Technology has advanced at a rapid pace ever since the advent of the internet. Many devices today, including vacuum cleaners, lights, and television support WLAN (wireless local area network). But for WLAN to serve its purpose, you need a router.
A router connects devices to the internet. It is responsible to receive and send data on computer networks. The networking device maintains a routing table that helps it determine the best path and physical interface connection to send data packets.
So whether you use Spectrum cable internet or DSL service, by having a good router you can make the most of your internet bandwidth. Now, the question is which router to go for? There are two common types of routers: dual-band routers and tri-band routers. To understand the difference between the two, let us explain them individually.
A dual-band router offers two different bands or frequencies. These are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. This means that this router is capable of receiving as well as transmitting data using both frequencies, either one at a time or simultaneously.
The 2.4GHz channel is vulnerable to interference from external sources. Also, the speed it offers is less than half of what the 5GHz channel provides. However, older devices sometimes don’t have 5GHz support. Such devices function fairly well on the 2.4GHz channel if you are to do simple activities like checking emails and web surfing.
But when you need to do complex or heavy tasks like downloading and streaming, you need improved speed and hence need to switch to the 5GHz channel.
Advantages & Disadvantages Dual-Band Routers
A dual-band router offers a more stable internet connection than a single-band router and is much cheaper as compared to a tri-band router (more on that later). The biggest advantage of this device is that it supports both new as well as old devices.
So if you don’t have the latest versions of gadgets/computers yet want to enjoy a good speed, a dual-band router is the answer. Having said that, if too many devices are connected to its 5GHz channel, it might affect the speed of the connection. This is because it has a lower coverage capacity.
A tri-band router hosts a 2.4GHz channel along with two separate 5GHz channels. It automatically sorts devices and connects them to different networks. So when there is lesser traffic on the networks, it allows for more speed on the devices.
This is precisely why it offers two GHz channels. When you have multiple devices running on one 5Ghz channel, it might affect the speed. But with two, there will be a lesser load and thus more speed. Generally, two 5GHz channels are not needed for personal use unless you have multiple 4k streamers in the household.
The reason why 2.4 GHz alone proves to be slow is that there are several devices such as cordless phones that work in the same frequency. This leads to traffic and congestion. One 5GHz channel alone may not be able to handle high traffic. Therefore, the two-band is a good balance. It lets you mix and match different channels and frequencies to attain a balance.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Tri-Band Routers
A tri-band router is compatible with both new, as well as old devices. It offers a more stable internet connection than a dual-band router. And that’s mainly because of its two 5GHz channels. Having two channels reduces traffic flow and allows higher performance and speed across multiple devices.
Having said that most households don’t really need two 5GHz channels. They may go unused if you don’t have a lot of heavy-duty work to do on multiple devices. It is also a lot more expensive than dual-band routers.
Now that you are well aware of the difference between dual-band routers and tri-band routers, you can make a more educated choice. To put it simply, if you live in a studio apartment and use a smartphone, laptop, and gaming console, a dual-band router would be good enough for you.
But if you have a large household where everyone wishes to use separate devices for 4K streaming, the tri-band router is a safe bet. It is also well-suited for large spaces like offices and hotels.
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