The first thing we are going to do is briefly know the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, knowing their rules, advantages and disadvantages. Then we will go on to see the possible causes why we do not connect to the 5 GHz band and we will offer a series of solutions. In this regard, it should be noted that the causes are usually related to our Windows computer or the router.
5 GHz vs 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Band: Advantages, Disadvantages, and More
When we talk about 5 GHz Wi-Fi network today, we have to talk about the standard 802.11ac which was approved in 2014. Today it is the most used in this band. In that sense, using a router with this standard we can easily obtain speeds of 600 Mbps with current equipment. Regarding its maximum speed, theoretically we could reach rates of 1.3 Gbps using 3 antennas, or 1.7Gbps if we use 4 antennas.
The great advantage of the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network is that it will provide us with a higher speed than the 2.4 GHz band. However, they have the disadvantage that they bear less distance and architectural barriers such as walls. Instead, in the la 2.4 GHz band has the norm 802.11b with a transmission speed of 11 Mbps. Then came the 802.11g with 54 Mbps and 802.11n 1,000 Mbps with 1024QAM quadrature amplitude modulation.
One of the drawbacks is that, having few channels and many Wi-Fi networks around, it will reduce the speed considerably. For this reason, obtaining a speed of 60Mbps or 80Mbps is common. Also, on the other hand, its advantage over the 5 GHz band is that it supports distance better. Finally, there is the standard 802.11ax It can operate in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. It is popularly known as WiFi 6, we mention it so that you know what the future of our Wi-Fi networks is going to be, in which even higher speeds can be achieved.
Check if the Wi-Fi adapter supports 5GHz in Windows
Previously we have been talking about the different standards of Wi-Fi and its bands. One of the reasons why we do not connect to the 5 GHz band may be because our Wi-Fi adapter is not compatible with this type of networks. If we want to check it, in Windows we have to enter a command by following these steps:
- We are going to Start Menu.
- We wrote CMD or Symbol of the system.
- Click on run as administrator. Also clicking on it with the right mouse button exits this option.
Next, a Command Prompt window will appear to enter the commands.
In this case, the command that will allow us to see the standards that the Wi-Fi adapter supports is:
netsh wlan show drivers
It should be noted that it will offer us the results of all the adapters that we have installed. In our case, being a somewhat old laptop, it has a native one that is inside and another more modern USB. These are the results I have obtained after executing the command:
Thus, the results of the native Wi-Fi card show us that the supported modes are 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n, which indicates that we will only be able to connect to the 2.4 GHz band. Therefore, we know that the cause of not being able to connect to the 5 GHz band is going to be that adapter. On the other hand, if we go further down we will see these other results:
Here we see that in · supported radio types · we have the 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11g regulations to which is added the 802.11ac and the 802.11a standard, that is, the standards that only work in the 5GHz band. The latter can work on the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, so in this case there would be no problem.
Check automatic Windows connection
Another possible reason why we do not connect to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network may be because we do not have it established that way. In this case it has a lot to do with how we have our connection configured.
If we do not have activated Connect automatically on our 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, but yes on the 2.4 GHz one, it will automatically connect to the latter.
How to configure Windows to choose the 5GHz band
It may also be that we have both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands to connect automatically. A solution that we could apply so that you choose our 5 GHz Wi-Fi network by default would be to go to:
- Start Menu.
- Device administrator and we press enter.
- Let’s go to the section Network adapters.
Then a screen like this will appear:
Then we select our Wi-Fi adapter and with the right mouse button click on Properties.
Next we go to the tab Advanced Options and we look for the section where we can choose the Wi-Fi band. In this case it would be Wireless Mode, although it could receive other names such as preferred band or wireless mode as established by the developer of the driver. Here, as we want the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network band, we will choose the 802.11ac standard in the future when Wi-Fi 6 arrives, we could choose the 802.11ax.
The router as the cause of not finding the 5 GHz Wi-Fi band
One of the factors may be because you have the 5 GHz Wi-Fi band disconnected. In case you don’t know, they can work independently. A quick way to check if you know the SSID or name of your network can be by looking at it on your smartphone whenever you can see a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network.
In case it does not appear, the best way to solve it is to enter the router configuration and check it.
There we check if we have the 5 GHz band activated, and if not, we select it. Another way can also be using the external buttons of the router, it is not always easy to distinguish if they activate the 2.4 GHz bands, the 5 GHz band or both. Then, inside the router, to check that everything is fine, we usually have options where we can see the devices that have been connected to each band. This would be the laptop that we have been working with on the 5 GHz network to do this tutorial.
Another problem may be because let’s have the SSID or WiFi network name hidden since with some adapters it does not get along.
Nor should we rule out that the problem is in the Wi-Fi channel in which we are broadcasting. Some WiFi cards only support the 5G WiFi channels that are located in the lower channels. This is especially the case with older wireless adapters.
Finally, there is the issue of distanceIf you are far from the router, you may not be able to connect to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. Most likely, if you have coverage, you are connected to the 2.4 GHz band because it supports distance better.