Would I see a real world speed difference of 802.11n on 2.4ghz or 5ghz?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Chic0, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Chic0 macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008

    I currently have two wireless networks in my place.

    Airport Extreme 802.11n 5ghz
    Speedtouch wireless modem 802.11g

    I connect my macbook pro to the Airport extreme wirelessly. The others that are not capable of 'n', i connect to the speedtouch i.e. iphone 4, missus netbook etc

    The issue is that my missus' netbook is actually capable of 'n', but only on the 2.4ghz freq. Same with my iphone 4.

    I have heard that 2.4ghz freq is more suspectible to interferance from bluetooth devices like cordless phones etc. I don't really have anything like that in my lounge though.

    My main concern is the speed difference between 802.11n on 2.4ghz and 5ghz. Do you think I will see a real world decrease in speed if I set the router to 2.4ghz?

    I mainly use my laptop for browsing and ocassional downloading. I also use it to sometimes wirelessly stream media from my NAS.

    What do you reckon? Keep setup way it is or just change Airport to 2.4ghz so all devices can access it?
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; nl-nl) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    If your Airport Extreme is the latest model, you can set up 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks simultaniously. Then you have the best of both.

    In theory, WiFi-N 5GHz is twice as fast. My experience is that the speed difference in practice is not that big (20-50%) I think because 5GHz has less reach thru walls.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    browsing (and downloading), you won't see much (if any difference) even 802.11G is faster than most home internet connections.

    media streaming, probably not, unless it's very large video rips

    computer to computer transfers on your network, you might see an impact.

    the 2.4 will give you greater distance than 5, as it tends to go through walls better.

    *networks speeds are all theoretical, and can vary greatly depending on your environment. electronic (microwave ovens, cordless phones, etc) and physical (walls, furniture) interference can impact your performance.
  5. Chic0 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    cheers for the responses.

    I decided to pick up a used Airport Extreme capable of simultaneous 2.4ghz and 5ghz.

    After doing a lot of reading about it on the web, the factor that the 2.4ghz band can be fairly congested sold it to me.

    In the short term I'm going to keep my current AEBS. Maybe use it as a network extender for the 802.11n 5ghz. If this used one i bought works ok over next few months though, i might sell my current one at some point.

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