To understand why one would want to know how to force WiFi to connect over 5GHz in Windows 11/10, we must begin by knowing the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi. Once that is clear, we will learn the ways to achieve that. Let’s get into it!
What Is The Difference Between 2.4GHz And 5GHz WiFi?
A WiFi router uses radio frequencies. These radio frequencies transmit the internet to your devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and many others. The primary and distinguishing difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi is their range and bandwidth or speed. Yes, the speed of your internet does depend on the internet plan you must have chosen, but it also depends on your router capacity.
- 2.4GHz: The 2.4GHz WiFi offers a larger coverage area to the WiFi user than the 5GHz one. And, to top it off, it also penetrates through solid objects with ease. It has a maximum speed of 150Mbps and a maximum signal range of ~410ft. The drawback to a 2.4GHz WiFi router is that it has a lower bandwidth or speed. Also, this band is more susceptible to different interferences and disturbances as more devices are actively using this frequency.
- 5GHz: The 5Ghz WiFi router offers more convenience than the 2.4Ghz one. For one, it has a higher data range. Secondly, as fewer devices use this frequency, it is not as prone to interferences as a 2.4GHz WiFi router. And the internet speed is fantastic for a WiFi router at home! Unlike a 2.4GHz WiFi router, this does not have a wide coverage area and hence is also not the best at penetrating solid objects.
Read: How to check if Windows laptop supports 2.4 or 5 GHz WiFi.
Force WiFi to connect over 5GHz in Windows 11/10
If you notice that your WIfi router is running slow and the internet speeds aren’t up to the mark, it might be because you are using the 2.4GHz band. You can change the band your wireless card will connect to in the future. It can be done in the advanced driver settings in the Device Manager.
If you don’t wish your device to connect to the 2.4GHz band, you can disable the associated bands.
- Open Power Menu using Win + X, and then select Device Manager
- Select your Wi-Fi adaptor, right-click, and select properties.
- Switch to the Advanced tab, and then under the list, locate the Preferred Band option.
- Next to the list is the value dropdown; select Prefer 5GHz band.
Depending on your wireless router’s manufacturer, you will be able to access a Windows supplicant/application to drive your adapter. But remember that the embedded Windows supplicant will not deny a connection in the future. It means that even if you specify your preference for 5GHz, it will connect to the 2.4GHz to maintain the connectivity if it goes south.
Read: How to switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi bands in Windows.
Why can’t I connect My Device to A 5GHz WiFi Router?
Often, the hardware of your device may be responsible for this. If it doesn’t support 5GHz bandwidth, you won’t be able to connect to the 5GHz WiFi network. It could also be the other way, and it’s your WiFi router that doesn’t support 5GHz bandwidth. Another reason could be an incorrect setup of your device and WiFi router or that you installed the wrong/outdated drivers.
How do I change from 2.4 GHz to 5GHz?
When setting up WiFi on your router, look for the band option. If already set, then edit the connection, and then change. It will vary from OEM to OEM but is usually available when you edit the WiFi options.
You have learned how to force WiFi to connect over 5GHz in Windows. Go on and try it out on your device, and let us know what worked for you.