- Wi-Fi routers can have 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency bands, with the latter offering better performance and speed.
- Android devices can check the Wi-Fi frequency band in the settings, while iPhones can use the AirPort Utility app or router’s IP address.
- Windows PCs and Macs can easily access Wi-Fi frequency band information through their network settings.
Wi-Fi routers use varying frequency bands, which allow them to transmit data faster and shorten the signal range. Higher frequency bands offer better performance and speed. Most single-band routers have a 2.4GHz frequency band, but newer routers are now dual-band. It means they come with two types of bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
For a more detailed explanation of the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5GHz, plus an explanation of what a dual band router is, check out this excellent animated video from PowerCert Animated Videos:
So, how do you know if your Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz? You can easily differentiate between frequency bands if they have different SSIDs or network names. However, things can get complicated if both bands of your network have the same name. In that case, you can use a workaround to retrieve this information on your device.
Whether you have an iPhone, Mac, Android phone, or a Windows PC, you can quickly determine if your Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz. This guide will discuss six methods to help you identify your network’s frequency band.
Method 1: Check the Network’s Name to Know if Wi-Fi Is 2.4 or 5GHz
The easiest way to know if a Wi-Fi network is 2.4 or 5GHz is by checking its name on your phone or PC. Access Wi-Fi settings on either of the devices to find a range of options, such as “Your_wifi” and “Your_wifi_2.4G” or “Your_wifi5G” and “Your_wifi,” etc. In this case, you can easily see which network is 2.4 or 5GHz, so connect to the band you need.
If you can’t see the frequency band of your available networks by their name, you can also try the methods below.
Method 2: Check the Wi-Fi Frequency Band on Your Android Phone
You can quickly check to see if your Wi-Fi network is 2.4 or 5G in your Android settings. Follow the steps below to find it:
Step 1: Open Settings on Your Phone
First, connect your phone to a Wi-Fi network and then access its Settings screen.
Step 2: Tap Wi-Fi
Choose Wi-Fi and Internet and then Wi-Fi to retrieve more details.
Step 3: Select Your Wi-Fi Network
On the next screen, choose the Wi-Fi network you’re connected to and check the frequency band setting. It will tell you if the connection is 2.4 or 5GHz.
Method 3: Use Your Router’s IP Address on an iPhone
If you’re an iPhone user, you can’t easily find your Wi-Fi network’s frequency band from the Settings menu. These devices don’t have this feature by default, so you will have to do a few workarounds to find the band’s name. Here is how you can use your network’s IP address to see whether it is 2.4 or 5GHz:
Step 1: Find the Wi-Fi Access Point
If your Wi-Fi router is dual-band, you can easily find your network’s band name from its access point. Access the Control Center on your iPhone by swiping your finger up from the bottom or down from the top of the screen, depending on your model.
Then, long-hold the Wi-Fi icon, and you will see the name of its access point below Wi-Fi on the screen’s left. It would be either 2.4 or 5GHz. If you still can’t access this information, you will have to assign separate names for each band. The following steps will discuss it.
Step 2: Find the Router’s IP Address
You can also give each band of your dual-band router a unique SSID to tell if you’re connected to 2.4 or 5GHz. To start with, find your Wi-Fi router’s IP address by accessing your iPhone’s Settings > Wi-Fi. Then, tap the Information or (i) button next to your Wi-Fi name. Scroll to Router on the next screen, located under the IPV4 Address. The IP address will be in this pattern: 177.543.4.245.
Step 3: Copy and Paste the IP Address in the Browser
Copy and paste the IP address into the web browser to access the router’s official web page. You will be asked to log in with your credentials (written on your router’s side). Your default username would be “Admin.” Once logged in, you can easily change the name or SSID of your router’s bands.
Step 4: Name Each Band
Your router will now let you name your router’s bands. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to find the setting that allows you to create unique SSIDs for your dual-band router. There is no one way to access this option, considering every router is built differently.
To find it for your router, check its manual, visit the Help Center, or simply connect with a Customer Support representative. In most routers, this setting is found under the Advanced Settings tab. Once you find it, assign a unique name to every band so that you can quickly tell if Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz.
Name your networks based on their bands. For example, “home_wifi-2.4GHz” and “home_wifi-5GHz.” Now, connect to any band and enter the password for each. Once you’re connected, you will see a blue tick mark next to the network.
