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 5GHz bands. Both radio bands are active simultaneously. Keep in mind: your personal devices (a 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 2.4GHz band and another for the 5GHz 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 2.4GHz band, while your laptop connects to the 5GHz 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 2.4GHz band (an older phone, for example), will automatically connect to the 2.4GHz band. Most dual band devices that support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz 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 2.4GHz band and will not be available for setup if your phone is on the 5GHz band. Please refer to your device’s user manual if you would like to specify the band. 

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