Dual-band vs tri-band

Discussion in 'Networking and Wireless' started by wiivile, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. wiivile

    wiivile Notebook Consultant

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    Which is considered "better", a dual-band router with one 600mbps 2.4ghz band and one 1300mbps 5ghz band; or a tri-band router with one 400mbps 2.4ghz band and two 867mbps 5ghz bands?
     
  2. downloads

    downloads Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    The answer is "it depends" or "neither".

    First thing is first - you have to compare actual routers as in" the hardware used, firmware quality, support, range and so on so this is a bit of a hypothetical question but lets roll with it.

    You can safely ignore 2.4GHz band - it's so overcrowded that it makes no difference if it says 400mbps, 600mbps or 150mbps - you're unlikely to see any of those numbers.

    Then there is 5GHz band - there is a different issue here - 1300mbps means three spatial streams meaning 3 antennas required in you laptop. And since there are virtually no cards like that that support 802.11ac, you are unlikely to be able to use it, so for all intents and purposes it's a 867mbps router (two antennas).

    That suggests that the tri-band one with two 867mbps radios would be better - which would be true if you have any use for it - which you might have. If you have multiple 802.11ac devices that need fast connection than it makes sense, otherwise not so much.

    That said in the end it also depends on overall quality of the router (both hardware and firmware-wise) and the price.

    So there you have it - an answer that is not really an answer. Sorry :oops:
     
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  3. wiivile

    wiivile Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks... I didn't realize that the 1300mbps 5ghz band required a 3x3 antenna. As you mentioned, most if not all are 2x2. I'd definitely pick the one with two 5ghz bands then, everything else being equal.
     
  4. _sem_

    _sem_ Notebook Evangelist

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    I understand a dual 5GHz radio might help with many clients or in recently popular mesh wireless networks with multiple wirelessly connected access points (though cables are likely a better idea for connecting APs).
     
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  5. Vasudev

    Vasudev Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I'd stick with 866Mbps 5GHz. More than enough. These days there are more 2.4GHz and are crowded like @downloads said.
    On a smartphone/tablet you better use 2.4GHz when you're away from router say you're in next room or something then 2.4GHz is wise choice since it doesn't drain battery much. On laptops I use 5GHz band because I want superior connectivity and speed when I'm far away from the router. 2X2 is more than enough since there aren't many cards that come with 3X3 and you will see little or no improvement at all.
     
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