What is a Simultaneous Dual-Band Router? The Benefits of Having Both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz Band

asus-rt-ac56uIn the world of techie toys and wireless devices, a lot of terminology gets thrown around without ample explanation. One very important term that  is showing increasing importance with the continued prevalence and expansion of wireless connectivity is Simultaneous Dual Band.

“What is a simultaneous dual band router?” you may ask yourself. Well, that’s what we are here to explain.

Two of the most popular Simultaneous Dual Band routers that can be modified with DD-WRT are the Asus RT-AC56U and the Netgear WNDR3700.

Simultaneous refers to two different signals working simultaneously in the router. That’s simple enough. Dual Band is a bit more complicated but more than worthy of your attention. The two bands being simultaneously utilized from within a router are the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz.

2.4 GHz has been the standard usage spectrum for a while because most recent wireless devices (all Wireless-B and Wireless-G devices) run on it. The band’s widespread usage makes it significantly busier and more susceptible to interference. The 2.4 GHz band has only three non-overlapping transmission channels, which are overcrowded due to a litany of interfering devices including nearby wireless access points and Wi-Fi hotspots, Bluetooth gadgets, cordless phones, and even microwave ovens, baby monitors, wireless security cameras and many more.

As you can see, these are the types of items that every household features. Compound all those devices, all those signals and the 2.4 GHz band becomes an overloaded space, full of interference. All these prospective interferences merge in a busy area make for a noisy environment which increase interference and degrade the performance especially in large cities, apartment complexes, condominiums, and extended stay business suites. If you are having connectivity issues in locations like these a Dual Band DD-WRT router could be a simple, effective solution.

On the other hand, the 5 GHz band is much clearer, with minimal interference and 23 non-overlapping channels – 8x the number of 2.4GHz channels for wireless transmission. This makes the 5 GHz suitable for applications requiring higher bandwidth performance like streaming video services especially high quality and high definition, preventing lag and screen blips on online and console gaming which are very sensitive to packet loss and delays.

The difference between simultaneous dual band and selectable dual band netgear linksys router
Simultaneous Dual Band Comparison Infographic from Netgear

Here’s a quick bullet point some up of the advantages of a Simultaneous Dual Band Router over a Selectable Dual Band:

  • Twice the bandwidth
  • Dedicated Wi-Fi Network for Video and Gaming
  • Separate networks avoid interference
  • Two separate Wi-Fi networks operating simultaneously

One may think they don’t need the 5 GHz Band option but proper planning can be the savior of your network’s future. Who’s to say what will become the standard in the future. Staying behind the curve can cause a network to become quickly outdated.

According to wireless-nets.com:

…the use of 5 GHz devices is really the only way to achieve the highest performance from 802.11n networks, mainly because of the need to provide adequate bandwidth for 802.11n’s optional 40 MHz (rather than 20 MHz) channels. If the highest performance is an important requirement, then certainly lean toward the 5 GHz band.

If you are looking to overhaul your wireless network for to maximize it for the future of Internet connected devices, take a look at the the Asus RT-AC56U and the Netgear WNDR3700.

For up to the date DD-WRT Router information, please follow us on Twitter @flashrouters.

2 thoughts on “What is a Simultaneous Dual-Band Router? The Benefits of Having Both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz Band

  1. Glen

    After installing a new Netgear “R6300 Smart WiFi Router” (AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit – Simultaneous Dual Band), I am showing two different networks available. 1) “netgear09” and 2) “netgear09-5G.” If they are simultaneous, why does it matter which one I select? Thanks!


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