WiFi signals you can connect to. One is 2.4G and the other is 5G, but what is the difference and which should you be using for each device?
It can be confusing, as these signals sound similar to the generations of mobile phone signals, such as 3G and 4G. These refer to the third and fourth generations of mobile technology. This is completely different from 2.4G and 5G WiFi.
“2.4G” Wifi is short for 2.4GHz band WiFi whereas “5G” is short for 5GHz and is much faster than 2.4G, but does not reach as far.
Which devices should use 2.4G WiFi?
This has a wider range than 5G WiFi, so it is great for most devices around your home. You should use 2.4G for any devices that need to talk to each or are far from your router. Your smart home devices should be on 2.4g and must all be on the same network as each other. If you are using smart lights and other smart devices that are at different ends of the house to your router, this will allow all devices to have a strong signal.
If you have a wireless printer in your home or office, they should be on 2.4G WiFi. This will allow all computers and laptops in the building to be able to print wirelessly. You need to ensure your computer is also on the same WiFi network as the printer whilst trying to print, this sounds obvious but sometimes you might also connect to your 5G network instead.
Wireless security cameras should also be using 2.4G in order for them to all reach the router at each end of the house. If you were to try this on your 5G network, the cameras farthest away from the router might have a weak signal.
Which devices should use 5G WiFi?
5G networks can provide much faster speeds than 2.4G but it is affected by walls and distance. 5G is best used for downloading large files quickly. This includes updates on your video game consoles, such as the massive updates some games require or downloading digital games. It can also be good for downloading films you have purchased on iTunes or within a streaming app.
If you need to use the 5G, ensure the device is physically close to the router. This might require you to move your phone, video game console or laptop closer to the router when you are using it.