Nowadays the most used connection without a doubt is Wi-Fi. It offers us a comfort and mobility that other forms of connection do not offer us. On the other hand, it has other disadvantages such as interference with wireless networks with other neighbors and that you will not always take advantage of all the bandwidth of your connection. Although it is true that this does not mean that you can get good connection speeds over Wi-Fi. Sometimes, for example, in a laptop we have an internal Wi-Fi card and an external USB card. In this tutorial we are going to determine if I can connect in Windows with two Wi-Fi bands at the same time, if it improves the performance of our equipment or if it offers us any advantage.
Here we are going to start talking about the hardware we would need to connect in Windows with two Wi-Fi bands at the same time. Then we will check that both connections are active both in Windows and in the router. Next, we will perform performance tests to see if there are differences in performance between being connected to one band or the two WiFi frequency bands. We will do it in two different tests, one near the router and one far away. Finally, we will show what would happen if at some point we stopped receiving a signal from the 5 GHz band.
What do we need to connect to two Wi-Fi bands at the same time?
In this case it should be noted that this situation is more typical of laptops. One thing to keep in mind is that relatively old computers, adding some memory and an SSD hard drive would still help us to perform most of the common tasks with ease.
What happens is that many of these laptops can only operate in the 2.4 GHz band and comply with the 802.11n standard. This means that, generally by Wi-Fi, if they do a speed test they will obtain results of about 70 Mbps. To solve this, many users in addition to improving the equipment of their laptop have bought a USB adapter to be able to connect to the Wi-Fi network. -F 5 GHz. Thanks to that, now they can easily reach speeds close to 300 Mbps. From my own experience I can assure that this is the case. After the changes that I made to my team investing a little money, my team seems different.
In summary, the easiest way to connect to two Wi-Fi bands at the same time would be to use:
- The internal card of the laptop.
- A Wi-Fi 6 or WiFi 6 USB adapter (coming soon).
For those of you who now have a new laptop, this will also end up affecting you and you will find yourself in a similar situation. Little by little, Wi-Fi 6E routers that work in the 6 GHz band will spread. Therefore, if you want to use these networks, you will have to buy a Wi-Fi adapter that supports them, although today it is on the market there are no such adapters yet.
If we have the hardware required to connect to Windows with two Wi-Fi bands, we can check it by following a few simple steps. For them we will go to the Start Menu, write device manager and press enter.
Next, click on Network adapters. Thus, if we have the USB adapter that we bought connected, you will see that you have two Wi-Fi network cards available.
How can we connect in Windows with two Wi-Fi bands at the same time
Before proceeding, comment that the operating system that we are going to use is Windows 10. Normally, if you have bought a USB Wi-Fi adapter that offers you more speed, you will have it on, and also configured to connect automatically. In these cases, if we double click on the Wi-Fi icon on the taskbar we will see something similar to this.
In the red box we can choose to work with the different Wi-Fi adapters. Since I cannot see the name of my 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, I have deduced that Wi-Fi refers to the internal card of my laptop. It is also noted that the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network is not connected. On the other hand, if I deploy it to Wi-Fi 2 I see more networks available including mine of 5 GHz that I already see that it has connected automatically as I had assigned it.
Therefore, since we are already connected to the 5 GHz network, we still have the 2.4 GHz network to connect. So what we are going to do is go back to Wi-Fi and press the Connect button . Here you can see that you have connected.
With this we would already be connected with each adapter to each band, now we are going to check it.
How to verify that we are connected to two Wi-Fi bands
If we want to verify that we are connected to Windows with two Wi-Fi bands, we have two alternatives.
- From Windows itself.
- In the wireless networks section of the router.
To carry out the checks in Windows, go to the Start Menu and tap on the gear icon on the left of Settings. Also another possibility is to type configuration and press enter.
The next step we are going to follow is to double click on the Network and Internet shortcut .
Next, on the left side we select the Wi-Fi section. On the right you can see that there are the two Wi-Fi networks to which we have connected.
On the other hand, if we want to check that we have both bands operating at the same time in the router, we will open our Internet browser. In the address bar we put the IP of the router or default gateway. Next, we will enter the password of the router and the user if necessary. Then we will look for the Wi-Fi section where the connected devices appear. In my case these are the ones that were connected:
In the red boxes you can see how one Wi-Fi adapter is connected to the 5 GHz network and another to the 2.4 GHz network. In addition, you can also see the speed at which they are connected. Therefore, we have been able to verify it both in the router and in Windows 10.
Does Windows upgrade with two Wi-Fi bands at the same time?
The best way to find out is by running a speed test. To show the differences, we are going to do the tests in this way:
- A couple of meters from the router and about 12 meters in which several walls must be crossed.
- It will be connected to Windows with two Wi-Fi bands or only with the 5 GHz one.
These are the results connected with the two bands and close to the router:
Here are the ones connected only to the 5 GHz band and close to the router:
As can be seen near the router, there are no significant speed differences.
Now we are connected with two Wi-Fi bands at the same time away from the router:
To finalize the results with only the 5 GHz band away from the router:
As in the previous case, the results have been very similar. The reason this happens is because Windows only allows you to use a Wi-FI Network card to go to the Internet and does not add the speed at any time. However, there is a fairly common situation in which it can benefit us to have it configured like this.
Reason to have both Wi-Fi bands configured in Windows at the same time
Wi-Fi networks at 5 GHz, although they provide us with higher speed, with distance they lose a lot of coverage. In contrast, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks have lower speed, but greater range and coverage. Therefore, it may be the case that in some areas of our home we have coverage blind spots. A good reason to do it would be with a laptop with which we are going to work in different rooms, so we make sure we always have a connection.
One test I did to verify this was to turn off my router’s 5GHz Wi-Fi network all at once. As can be seen, only the internal Wi-Fi network adapter that operates in the 2.4 GHz band remained connected.
Finally, as a result of having Windows with two Wi-Fi bands at the same time, I did not experience any failures or drops in my connection. Instantly it started working on the 2.4 GHz band and I was able to continue browsing and performing my tasks as normal, Windows automatically detects that a WiFi network has been disconnected, and will automatically choose the other WiFi network to which we have connected.