The short answer

If you’re asking about 5G and 2.4G, you’re probably trying to find out whether a 5GHz wireless connection is better or faster than a 2.4GHz wireless connection. The short answer is that 5GHz connections are faster but have less range than 2.4GHz connections. Which is better, depends on the purpose of the connection.

The long answer

The way technology terms are named is sometimes confusing when people first hear them. A fine example of this is the similarity between the terms 5G and 5GHz. These two terms look very similar but refer to two different things and are not interchangeable. 5G is a term specifically related to cellular connections and is short for 5th Generation, while 5GHz refers to a wireless frequency used in Wi-Fi and other wireless devices. The term 5GHz is used specifically to differentiate it from 2.4GHz, another wireless frequency used for the same purposes. There is no equivalent 2.4G, but 2G and 3G, like 5G, are used to describe cellular connections.

Things are about to get even more confusing as a new term is thrown into this mix. That term is Wi-Fi 6. What is Wi-Fi 6? Well, it’s the name of a new wireless standard for Wi-Fi devices. You may have heard the terms 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.11ac when looking at wireless routers, or at least heard the letters b, g, and n referring to wireless connections. Wi-Fi 6 could be looked at as the 6th generation of Wi-Fi standards and is also known as 802.11ax. The name Wi-Fi 6 is meant to be simpler and easier to understand but given all the similar sounding names people are expected to absorb to stay up to date with technology, it may not be achieving the desired result.

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