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Wi-Fi frequencies and signal strength

Wi-Fi networks operate on two standard frequencies. Frequency represents the speed at which data is transmitted and received among the devices on your wireless network. Protocols are sets of instructions that manage the interaction of the devices and data on your wireless network. You can get the best performance out of your Wi-Fi network by following a few simple optimization guidelines.

The Wi-Fi radio in your Network Box operates on the following frequencies and protocols:

Models GFRG100 and GFRG110:
  • 5 GHz: 802.11a/n
  • 2.4 GHz: 802.11b/g/n
Models GFRG200 and GFRG210:
  • 5 GHz: 802.11a/n/ac
  • 2.4 Ghz: 802.11b/g/n

If you have Fiber TV service, each TV Box has a Wi-Fi radio that supports the following frequencies and protocols:

Model GFHD100:
  • 5 GHz: 802.11a/n
  • 2.4 GHz: 802.11b/g/n
Model GFHD200:
  • 5 GHz: 802.11a/n/ac
  • 2.4 Ghz: 802.11b/g/n

About wireless frequencies

The frequency your wireless devices connect to is based on the capability of your wireless devices, the model of your Network Box, and the physical location of your equipment.

Network Box GFRG200 and GFRG210

If you have a Network Box model GFRG200 or GFRG210 and a wireless device that is capable of operating on either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies (also called dual-band capable), your Network Box sends a signal to your wireless device to steer, or encourage it to connect to the 5 GHz frequency. The 5 GHz frequency is faster and typically less congested than the 2.4 GHz frequency.

Network Box GFRG100 and GFRG110

If you have a Network Box model GFRG100 or GFRG110, your wireless device searches for and connects to the strongest available signal. In theory, your wireless device should search for and prefer a 5 GHz signal, but will switch to a 2.4 GHz signal if the 5 GHz signal becomes degraded by interference or distance. In addition, if only one frequency is in range, your wireless device connects at that frequency.

Google Fiber's experience is that signal selection and the threshold for switching varies based on the capability of your wireless devices and your Network Box model.

The following table summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each frequency.

  Advantages Disadvantages
2.4 GHz √ Accessible from greater distances
√ Compatible with lots of devices
√ Crowded frequency from all the devices that it supports
5 GHz √ Lots more bandwidth
√ Generally less interference on 5GHz because the frequency is not as crowded
√ Available for shorter distances
√ Not compatible with as many devices

If you subscribe to Google Fiber TV service and enable TV Box access points, the Wi-Fi radios in your TV Boxes operate at 5 GHz to create a distributed Wi-Fi network throughout your home. (You can switch to 2.4 GHz if you have a Network Box GFRG210.) If signals from one of your TV Boxes interferes with another access point, you can disable it.

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