For accessing the Internet at your home or business, a wireless router is an essential way to transmit your Internet signal to multiple devices. When shopping for a router there are many options to consider, one of which is whether to purchase a single or dual-band router. Though single-band routers are less expensive, dual-band routers offer several important benefits.
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Faster File Sharing and Streaming
According Samara Lynn, a writer for PCmag.com, a dual-band (i.e., 2.4- and 5-GHz) router facilitates faster throughput (communication) for demanding tasks such as sharing files and streaming video within a network. Single band routers do not offer the 5-GHz band, which information technology experts such as Lynn argue is the most efficient for sharing and streaming large media files and gaming.
Separate Internet Tasks
A dual-band router enables the user to separate high band width tasks such as streaming high definition movies and other media from checking e-mail and browsing the Internet. The user can efficiently browse the Internet on the 2.4-GHz band, while simultaneously streaming media on the 5-GHz band.
Prevent Interference with Other Networks
According to Becky Waring, of PCworld.com, switching to a dual band router with a 5-GHz option could help with interference problems. By connecting your devices through the 5-GHz band you can avoid interference from neighbouring Wi-Fi networks. Tim Higgins, of Smallnetbuilder.com, also points out that the "5-GHz band also has more non-overlapping channels than 2.4 GHz." This means that you have a higher chance of "finding a channel that doesn't interfere with neighbouring networks."
Prevent Interference with Home Appliances
Tim Higgins also points out that small home appliances, "including some cordless phones, intercoms, baby monitors and microwave ovens" also run on the 2.4-GHz band. He argues that "the more of these devices that are in range of your wireless network, the lower and less consistent your speed will be." This means that if your network is in a really crowded area, such as an apartment building, the signals from other devices could cause your signal to drop or decrease in speed if you have a router with only the 2.4-GHz band.
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