2.4GHz vs 5GHz for gaming

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2.4GHz and 5GHz for gaming

For an ideal gaming experience and connectivity, you ought to choose between a 2.4GHz router and a 5GHz one. Which between the two reigns supreme for gaming?

When you are setting up your home network, one of the most crucial aspects is the router you settle for. If you are into gaming, the router you settle for matters even more.

For example, if you want to play PUBG or Apex Legends with minimal buffering and lag, the router you go for can enhance your overall experience. Beyond gaming PCs and laptops, you will often have to scrutinize the router specs of all prospective buys.

Currently, the best gaming routers ought to have wireless capability as well as fast wired speeds for connected devices like gaming consoles. Beyond these specs, the bands in your router also highly matter.

While previously routers utilized 2.4GHz for gaming, nowadays routers use both 2.4GHz and 5GHz for gaming. This guide has been created to help you decide on whether to go for 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands when it comes to gaming.

What are the differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz for gaming?

Model
2.4GHz
5GHz
Coverage
Works best in large homes/offices
Stellar performance in smaller homes like apartments
Affordability
Mostly affordable
Variation of prices to high-end ones
Performance
 Decent performance for low bandwidth tasks like surfing the internet
Best suited for resource intense tasks like gaming and HD streaming
Reliability
Stable and reliable transfer of data signals using long waves and through obstacles like heavy walls and doors
Reliable for fast and short range coverage
 

 

2.4GHz vs 5GHz for gaming- A look at how they differ

Performance

When put to the test, one can easily know the capabilities of 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands for gaming. An example is the Netgear Nighthawk XR700 that comes designed with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. According to throughput tests, the 2.4GHz band can deliver up to 284.43Mbps when within close range.

At long range, Netgear XR700 still delivers on a decent 225.36Mbps. As for the 5GHz band, it can deliver 325.3Mbps when within close range and 331.76Mbps when you are from a far distance with the router. The adaptive QoS and Duma OS further make gaming with a 5GHz router all the better.

GT-AC2900 is another example of a router that uses both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. When tested, the 2.4GHz does lag behind delivering on 57.1Mbps within short range. At a distance, the 2.4GHz band deliver 56.7Mbps.

The 5GHz band, on the other hand, can deliver impressive speeds of up to 339.2Mbps when within close range. At long range, 244.1 Mbps is still decent performance. This means that 5GHz is better suited for gaming as streaming videos and online gaming needs fast speeds. Coupled with a fast internet service provider, 5GHz is better suited for gaming.

Design

2.4GHz and 5GHz routers for gaming have close to no differences between them. The Asus RT-AC68U for example, relies on the 2.4GHz band for its performance. It comes in a compact, sleek design with a matte black finish. It also has 3 x 3 antennas that can be easily positioned for added coverage. Netgear routers on the other hand like Nighthawk X4 also come in subtle colors with minimal LED lights that let you know on the status of your network at all times. They also come with Gigabit LAN ports and external antennas that boost overall performance.

As for their software designs, they also come with many similarities between them like in their RAM and flash memory capacity. The Asus RT-AC68U for instance, comes with 128MB flash memory and 256MB RAM. Netgear on the other hand, also comes with the same capacity and is compact sized as well. To add, with the dimensions of 6.3 x 3.3 x 8.6 inches and 635g weight, it is almost like any other 2.4GHz and 5GHz router.

2.4GHz for gaming- Overview

While latest routers come with 5GHz bands particularly for gaming, 2.4GHz frequency bands has long been used for all kinds of tasks like HD streaming and web surfing. 2.4GHz for gaming also does not entirely lag behind. The RT-AC68U for instance, hardly struggles in handling online gaming on its 2.4GHz band. It also offers decent performance in other tasks like video streaming and other data transfer tasks.

2.4GHz for gaming routers also come in handy for a good gaming experience because of how it transmits in long waves. For large households or office set-ups, 2.4GHz delivers on a stellar performance because of its transmission through heavy walls and doors.

The only downer with 2.4GHz for gaming is that many connected devices tend to use the 2.4GHz band. Nonetheless, the range and transmission you get with the 2.4GHz band makes it well worth the purchase for gaming and other tasks as well.

Asus RT-AX88U

Asus RT-AX88U AX6000 Dual-Band Wifi Router, Aiprotection Lifetime Security by Trend Micro, Aimesh Compatible for Mesh WIFI System, Next-Gen Wifi 6, Wireless 802.11Ax, 8 X Gigabit LAN Ports
  • Ultrafast Wi Fi speed 6000 Mbps Wi Fi speed to handle even the busiest network with ease
  • Wider usage and more convenience 4 antennas plus 8 LAN ports to support more clients at the same time

This is a gaming router that utilizes both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band for an enhanced experience. Coupled with the 8 LAN ports, 4 antennas and quad-core 1.8GHz, the ASUS RT-AX88U is one of the quality options for your gaming needs.

