Chances are if you live in the modern urban environment, WiFi routers are an indispensable part of your daily life. After all, who doesn’t come home from work and immediately get on the internet, whether it’s just to check emails and browse the web, or, more likely, choose from one of the plethora of available streaming services to get your daily entertainment fix?
However, the WiFi router is responsible for serving all requests from the devices within one’s home, wouldn’t you like to know whether you’re getting the full benefit of that costly fibre subscription?
The key difference
Single-band WiFi routers can only serve requests to devices on one wireless channel (2.4GHz, or 802.11n), which has overlapping channels with other appliances within one’s home (such as the microwave, wireless peripherals, drones or remote-controlled devices) which results in slower WiFi speed, and buffering issues when streaming online services.
Dual-band WiFi routers are able to broadcast WiFi over two wireless connections (2.4GHz and 5GHz, also referred to as 802.11ac) which allows for a more seamless experience, especially when it comes to multiple devices within one’s home using the internet at the same time.
One would utilise the 5GHz WiFi frequency for ‘high-bandwidth’ tasks, such as streaming content from YouTube or Netflix, whereas one would utilise the 2.4GHz WiFi frequency for ‘low-bandwidth’ tasks, such as browsing the internet, or checking emails.
Finally, you know why your YouTube videos keep buffering!
A few worthy options from ASUS
The ASUS RT-AC51U AC750 Dual-Band WiFi Router is a small but serious piece of kit that can concurrently utilise both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi bands to deliver acceptable performance for a small home.
In real world tests, you can expect speeds of up to 74Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 351 Mbps on the 5GHz band, versus theoretical maximums of 300Mbps and 433Mbps respectively for this router. Couple this with the innovative ASUS AiCloud, which is a proprietary cloud sharing service that is supported on this router, due to the integrated USB port, which supports media and 3G/4G failover.
If you’re looking for a bit more performance, or perhaps have a medium-sized home, we would recommend the ASUS RT-AC1200, an AC1200 Dual-Band WiFi Router.
With theoretical maximum speeds of 300Mbps and 867Mbps – again on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands respectively – this online gaming and 4K video streaming optimised router concurrently offers speeds up to 1200Mbps.
Our tests were conducted in a congested 2.4GHz environment, saw us achieve speeds of up to 74 Mbps. With our tests on the 5GHz WiFi channel, we were able to reach speeds of up to 433Mbps*.
If you really want to make sure that you’re getting your money’s worth from your ISP, you need to start looking at routers offering speeds near the upper end of the theoretical maximum speed on the 5GHz band, around 1.7Gbps.
Lastly, we have the ASUS RT-AC65P, an AC1750 Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router, which offers speeds up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band, and a theoretical 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, which combines to a staggering 1750Mbps!
During our limited testing, we again saw real world speeds of up to 74Mbps on the 2.4GHz WiFi channel and up to 433Mbps on the 5GHz WiFi channel, but more importantly, we finally achieved download and upload speeds which were within 95 percent of our ISPs claimed offering!
Not to mention the fact that the range on this unit’s 5GHz WiFi band far surpassed expectations and was available all around our convoluted testing area without any signal loss at all.
Combining the dual-core processor and MU-MIMO (Multiple-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) capability and the ASUS Router App (free and supported on iOS and Android), along with online gaming and 4K video streaming optimisation, this premium offering is our dual-band router of choice.
Time to upgrade
The case for choosing a dual-band router compared to a single-band one is clear to see, especially if you want the best possible WiFi experience for your home.
To find out more about the different options that ASUS has in the dual-band WiFi router space, contact the company here.