If you are shopping around for a wireless internet router, you have mostly likely come across a dual band router, and may have been told how it is able to eliminate interference and improve connectivity. The big question you may ask yourself is: do I need the dual band router?
Dual Band Routers
Dual band technology employs two band frequencies, the commonly used one which is the 2.4GHz frequency and a less common one which is the 5GHz frequency. In areas that are congested with 2.4GHz signals coming from competing routers and/or from other cordless devices, interference usually occurs. In that situation, the dual band router will seamlessly switch from 2.4GHz to 5GHz and thus avoiding the interference.
First, carry out a check for the frequency of your home devices to see if they make use of 2.4GHz frequency. Microwaves, cordless phones and baby monitors are among the most likely devices that cause interference with your wireless signals. If the gadgets you have in your house make use of the 2.4GHz signal, they may probably be affecting the signal strength. Take time to check them though, since many do not utilize this frequency. In addition, microwaves can only be a problem while they are cooking. If you find just one device making use of the same frequency, switch it on and off; take a walk around the house with the gadget and check to see if it causes any disruptions to your connection. Having the same frequency increases the probability of interference but it may not affect the signal strength so much for it to be of any concern.
The Wireless Environment
What is even more important than the signals that are coming from within your home, are those ones that are coming from outside your home. If you stay in an area that is flooded with 2.4GHz signals, such as you would have in an apartment complex with a quite a lot of neighboring routers and cordless devices, you will most likely be better off using dual band technology. This is even more certain if you have already been having signal issues like under-performing signal strength, sudden reduction in signal strength, or frequent disconnections. In addition, if you like to stream video to your television or engage in online gaming, you should acquire a router with dual band to ensure that you get a seamless connection all through your activity.
You do not need to get a dual band router if you reside in a suburban type housing area or somewhere off a country road, and do not have 2.4GHz devices in your house. If you have been successfully making use of a single band router and have experienced no complaints, you most probably do not have to dish out the extra cash for it.
Dual band technology will not be a solution for connection problems that are caused by physical obstructions or distance issues; that is simply saying that it does not improve range. Also, not all the computers and electronic devices support them. Though they are compatible with using the 2.4GHz frequency, they cannot utilize the extra 5GHz frequency available and are hence subject to the same interference problems. Lastly, 2.4GHz was used to be the new and free frequency that 5GHz is at the moment. As time progresses, 5GHz will probably become equally as crowded as the dual band as the popularity continues to grow.