Slow Wi-Fi and internet speed is a common problem. However, if you want to increase your Wi-Fi speed, employing a dual-band router that supports 5 GHz frequency is a solid option.
Let’s know what is the difference between the 2.4 and 5Ghz bands, how you can Connect To 5GHz WiFi band, and also how to set up your laptop and phone to use this frequency.
Moreover, if you were already using 5Ghz Wi-Fi and suddenly can’t connect to the 5Ghz band of your router’s Wi-Fi, I have solutions for you.
What Is a Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router?
A dual-band router means that it can produce Wi-Fi signals of two different frequencies (2.4GHz and 5GHz) simultaneously.
This way, older devices can connect to 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and newer ones use 5GHz for connecting to the Wi-Fi. It distributes the frequencies among devices and allows for faster internet access.
What is the Difference Between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi?
Both are Wi-Fi signal frequencies commonly used by routers.
I. 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
The 2.4 GHz band is the most common and any router you come across can produce Wi-Fi signals of 2.4 GHz frequency.
A major reason why it’s still popular is that it covers a wide area and can penetrate through thick walls.
Moreover, any device can connect to 2.4 GHz because all laptops, smartphones, and other devices support 2.4 GHz connectivity.
But a 2.4 GHz-only home Wi-Fi means slow internet because all devices will be connected to it causing congestion.
II. 5 GHz Wi-Fi
On the other hand, the 5 GHz band is slowly becoming popular and all newer routers and devices support 5GHz connectivity.
The 5 GHz band allows faster internet connectivity than the 2.4 GHz band, but its signal range is shorter than 2.4 GHz.
But, the Wi-Fi signals of 5 GHz frequency can’t penetrate walls and are suitable for people who keep their router and use their laptop/phone in the same room. To increase the signal strength for other rooms and connect to 5GHz network in bigger homes, you have to get Wi-Fi extenders.
Can I Use 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
Before connecting to 5 GHz, you should know if the 5 GHz frequency band is right for you. Consider these factors:
- The Size of Your House
- Is Speed Your Priority?
- How Many Devices Are You Using?
- Which Devices Are You Using?
1. The Size of Your House
The 2.4 GHz signals cover more area than 5 GHz signals, and the size of your house should be a primary factor in deciding upon the right Wi-Fi band frequency.
Larger houses need more signal coverage and 2.4 GHz is better in it unless you want to invest in a dual-band Wi-Fi extender.
But if you have a small house or a condo, you can connect to 5GHz WiFi without signal range problems.
2. Is Speed Your Priority?
If you’re into gaming or streaming, you need stable, high internet speed. For this, a home network of 5GHz is beneficial as it supports up to 1300 Mbps speed in comparison to 2.4 GHz’s maximum speed of 600 Mbps. Switch to the 5GHz network if you need more speed.
3. How Many Devices Are You Using?
If you have many devices in your household and your network is mostly congested, then you need a 5GHz network to split the traffic and get better speed. Some devices will connect to 5GHz WiFi and others will use 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.
4. Which Devices Are You Using?
Older devices that don’t support 5GHz internet connectivity won’t get any benefit from a 5GHz bandwidth Wi-Fi. So, check your devices before upgrading to a dual-band router.
How To Connect To 5GHz WiFi?
Once you have a dual-band Wi-Fi router, you can easily set it up and connect your supported devices to the 5GHz Wi-Fi network.
- Set Up Your Router to Use the 5GHz Band Frequency
- Connect Your Laptop to 5GHz Wi-Fi
- Connect Your Smartphone to 5GHz Band Wi-Fi
1. Set Up Your Router to Use the 5GHz Band Frequency
I am showing general settings to give an idea of where to look for them.
- Open a web browser on your PC or phone and go to the router’s IP address (for example 192.168.1.1). The IP address is written on the side or the bottom of the router along with the username and password.
- Enter the username and password.
- Go to Wireless or WLAN settings.
- In these settings or in advanced Wireless Settings, you may find an option for selecting Bands and their channels. Select your Band.
