What Is a Dual-Band Router?


Quick Answer

Dual-band routers are wireless routers that use two different radio frequencies, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, to handle multiple devices. A dual-band router provides coverage compatible with several communication protocols by transmitting on both bands at the same time.

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Full Answer

Dual-band routers can set up two different networks to handle the traffic of both frequencies at once, which can be especially important for gaming or video streaming devices, which need larger amounts of bandwidth. These routers have features such as load balancing, in which the router transmits particular types of data across the different frequencies, as the 5Ghz band provides higher speeds and less issues with interference than the 2.4Ghz band.

Wireless devices use a communication protocol known as IEEE 802.11 to send data across radio waves, which is divided into protocols denoted by letters. Three types of devices, those that follow the B and G protocols and some that follow the N protocol, use the 2.4Ghz band.

Newer devices that use the N protocol can use either of the two frequencies, while those devices using the A or AC protocols all support the 5Ghz band. Many models of dual-band router also have Ethernet connections that allow for gigabit transfer speeds through wired connections. Gigabit speeds are also available for devices using the AC protocol.

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