Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi

The key difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi is that the 2.4GHz WiFi covers a long distance while performing at a slower speed while 5GHz WiFi covers a shorter distance while performing at a higher speed.

WiFi is a widely spread network. Users can connect to it from anywhere. This technology is compatible with almost all operating systems, game devices, printers etc. It is a good alternative to wired technology. WiFi networks use radio waves to transmit and receive data at high speed. It can transmit at a frequency level of 2.4GHz or 5GHz according to the amount of data that it needs to sent.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is 2.4GHz WiFi
      – Definition, Functionality
2. What is 5GHz WiFi
     – Definition, Functionality
3. Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi - Comparison Summary


What is 2.4GHz WiFi

The 2.4GHz frequency band is capable of covering a long distance and has lower bandwidth. Therefore, the data transmission rate is minimum compared to 5GHz. Thus, the file downloading and uploading speed of 2.4GHz WiFi is lower than that of 5GHz WiFi. This can also affect the video streaming quality. The main advantage of 2.4GHz is its capability to travel a long distance. Usually, lower frequency signals can pass easily through common building materials. Therefore, these signals can travel an extended distance than 5GHz signals.

What is 5GHz WiFi

High-frequency signals cannot easily pass through the solid objects such as walls or buildings. Therefore, 5GHz is only capable of covering a minimum distance.

Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFiHowever, high frequencies allow faster data transmission. Therefore, the main advantage of 5GHz WiFi is its capability to transmit data at a higher rate.  As a result, the speed of downloading and uploading files is higher. It also helps high bandwidth applications such as streaming videos to perform well. In brief, 5GHz can provide much faster data connections than 2.4GHz because of its high bandwidth.

Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi


2.4GHz WiFi: WiFi standard IEEE 802.11b operating frequency 

5GHz WiFi: WiFi standard IEEE 802.11a operating frequency


2.4GHz WiFi: Provides slower data transmission compared to 5GHz.

5GHz WiFi: Provides faster data transmission.

Distance Covered

2.4GHz WiFi: Covers a long distance.

5GHz WiFi: Covers a short distance.


2.4GHz WiFi: Has a lower bandwidth than 5GHz.

5GHz WiFi: Has a higher bandwidth.


2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are two WiFi frequencies. Each frequency has their own advantage. 2.4GHz covers a long distance but performs at a slower speed while 5GHz covers a shorter distance but performs at a higher speed. This is the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi. Users can select the frequency according to his or her requirement. If the main concern is to have a high speed, then he can use 5GHz WiFi. If it is necessary to cover a wide wireless range, he can use 2.4GHz WiFi. When there are more devices in the network with 2.4GHz, with more interference or internet connectivity issues, it is better to use 5GHz.


1. “2.4 GHz or 5 GHz: Which Wi-Fi Should I Choose?, Vidéotron, 30 Nov. 2016, Available here.
2. “What Is WiFi and How Does It Work?” CCM, Available here.
3. “Wifi Technology.” LinkedIn SlideShare, 20 Sept. 2012, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “WIFI icon”By Canopus49 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lithmee

Lithmee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Systems Engineering and is reading for her Master’s degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about sharing her knowldge in the areas of programming, data science, and computer systems.

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