When referring to dual-band technology, it is the capability to transmit on two different types of wireless bands that support both 5GHz as well as 2.4GHz. This is a perfect solution for individuals that need heightened performance. The typically used 2.4GHz standard has an increased level of interference due to factors such as other Wi-Fi access points, microwaves, cordless phones, Bluetooth, and other devices that make for a noisy environment. In contrast, a 5GHz channel improves performance and makes it suitable for video streaming, gaming, and other heavy usage that is sensitive to delays. There are four key factors to evaluate when determining whether or not you need dual-band technology.
1. Primary Network Use
The single most important reason for switching to a dual-band router depends on your level of use. Heavy gaming is not the only reason to purchase a dual-band router. If numerous individuals are streaming or playing games online at the same time, a router that has the ability to deliver better performance may be the right choice. Other reasons that people choose to make the switch is if they enjoy streaming high-definition videos or moving high volumes of data for a business.
2. Device Hardware
While you may have made the decision to switch to a dual-band router, if your hardware does not support its use, it would be pointless. Newer laptops, mobile devices, and netbooks support a 5GHz band but older ones may not be as giving. Check the specifications of all the devices that you would use the new network with to see if they support the higher performance connections. If you plan on buying a new device, ensure that it is 5GHz capable.
3. Mixed Networks
What happens in the event that you have a brand new laptop but an older tablet device? The beauty in a dual-band router is that they allow each individual device to connect at the same time while utilizing the preferred band. This prevents slower devices from impacting others on the same network. So you are able to stream video on your computer at the 5GHz rate while leaving older devices on the slow network.
4. Ease of Setup
Luckily, setting up dual-band technology is relatively simple. Each separate device can be setup to a specified band. Most newer dual-band routers can transmit both signals at the same time. Furthermore, you are able to name each signal individually in order to distinguish between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz signal. This way, older devices can be set to the lower performance band while connecting newer devices to the upgrade.
Overall unless you will be purchasing a newer computer or technological devices, or you are engaging in a high level of online gaming and streaming, a single band router may be more appropriate for you at the present time. It is easy to upgrade to a dual-band router in the future and with technology constantly changing, newer and improved versions are always coming out. So evaluate your needs and determine whether or not dual-band technology is the right option for you at this time.