When you are researching what router you should purchase, two terms that usually arise are ‘dual-band’ and ‘tri-band’. Not many people understand the significance of these terms and they may automatically associate the larger number with superiority. In this article, we will explain what a dual-band router and tri-band router means.
We will the explain how they may affect your wireless connection and internet use. We will also list the pros and cons of each type of router. Lastly, we will explain how these routers differ.
1 What is a dual-band router?
A dual-band router refers to a router that runs using 2 frequencies or bands. These frequencies are usually the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and your router may run both bands at the same time.
If you are using your wireless network and there is interference from other wireless devices, the router can switch from the crowded frequency (2.4 GHz ) to a less used frequency (5 GHz). Hence, devices connected to the wireless network will receive a faster connection.
The more crowded band may be used for simple tasks such as sending emails and opening websites. However, the router will switch to the less used band when you are engaging in intensive online activities (streaming, downloads, and gaming).
If you are wondering if you should purchase a dual-band router, we can help you make an informed decision. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of the dual-band router.
Advantages of the dual-band router
1. The dual bands provide you with a stable internet connection and fast speed even when multiple devices are connected to the wireless network. The speed of the router is not dramatically increased when you are connected to the 5 GHz band. Your connection may seem faster because your wireless connection has less WiFi interference.
2. Dual-band routers are usually cheaper than tri-band routers. However, they are not as affordable as single-band routers.
3. Dual-band routers are compatible with old and new devices. While old devices that have not had software updates will use the 2.4 GHz band, new devices like the PlayStation 4, google pixel and new iPhones can use the 5 GHz band.
4. The dual-band router will provide you with double the bands available on a single band router. This also means that you can connect more devices to a dual-band router than a single band router.
5. The presence of dual frequencies in a router usually means that you will be able to customize your frequency settings to fit your needs. Therefore, a dual-band router will give you some flexibility when you are setting up your wireless network.
Disadvantages of the dual-band router
1. If you are in a building with a lot of doors, windows, and furniture, you may find that the 2.4 GHz band has more coverage than the 5 GHz band. To benefit from the dual bands, your device should be within the range of both bands.
2. Old devices may be unable to connect to the 5 GHz frequency. Hence, you will be unable to enjoy the benefits of the dual-band router.
2 What is a tri-band router?
A tri-band router is a wireless router that operates with 3 bandwidths simultaneously. The router uses a 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. When the 2.4 GHz band is congested, the 5 GHz band will be used to connect other devices or carry out tasking activities like streaming or gaming.
If the first 5 GHz band has reached capacity or is used for data-intensive activities, the second 5 GHz band will be used by the router. Hence, more devices will be able to connect to the wireless network and the 5 GHz bands will be used efficiently to ensure that intense browsing activities can be done without the user experience being interrupted by hampered speed or buffering time.
Advantages of a tri-band router
1. The tri-band router can connect to much more devices than single and dual-band routers. If the first and second frequencies are being used intensely, the router can connect other devices to the third band.
2. Tri-band routers have more frequencies than dual-band routers.
3. If the numerous devices connected to your wireless network are all using different bands, you will not have to deal with interference and network congestion.
4. The availability of a third band also means that more devices can connect to the wireless network. Furthermore, these devices can perform intensive operations without compromising the speed of the WiFi connection.
5. These routers usually have a higher quality processor. Hence, transferring data to other devices is fast.
Disadvantages of a tri-band router
1. Even though tri-band routers are marketed as being faster than other routers, this is not the case. Rather, tri-band routers allow you to connect to a less congested band in the wireless network. This will allow you to work with the best speed provided by your ISP.
2. Tri-band routers are expensive and this cost cannot be justified if you will use this router in a small home.
3. The benefit of a tri-band router will be wasted if the devices you wish to connect to to the wireless network do not support a 5 GHz band.
3 Differences between Dual-Band and Tri-Band Routers
1. The number of bands in use: The dual-band router operates with two bands while the tri-band router operates three bands or frequencies.
2. Wireless capacity: Tri-band routers can connect to more devices than dual-band routers. The advantage that the tri-band router has is the extra 5 GHz band. If too many devices are connected to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band, the second 5 GHz can connect more devices to the wireless network.
In conclusion, the dual-band and tri-band routers are both excellent devices. However, the place and manner in which you wish to use your router will determine which of these routers you should purchase.
If you need a router for intensive internet use in a small- medium sized home, we recommend the Dual-band router. But, if you need a router for the office or public place and you intend to connect a lot of devices to the wireless network, we recommend the tri-band router.