Wireless networks have come a long way in the past couple of decades. And yet, sustained Wi-Fi speeds are still a vexing problem in a lot of situations. If you are looking for a solid way to increase the efficiency and productivity of your business in terms of Wi-Fi access, a wireless access point should be strongly considered. Do you really know how to choose a suitable wireless access point? And what’s the difference between the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz? Let’s take a look at the wireless access point.
A wireless access point (AP) is a networking device that allows wireless Wi-Fi devices to connect to a wired network in the result of forming a wireless local area network (WLAN). An access point acts as a central transmitter and receiver of wireless radio signals. Wireless APs are most commonly used in homes to support public Internet hot spots, or in business, networks to accommodate the proliferation of wireless mobile devices now in use. So these versatile wireless APs offer fast seamless connectivity when you moving around a building.
A standalone wireless access point closely resembles a wireless router. The wireless routers have built-in access points which give them wireless ability. They can work with the wireless APs and switches by running an Ethernet cable for wireless connectivity. So wireless routers are mostly used to give network capability to many computers and devices simultaneously for home networking. It is often said that a router can be an access point but an access point can’t be a router. So why do more and more people buy wireless APs? Wireless routers are commonplace in any network today, but there are often weak WiFi signals or dead spots in any network. A wireless access point can be added in locations that have bad wireless network ability, which helps to extend a wireless network and give a good converge. In a word, if you want to build a more reliable wireless network, you may need a wireless access point.
2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are different wireless signaling frequencies. These parameters are advertised prominently on the product packaging, but you really know what is their meaning. Basically, you need to recognize that 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi will support up to 450 Mbps or 600 Mbps, and 5 GHz Wi-Fi will support up to 1300 Mbps. Are 5 GHz really better than 2.4 GHz because of its higher frequency signals?
In fact, higher frequency networks are not necessarily superior to lower frequency ones. Each one has its own advantages for Wi-Fi networking. The 2.4 GHz provides coverage at a longer range but transmits data at slower speeds, while 5 GHz provides less coverage but transmits data at faster speeds. It is the reason that the higher frequencies cannot penetrate solid objects, such as walls and floors. Many WiFi-enabled household devices use the 2.4 GHz band, including microwaves, garage door openers, old cordless phones, baby monitors, etc. When multiple devices attempt to use the same radio space, the 5 GHz band should be considered. The 5 GHz band tends to have less overcrowding than the 2.4GHz band because it has 23 channels for devices to use while the 2.4GHz band has only 11 channels. Good news is that most modern Wi-Fi devices can support dual-band, that is to say, one can broadcasts both a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signal from the same unit, essentially providing you with two Wi-Fi networks and the best of both worlds.
Assuming the electric power to the higher frequency radios is maintained at a higher level, 5 GHz network can carry more data than a 2.4 GHz network. With the last 802.11n and 802.11ac router technology, 5 GHz radios support significantly higher maximum data rates. Home devices can run fastest over 5 GHz links, which can generate the largest amount of network traffic, like video streaming units or game consoles. If you’re experiencing dropped connections or if you need more speed for watching videos or playing games, then you probably need to move to 5 GHz.
The higher the frequency of a wireless signal, the shorter its range 2.4 GHz wireless networks, therefore, cover a substantially larger range than 5 GHz networks. Many older Wi-Fi devices do not contain 5 GHz radios and must be connected to 2.4 GHz channels in any case. At this time, 2.4 GHz is the best strategy, which can save money at the same time. Because 5 GHz are comparatively new and usually incorporates 2.4 GHz radios, it generally costs more than 2.4 GHz.
If you’re already using a dual-band – both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands available, you’ll have to make some decisions on which one to connect your devices. It’s tempting to just go ahead and use 5 GHz Wi-Fi for any device that supports it and use 2.4 GHz for the rest. The best way is that providing 2.4 GHz support for compatibility with older devices, and 5 GHz support for newer devices.
Hopefully, this article will give you the information to make a decision which type of wireless access point is the best for you. FS.COM provides a versatile wireless solution offering single band and dual-band operation and fast Ethernet for high-performance networking. These wireless APs feature integrated PoE, and they can be operated as the fit one to be used with a centralized controller or work independently. Our AP software is based on the OpenWRT program and updated through U-BOOT technology. When a new version comes out, you can refresh the firmware on the original basis. The AP doesn’t support multiple VLANs but you can use AC to configure one VLAN.