- After this, make sure the band is enabled in the Wireless or Security Settings.
Newer Routers have made easily distinguishable settings for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi.
- Go to the IP address or your router and enter the credentials.
- Under Network, select ‘Wireless 2.4GHz’ on the main menu or under ‘Network’.
- Set up the network. Perform the same for the 5GHz network.
- Enable dual band selection.
- Change the login password.
2. Connect Your Laptop to 5GHz Wi-Fi
To connect to 5GHz WiFi, use these steps for laptops and PCs:
- Click the Wi-Fi icon on your Windows or Mac computer.
- You’ll find available Wi-Fi networks.
- If you set up your router correctly, you’ll see two separate Wi-Fi networks of the same name. Connect to the one that has 5G written next to it.
- Enter the password and enjoy faster internet.
3. Connect Your Smartphone to 5GHz Band Wi-Fi
- On Android, go to Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi. For iPhone, navigate to Settings > Wi-Fi.
- You may find two Wi-Fi connections of the same name. Connect to the Wi-Fi that has 5G written at the end of its name.
- Enter the password.
Can’t Connect to 5GHz WiFi? Here’s How To Fix It?
If you were using Wi-Fi with 5GHz signals in the past or just set up your 5GHz home network but can’t connect to it, use these troubleshooting tips:
- Make Sure Your Router is Dual-Band and Supports 5GHz Wi-Fi
- Check the Wi-FI Network You’re On
- Restart Your Router
- Move Closer to the Router
- Reset Your Router
- Check If Your Computer Supports the 5GHz Band Frequency of Wi-Fi Signals
- Enable the 802.11n Wi-Fi Adapter Mode
- Defective Router
1. make sure Your Router is Dual-Band and Supports 5GHz Wi-Fi
The 5GHz frequency has become popular but all of them don’t support it. If you have an older one, it’s plausible that it can only produce 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signals. This will be why you can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi. To check your router’s 5GHz compatibility, use these methods:
- Read the user’s manual.
- Browse the router’s specifications online and see if it has dual-band and 5GHz support.
- Open the control panel of the router by visiting its IP address (for example; 192.168.x.x) and browsing network settings.
If you find out that it supports 5GHz, move to the next fix in this guide. In case, the router only has 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, upgrade it. Keep in mind that updating the router firmware won’t bring 5GHz support.
2. Check the Wi-FI Network You’re On
Sometimes, the “can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi” issue is due to a tiny mistake that is easily fixable as well. You may be connected to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network.
Routers that produce 5GHz frequency band signals are dual-band. This means they can propagate both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals at the same time.
So, if you made a Wi-Fi network with the SSID HomeNet, the router will produce two separate Wi-Fi HomeNet and HomeNet-5G. To get the 5GHz speed, you must be connected to the right network.
- Check your network and make sure you see 5G at the end of its name.
- If not, disconnect from the network.
- Check for available Wi-Fi and connect your home Wi-Fi to the 5GHz one.
3. Restart Your Router
If you’re connected to the correct Wi-Fi, the next thing you should do is restart your router if you can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi.
This removes the temporary data of the router and lets it start clean. This fixes many temporary problems and you may be able to connect to 5GHz WiFi after a restart.
You can restart your router by accessing its control panel (IP address), but a manual restart is recommended. Use these steps:
- Take out the power cable of the router from the power outlet.
- Wait for 10 minutes.
- Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet.
4. Move Closer to the Router
The 5GHz frequency is high-speed but it covers less area than the 2.4GHz band. Plus, it can’t go through walls.
So, if your router is in one room and you’re trying to connect to the 5GHz Wi-Fi of your router in another room, you may not find the network at all or if you find it, the signal strength will be weak.
On dual-band routers, if a device (laptop/phone) can’t get the 5GHz signals, 2.4GHz signals are available for it.
You can switch to it when the 5GHz signals are weak. So, due to this reason, you will be able to connect to the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi but not the 5GHz net.
