Wi-Fi connections in modern devices often fall into two main categories: 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. Notably, these frequency bands are not universally optimal for all devices and situations. When your Windows 11 or 10 computer seeks a connection, it typically prioritizes a stronger signal over one that might be faster, like the 5 GHz band. This can be frustrating for users who desire the speed advantages that the 5 GHz frequency offers. If you’re among those who prefer a 5 GHz connection for its superior performance, you’re in the right place. Before delving into the step-by-step guide, it’s essential to differentiate between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies and understand why the 5 GHz band is so coveted. Follow along with this risewindows article to learn how you can ensure your Windows 11 system always prioritizes a 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection.
Difference Between 2.4GHz And 5GHz Wi-Fi
The world of Wi-Fi encompasses multiple frequency bands, each with its unique characteristics, advantages, and challenges. The most commonly used frequencies in our daily lives are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. But what differentiates these two bands, and how do they affect your online experience? Here’s a comprehensive breakdown:-
- Coverage & Penetration: One of the primary advantages of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is its extended coverage area, making it favorable for larger homes or spaces. Moreover, this frequency has an inherent ability to penetrate solid objects like walls and floors with relative ease.
- Speed & Range: The maximum speed offered by 2.4GHz Wi-Fi is typically around 150Mbps, and it can transmit signals up to approximately 410ft under ideal conditions.
- Interference & Drawbacks: However, the 2.4GHz band is not without its challenges. Due to its widespread usage in various devices and applications, from microwave ovens to other household gadgets, it’s more susceptible to interference. Consequently, the overall bandwidth or speed can be somewhat limited, especially in congested areas.
- Speed & Efficiency: The 5GHz band stands out primarily because of its enhanced speed capabilities. It is especially suited for activities that demand higher data throughput, such as streaming HD videos or online gaming.
- Less Interference: Another advantage is the reduced risk of interference. As fewer devices and appliances operate on the 5GHz frequency, users often experience a cleaner and more stable connection.
- Coverage Limitations: On the flip side, 5GHz Wi-Fi doesn’t have the same extensive coverage as its 2.4GHz counterpart. Its ability to penetrate through solid objects like walls is also comparatively diminished.
In conclusion, choosing between 2.4GHz and 5GHz boils down to understanding your specific needs. If coverage and penetration through walls are your priorities, 2.4GHz might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re after speed and less interference, the 5GHz band may be more suitable.
How to Force Wi-Fi to Connect Over 5GHz on Windows 11/10?
If you observe that your Wi-Fi router’s performance is sluggish and the internet speeds are not meeting expectations, it could be due to the use of the 2.4GHz band. You can modify which band your wireless card connects to in the future. This adjustment can be made in the advanced driver settings via the Device Manager. To do so, follow these steps:-
Step 1. Firstly, open the Power Menu by pressing the Windows + X keyboard shortcut, and then select Device Manager from the pop-up menu.
Step 2. When the Device Manager window opens, double-click on the Network adapters to expand it.
Step 3. Then, select your Wi-Fi adaptor and then right-click on it. Select Properties from the pop-up menu when it is complete.
Step 4. After that, switch to the Advanced tab in the Wi-Fi Properties dialog.
Step 5. Next, under the “Property” list, choose the “Preferred Band” option.
Step 6. Here, click the drop-down menu “Value” and select 3. I prefer a 5GHz band.
Step 7. At last, click on the OK button.
Here’s the corrected version:
Having configured your Windows PC to prioritize the 5GHz band, you should now disconnect from the Wi-Fi and then reconnect. If your router supports the 5GHz band and it’s enabled in its settings, you should notice an improvement in your internet or network speed.
Depending on your wireless router’s manufacturer, there might be a Windows supplicant or application available to manage your adapter. However, keep in mind that the built-in Windows supplicant won’t guarantee a connection exclusively to the preferred band. This means that even if you set a preference for the 5GHz band, it might switch to the 2.4GHz band to maintain a connection if there are issues with the preferred band.
The distinction between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies lies in their respective strengths and challenges. While 2.4GHz is renowned for its broader coverage and better penetration through solid objects, it is more susceptible to interference due to its ubiquity in various devices. Conversely, the 5GHz frequency offers superior speed and fewer interference problems but lacks in coverage and wall penetration. For those users prioritizing speed and a stable connection, choosing the 5GHz band is beneficial. Fortunately, with Windows 10 and 11, it’s possible to configure your computer to favor this frequency, allowing for a potentially smoother and faster online experience.