While naming your bands makes it easy to differentiate, Apple doesn’t recommend users do it. If you keep the same name for both bands, your iPhone will seamlessly transition between them to connect you to the most robust network.
Method 4: Use the AirPort Utility Wi-Fi Scanner on Your iPhone
The AirPort Utility app on your iPhone allows you to manage your wireless networks and major AirPort base stations. These include AirPort Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, and AirPort Express. You can use this feature on your iPhone to tell if your network is 2.4 or 5GHz:
Step 1: Download AirPort Utility from App Store
Finding your router’s frequency will be easy if you have an Apple AirPort router. You just have to download the AirPort Utility app and connect it to your device. In fact, you can find network details about other non-AirPort routers too. Head to the App Store, search for the AirPort Utility app and download it on your phone.
Step 2: Open Settings and Tap AirPort Utility
Open your phone’s settings and scroll down to AirPort Utility. Select it to access more options.
Step 3: Enable the Wi-Fi Scanner Toggle
On the next screen, look for the Wi-Fi Scanner and toggle the switch to activate the scan. Turn this setting off when you’re done scanning to prevent your battery from draining quickly.
Step 4: Select Wi-Fi Scan in the App
Now, launch the AirPort Utility app on your device and tap the Wi-Fi Scan in the upper-right corner of your screen.
Step 5: Tap Scan
Next, tap Scan on the screen’s top right corner. The app will start searching all the available Wi-Fi networks, including AirPort routers and standard ones.
Step 6: Check the Frequency Band
Finally, you will have complete access to your Wi-Fi network’s detailed information. You can see different types of data under each network’s name. To determine if Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz, focus on the Channel numbers. Those ranging between 1 to 11 are generally classified as 2.4GHz, while those greater than 11 are 5GHz. However, that’s specifically for the US.
If you live somewhere else, the range of your channel numbers may differ. In some parts, channel 1 to 13 is considered 2.4GHz. Meanwhile, it extends to 14 in Japan. So, inquire about your channel numbers from your local internet providers.
One great thing about the AirPort Utility app is that it separately shows every band of the same dual-band router network. So, you will see two different networks but with similar names for one dual-band network.
Method 5: Access Your Network’s Wi-Fi Properties on Windows
Another method to tell if your Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz is through your Windows computer. You just have to access your Wi-Fi network’s properties to check the frequency band by following these steps:
Step 1: Open the Network Panel
Start by connecting your Windows computer to the Wi-Fi network you want to find the frequency band for. Then, open the Network Panel from your device’s taskbar. Click on the Wi-Fi signals icon, right-click on Wi-Fi, and tap Go to Settings.
Step 2: View the Wi-Fi Network’s Properties
On the next screen, select your connected Wi-Fi network to open its properties.
Step 3: Check the Network Band
On the Properties window, scroll down to Network band to see if your network is 2.4 or 5GHz.
Method 6: Navigate the Wi-Fi Channel Details on Your Mac
You can also check your Wi-Fi network’s frequency band on your Mac. Unlike iPhones, the process is pretty easy and you don’t have to do any workarounds to access this information. Here is how you can determine if your Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz on a Mac:
Step 1: Connect to a Wi-Fi Network
First, start your Mac and connect it to the Wi-Fi network you want to find the frequency band for.
Step 2: Long Press the Option Button
Now, find the “option” button on your Mac’s keyboard. Press it and select the Wi-Fi icon to access your network’s detailed information.
Step 3: Check If Your Wi-Fi Is 2.4 or 5GHz
Once you click on the Wi-Fi icon, it will show your network’s channel or frequency bands. Look at the Channel option to see if your Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz.
As you can see, identifying your Wi-Fi network’s frequency band is not that difficult. Following the procedure carefully, you can easily access your network’s properties and find the channel number or frequency band name. You can tell if Wi-Fi is 2.4 or 5GHz on your Android, Windows, and Mac devices.
However, iPhones don’t have a direct option, so you must do a few workarounds to find the band name. While some Wi-Fi networks automatically separate the two bands, others don’t. In that case, you will have to change the name of both bands to differentiate between them. You can also use the AirPort Utility app to scan your Wi-Fi network and find its band name.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©A_stockphoto/Shutterstock.com.