- To test if the distance is the cause of the issue, move your device closer to the router and connect to the 5GHz Wi-Fi. Preferably, stand or sit next to it where there is nothing between your device and the router.
- If it connects, you should keep your device closer to the router or get a Wi-Fi extender.
But you still can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi, perform these actions:
- Make sure that the router is placed on an elevated table.
- Don’t place the router in the corner of the room.
- Never keep your router on the floor.
- Keep other electronics that emit electromagnetic radiation away from the router to prevent interference.
5. Reset Your Router
As far as issues related to routers go, a reset usually fixes most of the problems. So, if you can’t figure out what’s the reason behind no 5GHz connection or weak 5GHz signals, reset your router.
A reset deletes all of your settings and networks and restores the factory settings.
5.1 Reset Your Router Through its Control Panel
- Open a web browser on your PC or phone and go to the router’s IP address. It’s written at the side or bottom of the router.
- Enter the username and password.
- Go to System Tools or anything similar. This is typically the last or second last item on the side panel menu.
- Choose Backup & Restore or Reset or any other similar tag.
- Reset your router.
- After the reset, set up your 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi networks.
5.2 Hard reset Your Router from the Physical Button
If you forgot your password or the router is not responding, use these steps to reset it.
- Restart it by plugging out the power cord. Wait for 10 minutes, and put it back in.
- Find a reset button or a small hole at the side or bottom of the router.
- Press the button for 10-30 seconds until all the lights on the router flash. If it’s a small hole, use a paperclip to press it.
- Once it’s reset, go to its control panel from any web browser and set up your new dual-band Wi-Fi network.
6. Check If Your Computer Supports the 5GHz Band Frequency of Wi-Fi Signals
What if the culprit of the 5GHz net connectivity problem is not the router but your laptop or PC? The 5GHz enables you to access your Wi-Fi with better speed but all laptops don’t support it.
If you can’t find the 5GHz variant of your Wi-Fi network in the available Wi-Fi, you should check if your PC’s hardware supports 5GHz.
6.1 Check the 5GHz Compatibility of Your laptop or PC on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7:
- Press the Windows logo key + R, type ‘control panel’, and press Enter.
- Click the menu next to ‘View as’ and select ‘Large icons’.
- Choose ‘Device Manager’.
- For Windows 10/11, right-click the Start button and select ‘Device Manager’.
- On Device Manager, double-click ‘Network adapters’.
- Look for the Wireless or Wi-Fi device and observe the letters written with it after 802.11 (For instance: 802.11 b/g/n or 802.11 a/g/n).
- If you find a or c or ac among the letters at the end of the Wi-Fi, then your laptop supports 5GHz band frequency, otherwise, it doesn’t. It will connect to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi by default.
6.2 Check the 5GHz Compatibility of your Laptop Via the Command Prompt
- Press the Windows logo key + R, type cmd, and press Enter.
- On the command prompt, copy-paste netsh wlan show drivers and hit Enter.
- Find the item ‘Radio Types Supported’. If you see 802.11a, 802.11ac, or both, your computer can connect to a 5.0GHz bandwidth Wi-Fi.
7. Enable the 802.11n Wi-Fi Adapter Mode
Once you have made sure your computer supports the 5GHz frequency band, you can turn on another set to fix the can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi issue.
- Press the Windows key + R, type ‘control panel, and hit enter.
- On ‘View as’, choose ‘Large icon’.
- Select ‘Device Manager’.
- Double-click ‘Wireless adapters.
- Right-click your Wireless adapter and choose ‘Properties’.
- On the Wireless adapter properties window, go to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
- Click 802.11n and choose ‘Enable’.
- Click OK.
- Restart your computer.
8. Defective Router
If the above solutions haven’t fixed the problem, the router may be malfunctioning. Contact customer support of your router’s manufacturer and discuss your problem.
The 5GHz frequency band is faster in comparison to 2.4GHz but has a low coverage area. If you can’t connect to 5GHz WiFi, try the solutions in this guide or contact the support of your router’s manufacturer.