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How Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi 2.4 and 5 GHz bands work

Your Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi devices keep it simple by automatically choosing the band that gives you the best Wi-Fi.

Your Google Wifi or Nest Wifi network uses the same name for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Both radio bands are active simultaneously. Keep in mind that your personal devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.) will connect to only one radio band at any given time. Based on the device capabilities, Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi attempt to select the band that will deliver the best performance for your device.

This method is different from many routers. Some other routers have two separate Wi-Fi networks (one for the 2.4 GHz band and another for the 5 GHz band), which require you to manually connect to the band you want. 

Every wireless device is different and has its own rules (factoring in signal strength, congestion, etc.) to select the best band. So it’s possible that your phone connects to the 2.4 GHz band, while your laptop connects to the 5 GHz band. Ultimately, your device will decide which band it will use to connect. Google Nest Wifi and Google Wifi's Band Steering feature will attempt to guide your connected devices to the band with the best performance for each device.

How does my device choose a band?

Devices that support only the 2.4 GHz band (an older phone, for example), will automatically connect to the 2.4 GHz band. Most dual band devices that support both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz will automatically pick a band based on different factors like signal strength and guidance from the mesh Wi-Fi system.

How bands affect smart home devices

Some smart home devices only use the 2.4 GHz band and will not be available for setup if your phone is on the 5 GHz band. Refer to your device’s user manual if you would like to specify the band. 

TIP: The waves of the 2.4 GHz band can travel a greater distance than those of the 5 GHz band. If your phone does not have the ability to switch Wi-Fi bands, try to move farther away from your router and points until your phone moves to the 2.4 GHz band. Then proceed with setting up your smart home devices. 
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