What is the difference between 5GHz Wi-Fi and 5G internet?
These technologies with similar names are not the same. 5G internet is a new mobile internet standard, while 5GHz Wi-Fi is an established home network system.
5G mobile network technology should bring a real revolution in the way we access the Internet, increasing download speeds, eliminating latencies, and reducing congestion on mobile networks. In the near future, Wi-Fi and 5G will be competing in terms of speed and price. However, all signs indicate that we will probably need both networks to take full advantage of the Internet. But after all, are the 5G and 5 GHz Wi-Fi the same? No, but technically they have some things in common, such as both being wireless technologies.
To be more specific, 5G is the newest mobile internet standard that smartphones will start using soon, and really only refers to an update to the previous mobile network standard, called 4G.
5 GHz refers to a part of the radio spectrum used by Wi-Fi devices. Most people find this term only when connecting to some Wi-Fi networks or when comparing 5 GHz Wi-Fi to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi.
- The newest mobile network standard, 4G improvement
- Connect your router to the Internet
- Wireless, equivalent to cable or fiber Internet connection
5 GHz Wi-Fi
- The popular frequency band used by Wi-Fi, along with 2.4 GHz
- Connect your devices at home to your router
- Works only on your home network
5G: The latest version of the mobile internet
When mobile devices – such as your smartphone, tablet, or notebook are connected to a mobile network and are not on Wi-Fi. They can do this through the data service of a mobile network operator. 5G is the latest technology, which aims to provide ultra-fast connections for these devices.
In terms of widespread use, 4G is still the fastest mobile internet technology currently in use in Brazil, but as soon as 5G arrives, and 5G smartphones are launched (already there), 5G will offer many improvements over 4G, which will allow 5G to change multiple sectors for the better.
5 GHz: A Wi-Fi frequency range
Devices connected to a Wi-Fi network can transmit data in two frequency bands, depending on the router: 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. Like mobile 5G networks that are faster than 4G because they operate at higher frequencies, 5 GHz Wi-Fi is generally faster than 2.4 GHz for the same reason.
5 GHz also has a disadvantage (like 5G) of not being able to transmit well through walls and has a shorter Wi-Fi range than the 2.4 GHz band.
However, 5 GHz is used only within the context of Wi-Fi. That is, when you are in a home or business, where the wireless router or access point supports 5 GHz, devices can connect to the router on that frequency range instead of 2.4 GHz.
5 GHz is an option on routers to allow faster transfer speeds and help reduce congestion and interference, allowing the network to run on more channels than are supported at 2.4 GHz. Most modern routers are dual-band, which means that they operate in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency bands. To change, just configure the router in the band you want.
What about 5G Wi-Fi routers?
As of now, if you see a Wi-Fi network with “5G” mentioned in its name, you are referring to the frequency in gigahertz (5 GHz). The Wi-Fi nomenclature differentiates it from the 2.4 GHz network that the dual-band router is also capable of transmitting.
A dual-band router can have both types of network-enabled, so older devices, which support only 2.4 GHz, can still connect to the network. At the same time, newer devices can use 5 GHz on the same router to take advantage of the speed of the latest technology.
In the past, when 5G mobile internet was not talked about, there was no such confusion. People used to call a 5 GHz Wi-Fi router a “5G router” because it could not be confused with the 5G mobile internet. However, with today’s 5G mobile internet routers, this is a little confusing.
As 5G networks become more prevalent and potentially replace broadband at home, the routers used to connect devices via 5G mobile internet will almost certainly be called 5G routers, which means that they connect your home network to the Internet via a 5G mobile network. On your home network, your devices will still have the option to connect to the router in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency bands.
The promise of Wi-Fi 6
Traditionally, Wi-Fi has terms of naming conventions for quite confusing standards, especially for the tech-savvy user. It went from 802.11b to 802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11n, and then 802.11ac, but fortunately, the Wi-Fi Alliance (and hopefully the industry in general) accepted the need for an easier to understand name. For this, the next standard, 802.11ax will simply be called Wi-Fi 6.
This simpler naming convention is also being adapted so that 802.11ac becomes Wi-Fi 5 and so on. The new Wi-Fi 6 standard is expected to offer speeds at least four times that of Wi-Fi 5, but it will also bring improvements in efficiency and capacity, designed to handle the growing number of home devices connected to the Internet. Like 5G, Wi-Fi 6 will complement, not replace, existing Wi-Fi standards.
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