Are 5G and 5 GHz Wi-Fi the same thing? The two names certainly look alike, and both relate to internet connectivity – but that’s where the similarities end.
5G is the next generation of cellular service and has nothing to do with Wi-Fi. 5 GHz Wi-Fi, sometimes incorrectly referred to as 5G Wi-Fi, is one of two Wi-Fi bands.
If that sounds like nonsense to you, don’t worry. We’ll breakdown the details below. But to summarise, these two terms may resemble one another but are totally unrelated.
What is 5G?
5G is the newest cellular standard, the fifth-generation mobile network, the successor to 4G technology. It’s the network that once rolled out across Australia, phones and other mobile devices will use to connect to the internet.
5G is significantly faster and offers much lower latency than 4G. And while it isn’t mainstream just yet, it certainly has the potential to transform how we use the internet. The widespread adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, for example, will rely heavily on access to the fast, reliable 5G network.
If you want to read more about 5G, check out our article 5G in Australia: Everything you need to know.
What is 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi has two usable bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 5 GHz is the newer of the two and offers a whole host of fantastic features. With non-overlapping channels, it’s much less congested than the 2.4 GHz band. This makes it a much faster, more reliable option for offices, apartment complexes, and other buildings with multiple routers in close proximity.
That being said, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi has its advantages, too. It covers a significantly larger area than 5 GHz and, thanks to its longer wavelength, is better at passing through walls.
Most modern routers are dual-band, which means they support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz simultaneously. You’ll see two networks available on your computer, phone, and other internet-enabled devices.
Why are some Wi-Fi networks labelled as ‘5G’?
Some people with dual-band routers name their 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi something like ‘Jack’s Internet’ and their 5 GHz Wi-Fi something like ‘Jack’s Internet 5G’. This is misleading – the 5 GHz Wi-Fi is not powered by 5G technology. In these cases, the 5G is short for 5 GHz.
What does 5G Wi-Fi mean?
As we mentioned above, 5G Wi-Fi is sometimes used to refer to 5 GHz Wi-Fi. This naming convention started long before the 5G cellular standard was on the horizon.
As 5G becomes more widespread, hopefully people will stop incorrectly labelling their 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
Need help with your Wi-Fi?
Would you like help setting up a dual-band router? Are you struggling with a slow, unreliable Wi-Fi network? The team at Computer Cures can help. We have an almost 100 per cent success rate in improving internet connectivity in homes and offices. Get in touch today on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page, and we’ll be in touch soon.