While it is quite costly, the fast 5GHz speeds are well worth the investment. The 2.4GHz also delivers on decent speeds. ASUS RT-AX88U also features the Wi-Fi 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) technology assuring you of the gaming experience you get with this router. To add, it is designed with Trend Micro for cyber protection. It works as an antivirus software and with the adaptive QoS you are assured of lifetime protection of your router.

View price on Amazon

5GHz for gaming- Overview

Beyond the 2.4GHz frequency band, the 5GHz band is a rather recent addition that comes with all the added benefits for resource intensive tasks especially. For gaming, most routers go for the 5GHz band in additional to the 2.4GHz band. Netgear Nighthawk X700, for example, is a high-performance router that utilizes both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. As for its speed, it can deliver 800Mbps and 1733Mbps on the bands.

The 5GHz is also built for less traffic congestion and a more stable connection for all connected devices to the router. While it does deliver on short waves and not adept at penetrating heavy walls and doors, the 5GHz band is still worth the investment. For instance, you can go for additional nodes or extenders to reduce the drawbacks of the 5GHz band for gaming.

Netgear Nighthawk XR700

NETGEAR Nighthawk Pro Gaming XR700 WiFi Router with 6 Ethernet Ports and Wireless Speeds Up to 7.2 Gbps, AD7200, Optimized For The Lowest Ping
  • Minimize ping and maximize performance with six 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports for lag free, wired connectivity...
  • Amp up your WiFi with cutting edge AD7200 Quad stream router that delivers speeds up to 7.2 Gbps. 60 GHz...

The XR700 is a quality Netgear router that is superb for gaming given its tech specs. It is a tri-band router with both 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies. The quad-core 1.7GHz processor can deliver on fast speeds that prove useful for online gaming as it needs minimal lag and buffering.

In addition to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for gaming, the XR700 comes with 4 antennas and 7 LAN ports that enhance the overall performance. With the dimensions of 15.33 x 12.49 x 5.32 inches, XR700 is a quality tri-band router for gaming. It also uses Beamforming+ technology as well as a combination of 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) and 802.11ad.

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Asus Rapture GT- AC2900

ASUS AC2900 WiFi Dual-band Gigabit Wireless Router with 1.8GHz Dual-core Processor and AiProtection Network Security Powered by Trend Micro, AiMesh Whole Home WiFi System Compatible (RT-AC86U)
  • Dual-band (2. 4 + 5 GHz) AC2900 wireless router with the latest 802. 11AC MU-MIMO technology for data...
  • 1. 8GHz 32bit dual-core processor optimizes network traffic and connectivity speeds from the USB 3. 1...

With ultra-fast speeds, this is a gaming router that uses 5GHz frequency bands in its performance. It also comes with a quad-core processor, 4 LAN ports and 4 antennas for an even better experience. While it has a 2.4GHz band as well, it is majorly slow as a lot of emphasis is placed on the high-performance of 5GHz speeds.

As to its design, it is nothing short of what you would expect with a modern router. It can be easily mounted on the wall (vertically) and it is compact sized as well. Whatever it lacks in its minimalist design is also made up for in its 5GHz technology that is all you need for an exquisite gaming experience. Whether you are playing online games or others like Fortnite and PUBG, you need such a router that is able to keep up with bandwidth intensive tasks.

View price on Amazon

Now let’s compare two routers that utilize 2.4GHz and 5GHz for gaming.

Model
Asus RT-AX88U

 

Netgear Orbi Pro
Chipset
160MHz, 1024QAM and tri-band technology
1.7GHz quad-core processor,
Technology
OFDMA, Beamforming
Quality of Service, VPN
Ports
2 USB ports
6 Ethernet ports

1 USB 3.0 port

Delivers on 7.2Gbps

Dimensions
299.72mm x 60.96mm x 187.96mm

 

83.82mm x 172.7mm x 246.7mm
Accessories
4 antennas
Gaming Dashboard
 

 

Conclusion

While 2.4GHz is well able to handle many tasks thrown at it, the 5GHz band is better suited for gaming. This is because routers that are designed with the 5GHz band also have the capacity to take in more advanced technology that are specifically tweaked for gaming. The Netgear XR700 for instance comes with Duma OS that is quite gaming-centric to add to its 5GHz design.

Frequently asked questions

  1. In what circumstances does the 2.4GHz shine out for gaming?

While 5GHz comes with faster speeds, the 2.4GHz is better suited for longer ranges as well as across heavy walls and doors.

  1. What do you need to get the most out of a 5GHz router for gaming?

Be sure that your connected device supports the additional band as well as latest Wi-Fi standards for an enhanced performance. For instance, 802.11ax brings out the best in 5GHz for gaming.

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