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Want faster WiFi? Try this. - Dan Lauing - July 11, 2019

Switch to 5ghz.

You might be wondering, “Why is 5ghz faster than 2.4ghz?” Great question! It’s not. In theory. 

In practice, it looks something like this:



So, while 2.4 is just as fast as 5, it's got a lot fewer lanes, the lanes are crowded, and when you're trying to do something in a hurry, there are people in the way. 

How do I know if I’m on the 2.4ghz spectrum or the 5ghz? You guys and your questions - so good, so good.

Your device should tell you what channel it’s on in the network settings. If it’s on 1, 6, or 11, that’s the 2.4ghz range. If it’s on channel 36-165, that’s 5ghz. Tip: If your device is using 802.11ac, it’s on 5ghz.

Sometimes, your device will let you choose. If it will, choose 5ghz! I suppose there may be some remote possibility that the 2.4 spectrum would present better results than 5.0, but don’t worry, you’ll probably never run into it on campus, so just set it on 5 and forget it.

If it won’t let you choose, your device likely doesn’t support 5ghz, which is a real shame, because that’s kind of like buying a pair of running shoes without laces. Please don’t tell me you prefer the hurdles in penny loafers.

In short, don’t buy a laptop or phone that doesn’t support 5ghz. And, if it does, make sure you’re using it!