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single vs dual band wifi support

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  • single vs dual band wifi support

    Hey guys..thinking about buying a Del laptop; however was informed that it doesn't support dual band wifi. It only has Dell™ Wireless 1705 802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth v4.0. What does that mean? and Is that an important consideration when buying?
    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    802.11n is supposed to be dual-band, but I guess they can choose not to include the 5GHz part...

    Dual-band means support for 2.4GHz (802.11b/g/n) and 5GHz (802.11/a/n). This should only be a consideration for you if your wireless access point (your modem, router, or stand-alone AP) supports dual-band wifi. If it only does 802.11b/g/n, then there's no point - you can't use it anyway.

    Should you use 5GHz? Well, there are pros and cons. In most cases , 5GHz and 2.4GHz waves will penetrate matter with similar efficiency (within 1db of each other), but when there are big differences, 5GHz is usually worse. Red brick, cinder blocks and thick pieces of wood will all cause significantly higher losses (up to 10db) at 5GHz than at 2.4GHz, but stucco appears to buck the trend. If your house is relatively free of those materials, 5GHz offers you much cleaner air than 2.4, where you find the common household microwave, DECT cordless phones, newer radio-controlled gear, and various other bits and pieces operating and causing interference.

    Wifi at 5GHz is used far less often in homes than 2.4 is, meaning more free channels, and less interference. It's been around for a long time (a and g both offer 54Mbit), but because 802.11b (11MBit) operates at 2.4GHz, it became more popular.

    Yes, it could be an important consideration, but in reality, it's probably not going to affect you all that much. If your modem/router already supports it, then it's something to think about.

    Edit: Source for material penetration data, if that kind of thing interests you.
    They observe my perambulations upon my gyroscopically-balanced personal transportation device, and I perceive at my core that they have thus concluded that I am Caucasian, and, while intelligent, I am also somewhat socially inept. - Peculiar Alfred
    Eligible to shadow R & R-E NOW


    • #3

      5Ghz is worth if it you need high speed at close range, as it goes up to 150 megabit per antenna on a MIMO device.

      2.4Ghz seems to top out around 120 megabit (not sure of the exact limit). 5Ghz is also less congested as povo spec junk doesn't support it = better throughput - you can also run 2.4 and 5 at the same time on a supported access point so that multiple devices won't compete for bandwidth as much.

      beyond about 3 walls from an AP, 5Ghz drops to the same speed in my experience (typical dual brick external/single brick internal walls), any further away than that and 2.4Ghz works better.

      I run an Airport Extreme in dual band mode as an AP, and my Macbook Pro is also dual band and supports both. It will automatically roam from the 2.4 to 5 Ghz network and back as appropriate depending on which has best signal depending where I am in my house.
      “Crashing is shit for you, shit for the bike, shit for the mechanics and shit for the set-up,” Checa told me a while back. “It’s a signal that you are heading in the wrong direction. You want to win but crashing is the opposite. It’s like being in France when you want to go to England and when you crash you go to Spain. That way you’ll never get to England!” -- Carlos Checa


      • #4
        Thanks guys!!