TROUBLESHOOTING

What’s the Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi for Gaming?

Colin Niemczura, Editor-in-chief, XboxDIY.com

12 June 2018

This article will walk you through the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFI, and help you decide what’s best for your situation.

Should I use 2.4GHz or 5GHz for wireless gaming?

Gamers are always looking for ways to milk the most out of their internet connections. After all, the person with the faster internet connection usually has a slight advantage over someone with a slower internet connection.

While you may have read our article about How to Reduce Lag and Fix Your Internet Connection for Online Gaming, there are some additional more nuanced things to consider when tweaking your home network for optimal speeds.

One of those is the 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless frequencies on your Dual Band Wireless router.

It might sound complicated, but it’s really not.

XboxDIY is here to show you what the difference is between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless frequency, and which is the best for your specific situation.

What is 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

In the simplest terms, 2.4GHz and 5GHz are wireless frequencies used by many difference devices.

Historically, all routers have run on 2.4GHz frequencies with no issues.

But in the day and age of smart TVs, smart refrigerators, and smart toasters, the 2.4GHz frequency has been slowly overrun, making the way for a new frequency to be used by the myriad of devices typically seen in today’s 21st century home.

What is the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz?

The difference between these two frequencies is actually pretty simple.

  • 2.4GHz is a longer range, but less powerful frequency.
  • 5GHz is a shorter range, but more powerful frequency.

Aside from the speed and range, the other difference is that they obviously, different frequencies. This offers more options if multiple devices are present in one area and interference occurs.

Right away you can probably tell that one is better than the other, depending on the situation.

Should I use 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi for my Xbox?

Most people are probably wondering…well which one should I use?

First and foremost, we always recommend using an ethernet cable or direct connection to your router or modem.

Nothing can replace a wired connection, but if you’re limited to wireless, choosing a 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency is actually pretty simple:

  • If your Xbox 360 or Xbox One is close to your wireless router, I would set up and connect to a 5GHz frequency.
  • If your Xbox 360 or Xbox One is further away from your wireless router, I would set up and connect to a 2.4GHz

There’s also the issue of device overload.

If one of your frequencies has a lot of difference IoT (Internet of Things) devices on it, I would add your Xbox to the other frequency.

Chances are, most of your devices are already on a 2.4GHz frequency.

If you’re in a situation where the Xbox is really far away from your wireless router but all of your devices are on 2.4GHz, I would recommend switching some of those devices to your 5GHz conection to free up the 2.4GHz connection so your Xbox has more bandwith.

How do I set up a 5GHz wireless connection?

Setting up a 5GHz wireless connection is actually pretty straightforward.

Although all dual band wireless routers are different, there are some general guidelines you should follow to set up a 5GHz wireless connection.

The example below is for a Netgear R6220 (AC1200) Dual Band Router. Most routers use a similar method:

  • Log in to to your wireless router
  • Navigate to your wireless settings
  • Locate the 5GHz wireless connection settings
  • Turn your 5GHz wireless connection on
  • Give your 5GHz wireless connection a name and password

Your 5GHz wireless connection will actually be a separate SSID when you search for wireless connections.

That means you can decide which devices are on your 2.4GHz connection, and which are on your 5GHz connection.

Using the proper frequency can help improve your internet connection.

Now that you know more about the difference between a 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency on your dual-band wireless router, you can more effectively troubleshoot network issues and deliver a better gaming experience.

Check out XboxDIY’s other repair guides and tutorials for more ways to get the most out of your Xbox gaming console!

Have questions about the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi? Drop us a comment below or visit us on our YouTube channel to connect with other gamers around the globe.

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