wifi frequency ( Full Details )

Published: July 10, 2022

Last Modified: February 8, 2023

wifi frequency ( Full Details )

What is the Wi-Fi signal frequency

Each modem transmits digital information streams from one point or points to another. The signal is an electrical pulse with 2 basic characteristics – Wi-Fi wavelength and frequency. Since wireless technologies belong to the category of radio waves, they work according to similar laws as light.

Wi-Fi frequencies are the number of alternating current cycles per second, otherwise the number of waves traveling in a certain place in space. The frequency of the voltage determines the total length of the radio wave.

So, at what frequencies does Wi-Fi work:

  • 2.4 GHz (2412 – 2472 MHz).
  • 5 GHz (5160 – 5825 MHz).

There are other ranges – 0.9, 3.6, 10, 24 GHz. They are rarely used when regular frequencies are busy, and only if the user has a license for them. Each frequency has individual properties. And even a weak signal can travel huge distances, but in such a situation, you will need a special antenna or Wi-Fi gun to amplify the pulse.

To communicate wirelessly, you must have an access point (equipment) and at least 1-2 Wi-Fi clients. Sometimes there is a point-to-point connection, that is, users communicate directly. At the same time, the standard provides a significant degree of freedom in choosing the adapter and radio channel settings.

What affects the frequency, 

The frequency of the network signal directly affects the wavelength and other characteristics:

  • Absorption or penetrating power: Higher frequencies show better properties. In buildings where there are many partitions, thick walls, coatings, this is a significant indicator.
  • Reflective properties – the ability of a signal to pass through soft structures and reflect off surfaces. In this case, the communication quality will be lower.
  • Degree of information density: high range can process and transmit more information.
  • Overcoming Obstacles: It is more difficult for a high frequency, but short wavelength Wi-Fi to go around physical obstacles. Therefore, in residential buildings, they prefer to use the smallest possible modem operation parameter – 2.4 GHz.
  • Attenuation is the natural decrease in the level of the Wi-Fi electrical pulse. Its strength actively drops at high frequency.
    wifi frequency

How to find out what frequency a Wi-Fi router is working on

Before making adjustments to the modem, you need to review the current settings. How to find out the frequency of a Wi-Fi router through the settings:

  1. Open browser.
  2. Log in to the panel as an administrator: write in the search line.
  3. Enter login, password. Standard ones often have the same look – Admin.
  4. Go to Wireless Mode. The window will indicate the frequency and other operating parameters.

The range can also be found using the WiFiInfoView utility. With it, you can not only determine the frequency, but also change the settings:

  • Download a small program.
  • If the utility is in the archive, then unpack it.
  • Run exe file. Installation on the device is not required.
  • The screen displays information about the current channel and frequency. There is no need to open the modem parameters additionally.

Which is better, how to change in the settings

Almost all adapter settings are made in the web interface. Different routers may have different instructions for changing settings. An example of working with TP-Link is given:

  1. Open browser. Enter the standard set of numbers (or 0.1).
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Write admin in the login and password fields. Sometimes the default may be another word – user.
  4. Go to the menu, in the left column there will be an item Wireless mode.
  5. It contains the Channel Width (Bandwidth), select the frequency.
  6. Save. Reboot the network adapter.

2.4 or 5 GHz

Advantages of the 2.4 GHz frequency:

  • Overcoming physical barriers.
  • Affordable cost of a network device.


  • Range is low.
  • The number of non-overlapping channels is less.
  • The probability of extraneous noise in the case of devices operating in this range.

Advantages of 5 GHz:

  • A large selection of channels that do not intersect with each other.
  • Good signal range.


  • Weak flexibility when overcoming obstacles.
  • Increased modem price.

Conclusion: each frequency has advantages and limitations depending on local conditions and individual tasks. Users living in ordinary apartments can have a high-speed connection at 2.4 GHz if the network is not too congested. When you need to broadcast a signal over long distances or reduce serious interference, then 5 GHz is the priority.

Important!  Older router models may not support the 5GHz transition. Typically, the marking is indicated on the instrument case.

Choice between 20 and 40 MHz

Within the frequency of 2.4 GHz, you can also vary the bandwidth: 20 or 40 MHz. At first glance, a large width is preferable, but it is worth studying their characteristics in more detail:

  • The 20 MHz width has three non-overlapping channels. They are independent, so even when connecting 2-3 devices there will be no interference.
  • There is one free channel in the 40 MHz band. To have a good connection speed, it is possible to activate Wi-Fi only on 1 device.
  • Installing clean modes on outdated equipment provokes device incompatibility.

Therefore, 40 MHz transmits the pulse well, but negatively affects the quality of neighboring connections, that is, the risk of conflict is higher if the bandwidth becomes wider. And from a practical point of view, it is recommended:

  • Leave 20 MHz when using Wi-Fi in homes and buildings with a large number of users.
  • Switch to 40 MHz in private areas with no neighbors, weak signal and unstable web connection.

The main advice is to experiment on your own. You can set one frequency or width for a certain time interval, then change it. If the user does not understand the differences in these parameters, it is worth setting the auto-detection frequency function in the modem. Then the router will be able to select the most profitable bandwidth without human intervention.

Internet speed control

After changing the frequency of the modem, it makes sense to check the actual data transfer rate over Wi-Fi. For example, you can choose the following method:

  1. Find the Network and Sharing Center on your computer.
  2. Go to the Change adapter settings section, select the current network.
  3. Right-click on it, its Properties and status will be highlighted.
  4. View the maximum speed that the computer’s network adapter can support.

Checking the connection speed on a smartphone is possible through an additional application like speedtest.net.

Interesting!  In bad weather, a decrease in the network signal becomes a frequent occurrence.

Wi-Fi frequency bands are a section of the Internet’s deeper settings. To be able to open sites and follow web links, it is not necessary to understand these parameters. However, this knowledge will come in handy if there are problems with the Internet or the user wants to fine-tune the system.