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February 08, 2019

Do I Need a Dual-band Router? Factors to Consider

dual band routers

Today’s busy households ask a lot of their Internet connections. From laptops, TVs, smartphones, and tablets, to game consoles, appliances, and security systems, devices in every room of your home require a WiFi connection. However, you may be using an outdated box that is seriously limiting the power of your devices. So, what’s the solution? Dual-band wireless routers. This updated technology is a worthwhile upgrade that can increase both the speed and reach of your connections.

What are router bands?

Modern routers send their wireless signals over two different radio bands: the 2.4 GHz band, and the 5 GHz band.

The 2.4 GHz band has been the most common, thanks to its long reach and ability to easily pass through solid objects like walls. However, as the band became crowded and more homes gained access to faster Internet connections, the 5 GHz band was born. Although it doesn’t reach quite as far as the 2.4 GHz band, it’s able to transfer data at much faster speeds, delivering lightning-quick downloads to compatible devices.

Single band vs. dual-band

If you’re shopping for routers, it makes sense to choose the latest and fastest band, right? Not so fast. With a router that only supports the 5 GHz band, you could have a hard time reaching the corners of your home. This could cut off WiFi access to certain devices like smartwatches, which can only connect on the 2.4 GHz band. On the other hand, if you grab a legacy router that operates only on the 2.4GHz band, you’ll miss out on the fastest possible speeds (and a range of connectivity benefits).

That’s where dual-band routers come into play. Dual-band WiFi offers the best of both worlds, allowing you to run the same network using both bands at once. If you have a newer laptop or smartphone, you can be sure your connection moves as fast as possible when you’re working from your home office with the 5 GHz band. Streaming a movie on the opposite side of the house? The 2.4 GHz band will reach all the way up to your bonus room, and still give you the bandwidth you need for your next binge session.

Xfinity's Wireless Gateway 2 and Wireless Gateway 3 devices offer a modem and router in one with dual-band WiFi.

How to choose a router

Here are some scenarios to keep in mind when making a band selection for your router:

  • Single-band 2.4 GHz: Choose this option if you use don’t use many devices on your home network and don’t require fast speeds for streaming or gaming.
  • Single-band 5 GHz: Choose this option if you use only a few brand-new devices in a small space.
  • Dual-band: Choose this option if you rely on many WiFi-enabled devices and activities in your home.

As more devices come into our homes every year and faster Internet speeds are more in demand, a dual-band router is the optimal choice for most busy households. The next time you evaluate your network, consider stepping up to a dual-band router with Xfinity, and stay connected in every corner of your home.

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