If you’re a small business owner, understanding the difference between traditional 2.4GHz wireless bandwidth and the newer 5GHz might save you time, money, and future headaches.
Many consumers assume the higher number must be better, so they choose to use that for their devices. However, neither bandwidth is actually “better” than the other. They’re simply different, with each having pros and cons. Whether you want to use 2.4GHz or 5GHz bandwidth all boils down to what you need.
First, let’s find out what the difference is between the two:
The Differences Between 2.4GHz & 5GHz WiFi
When it comes to wireless internet, 2.4GHz has been the standard used in various devices, including WiFi routers, microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and wireless cameras. It allows devices to connect over a longer range and penetrates better through solid objects such as walls. It’s a perfectly high-functioning bandwidth but falters when it comes to how much data can be exchanged (uploaded or downloaded) within a particular length of time. Plus, it’s prone to disturbance and interference from other devices on the network because of overcrowding.
As mentioned above, many devices use the 2.4GHz band. As the signal becomes overcrowded and causes a lot of interference, it slows down the network considerably. In this scenario, 5GHz appears to be the rescuer, having little to no interference. Many devices still don’t use it, so it’s less clogged. It relieves internet consumers from slow network speed and facilitates a higher data range. Its only drawback is that it doesn’t cover large areas or easily penetrate through solid objects.
Is 2.4GHz or 5GHz WiFi Best For My Business Environment?
After learning the pros and cons of both frequencies, the most frequent question consumers ask is which band is preferable. Both certainly have perks, but you must consider some critical factors as a small business owner.
Start with determining the size of your workplace. Although the coverage area is decent and the bandwidth is more robust, 5GHz won’t be able to cover an extensive area. With larger spaces, 2.4GHz may be best suited for you. If your workplace has multiple devices using 2.4GHz wireless, it may cause interference and slow down your connection. In that case, perhaps 5GHz would be better for you.
What devices are you using?
Also, consider the devices you are using. How many only need a 2.4GHz network? Bluetooth devices and microwave ovens will only be using 2.4GHz, so if your business uses many, you may need 5GHz for other devices, like smartphones. Microwave ovens are staples in professional kitchens, so if you own a restaurant or food delivery service, you may also want to look into 5GHz.
Remember that 2.4GHz uses long transmission waves that easily penetrate through solid walls and objects. It’s ideal for internet browsing, but 5GHz is the go-to for streaming or playing online games.
Whether in retail or the restaurant industry, your answer depends on your business needs. Choosing which wireless bandwidth to employ is all about what best suits the environment of your workplace. Some businesses may get by using only 2.4GHz bandwidth, while others may need the extra power of 5GHz to make it work. The key is having the correct information and knowing what you need.
With the mC-Print21W, the mC-Print31W, or the TSP143IVUW thermal receipt printers from Star, you get printing solutions that work on either bandwidth.
Whichever bandwidth you need, Star Micronics has your printing solution. The mC-Print21W, mC-Print31W, and TSP143IVUW all support dual-band (2.4GHz / 5GHz) WiFi. Networks that need long-distance coverage can use 2.4GHz. The more powerful 5GHz is best for reducing lag and interference, especially in busy kitchens with microwaves and hardware that compete for bandwidth on a 2.4Ghz network. By offering a choice to use one of the two frequencies, 2.4GHz or 5GHz, these Star printers provide maximum flexibility when connecting to any network.
These thermal printers are also Cloud Ready, able to connect to any cloud application that supports Star’s CloudPRNT technology. With the addition of Star Micronics Cloud Services, including Digital Journal, cloud promotion print management, and device monitoring. They offer retailers and restaurateurs the next generation of POS printing, enabling marketing and receipt tools for the omnichannel world.