1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Dual Band Routers

Discussion in 'Networking' started by DoubleHelix, Jul 2, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    24,388
    Can someone explain in layman's terms how a dual band wireless router works? I've spent months reading various articles and websites, and I still just don't get it. I read on one site (can't remember which) that dual band routers require special wireless adapters, but I've never seen a dual band wireless adapter, so I doubt the validity of that. Is a dual band wireless router good for splitting video streaming from regular web surfing?

    If someone knows of a good website that offers a clear and accurate explanation, please post a link. Don't post links from random Google searches. I've read most of them. If they helped, I wouldn't be posting here.
     
  2. Sponsor

  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Terry Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    74,112
    I think that dual band routers "simply" have two radios--one 2.4 GHz for 802.11b/g/n and one 5 GHz for 802.11a. Each client can connect to one network or the other. Each client uses a b, g or n adapter or else an 'a' adapter. Or you can use a dual band adapter such as this example and choose the stronger or less congested network.

    Pretty sure that both radios work together the way a regular router with an additional WAP do. So, if you have a client on one band streaming video and a client on the other band surfing the traffic would be split, but the same way it would be split with regular router plus WAP.
     
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    24,388
    Who has an 802.11a adapter? That protocol never really took off because of the high cost and short range. I can't imagine that's how they work. Very few consumers would get any benefit.
     
  5. Couriant

    Couriant James Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2002
    Messages:
    31,756
    there was an article of dualband radio routers in PC Magazine recently. I just posted in here so i can remember this thread :) If there is more info on it i will post back :)
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2002
    Messages:
    106,418
    Many newer adapters have 802.11a capability, though as you say, it's not often used.
     
  7. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    24,388
    If JohnWill can't explain the mystery of the dual band router, what hope is there for the rest of us?
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2002
    Messages:
    106,418
    Well, 802.11n uses both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands optionally, but most wireless adapters, even the 802.11n ones, still only support the 2.4ghz band.

    5ghz is considerably shorter range, which limits the usefulness of the dual-band router even if you have an adapter that will support it.

    The one benefit of the 5ghz band is it's not crowded, so in a busy area, you may have better luck with a 5ghz connection.
     
  9. centauricw

    centauricw

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    444
    If you look back to the way the IEEE released the standards, 802.11b was first, followed by 802.11a. The reason 802.11a is in the 5GHz band was to give it a higher data speed of 54Gbs instead of 802.11b's 12GBbs. The higher the frequency, the more data you can pack in it.

    The 802.11a equipment was more expensive than 802.11b, way more in the earlier days, so 802.11b saw a much greater adoption. 802.11g was driven by the desire to bring 802.11b's data speed up to par with 802.11a while making it backward compatible with 802.11b so people could hang on the older equipment for a while. Dual band devices have two radios, one on 2.4GHz for 802.11b/g connections, and 5GHz for 802.11a connections. While the 802.11a is not as popular, it is used in places where signal quality is more important than range and cost because, as JohnWill alluded to, the 2.4GHz band is the dumping ground for all things wireless.

    The goal of 802.11n was to increase both speed and range by using spread-spectrum type technologies, which also helps with fight the noise in the 2.4GHz band. But it's the frequency band that determines how many radios you need. It's cheaper to build a 802.11b/g/n device using a single 2.4GHz radio than a 802.11a/b/g/n device which needs two radios.
     
  10. centauricw

    centauricw

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    444
    Oh, I got my speeds wrong. Data speeds should be 12Mbs and 54Mbs, not 12Gbs and 54Gbs. Though I admit, it wound be nice to have. :)
     
  11. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/932984