More Mbps or a better signal strength? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-14, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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More Mbps or a better signal strength?

I have a dual band router at home.

I put one of my devices in a room.

Using the 2.4 Ghz option I get speeds of 20-30 mbps and a strong wifi signal

Using the 5.0 Ghz option i get speeds of 35-45 mbps but the wifi signal is about 50-75% weaker than the signal under 2.4 ghz

which one is better?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-14, 09:25 PM
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The higher real speed, as measured by speedtest(.)com, is better. Those speeds seem a little low but that depends on the internet plan and the device. 2.4GHz is usually capable of 75+Mbps and 5GHz is capable of 150+Mbps. Weaker signals may not provide the full speed. The + speeds require a good signal with devices and routers that have advanced AC wifi capabilities.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-14, 11:38 PM
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To add to what ExDilbert said, 5 GHz networks are less subject to interference, because they cover a shorter distance; they have more difficulty crossing obstacles. They also have a larger number of channels available, so your neighbours are not as likely to be on the same channel. This will help with your Wi-Fi speeds.

On the other hand, 2.4 GHz networks do have a longer range, but there are only 3 non-overlapping channels in Canada and the USA. The means that if you have many neighbours that have 2.4 GHz networks, there will be interference and will lower your network bandwidth for you and them.

Also, Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) networks only use the 5 GHz frequency, with dual-band routers using Wi-Fi 4 (also known as 802.11n) for 2.4 GHz support.

Personally, I set my network name to be the same for both bands, and I let my devices use the one that’s appropriate. They are usually smart enough to use 5 GHz when more performance is necessary and 2.4 GHz when they’re sleeping to reduce power draw.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-15, 06:42 AM
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Also, Wi-Fi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) networks only use the 5 GHz frequency, with dual-band routers using Wi-Fi 4 (also known as 802.11n) for 2.4 GHz support.
There is now W-F- 6, with 802.11ax, which works on both bands.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-15, 12:05 PM
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It's a bit premature to move to Wi-Fi 6/802.11ax. Currently available routers are overpriced and based on a preliminary version of the standard. Very few devices are capable of taking advantage of it's more advanced features.

AC1900 devices are currently the sweet spot for consumer routers. They offer reasonable prices, double the router throughput on the 2.4GHz band (over slower routers) and offer enough 5GHz bandwidth to feed several in use devices at high speeds simultaneously.

Last edited by ExDilbert; 2019-09-15 at 09:50 PM. Reason: typo AX1900 > AC1900
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-15, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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the reason those speeds are low is because they come from a 2 year old motorola phone i use to chromecast onto my tv. When I use my iPad6 to do those same speed tests they're much higher.

I use fast.com to measure speeds.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-09-15, 10:10 PM
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5 GHz networks ... have a larger number of channels available
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2.4 GHz networks ... only 3 non-overlapping channels
Unless the routers choose 80MHz channels. 80MHz channels are required to achieve maximum advertised router speeds. When that happens there are only two usable non-overlapping 80MHz channels plus two 20MHZ. I'm seeing 80MHz channels a lot with newer routers. In addition, Canada limits the lower 5 channels to indoor use, though it's difficult to tell how that can be enforced at the router level. Of the twenty 20MHz 5GHz channels available in Canada, only 5 are unrestricted and four of those are required to create one 80MHz channel. Five are limited to indoor use. Another 10 are designated as DFS which mandates that the router must vacate the channel if other signals (such as radar) are detected. I've yet to see a router that uses DFS channels. My router doesn't support DFS channels at all and it is far from ancient.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-10-02, 11:26 AM
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Is it better to use 802.11AC only or 802.11 mixed A/N/AC?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 2019-10-02, 12:29 PM
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Is it better to use 802.11AC only or 802.11 mixed A/N/AC?]
That depends. Are all devices capable of ac? If so, you can allow ac only. If not, enable whatever is needed to support those devices. However, unlike back in the days of b & g, there is not much of a performance penalty for supporting lower speeds. With b compatibility, g and later versions had to transmit a packet in b to reserve time for the data transmission in g. It was this that caused the significant performance hit, when b was around. With everything else, the only slowdown is in the header, so that all nearby devices can learn how long the channel will be in use, even though they can't read the actual data.
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