Why Does My Router Have 2 Networks?

You cannot deny the fact that the internet is a very important tool. You use it as a source of information and to accomplish most of your tasks like work submissions, school research, shopping, and paying bills. Likewise, many products and structures, such as televisions and garage doors, are already being controlled using wireless internet connections.

However, there will come a time wherein your connection will slow down, and your routers need to be upgraded. And as you buy a modern network router, you might be surprised that it is broadcasting two network connections. Thus, you start to ask, Why Does My Router Have 2 Networks?”

As an overview, first-generation or traditional network routers contain only one network. That is an 802.11b WiFi that has a 2.4 Gigahertz band, which is commonly used at homes. Another device that has been manufactured in the late 90s and early 2000s is the 802.11a, five Gigahertz single network router for businesses. As time went by, a router that supports both the 802.11a and 802.11b interfaces has been produced. Such is now the so-called 802.11n or dual-band network router.

As you may note from above, dual-band network routers contain the channels for 2.4GHz and 5 GHz bands. Thus, they are designed to transmit two frequency ranges, either at the same time or simultaneously depending on the type of the dual-band router that you will use.

Types of Dual-band Network Routers

Selectable Dual-band Network Routers

As the name implies, this type of dual-band router gives you the option to choose whether to broadcast a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. Meaning, you cannot use both at the same time. You have to switch one on and one off based on your preferences or needs. Thus, your device will only recognize one WiFi connection.

Simultaneous Dual-band Network Routers

As contrasted to the first type, these routers can broadcast or transmit the two wireless bands at the same time. Thus, when you connect to the WiFi, your mobile phone, tablet, computer, and other devices will recognize the two networks. Through that, you can choose what network to use and set up on your device. The good thing is that there are simultaneous dual-band routers that will allow you to create one SSID for the two networks. By doing so, only one network will be recognized by your device, but two are actually working.

With such in regard, one of the answers to the question, “Why Does My Router Have 2 Networks?” is for you to be able to choose from or use the two channels.

In order to have a better understanding and get more detailed answers, let us take a closer look on how to use the two networks.

Choosing Whether to Use The 2.4 GHz or the 5 GHz Band

Since our first answer to the question, “Why Does My Router Have 2 Networks?” is the freedom to choose between or use both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, let us know when is the right time to use each one of them.

Generally, speaking, the 2.4 GHz band is actually designed for old devices that can be connected to wireless internet connections. On the other hand, the 5 GHz band is for the modern devices that are not compatible with the other band. Thus, choosing which band to use solely depends on what band your device is compatible with.

In addition, you should also understand that the 2.4 GHz band is slower than the 5 GHz band. Thus, if your device can support the two bands, you must consider where you will need the wireless connection for.

If you are going to stream or download videos, music, and others, choosing the network with a higher band will be better. If you just simply browse and check emails, the 2.4 GHz will be enough. Choosing the 5 GHz band in your dual-band network router will also be best if you are experiencing slow connections and if there are a lot of devices connected to the network.

Nevertheless, according to experts, it will be better for you choose the 2.4 GHz band for general use unless there are specific tasks that you need to accomplish. But, if you have a simultaneous dual-band router, you can set up a specific connection for each device based on its purpose.

So, the next answer to the question “Why Does My Router Have 2 Networks?”, is that you will be able to connect old and modern devices without hassles. Another is that you will also be able to upgrade your wireless internet connection without the consequence of losing your old devices or their wireless connection compatibility. Likewise, you will also be able to designate a specific network to every WiFi-capable device that you have.

Why Does My Router Have 2 Networks? Summary

The main reason why there are two networks in your wireless internet router is that because they were designed to broadcast 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. They are made in such a way to provide you with great flexibility when it comes to setting up your device’s home network connections. With the help of the two networks present in your router, your old and new devices at home that have different WIFi compatibilities can be connected and used without any problems.

Wireless internet connection interruptions can also be prevented because there will be lesser traffic in your network. That is because most of your home devices and gadgets usually connect to the 2.4 GHz band, which is quite slow when more than three devices are already connected. But by transferring the other devices to the 5 GHz channel of your router, the normal connection speed can be maintained. That is because that interface has 23 usable channels that are not overlapping.

In simpler and shorter terms, your wireless internet router has two networks because of the following:

  • To provide you with a wireless bandwidth that is twice or thrice faster than what you normally have since it can pick up 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands.
  • For you to have an exclusive wireless network connection for videos, games, downloads, and other tasks wherein you need high bandwidths.
  • To prevent network interferences and congestions
  • For you to have two networks that are working simultaneously or separately without the need to buy another router or to avail of another network service

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Wow. You amswered the question that I have been wondering for years. I’ve been seeing for years that certain tech is equipped with 802.11n WIFI and all I knew was rhat it had something to do how the WIFI connection was made. Also noticed in places that when I went to connect that there were multiple networks with the same SSID and was a little confused at how that could be done so thank you for explaining it so well.

    1. You are most welcome!

  2. Hello there! I’m just moving to an apartment and I’m planning to have an internet connection. I want to buy my own router because it’s expensive to borrow a router to the internet provider. It’s $10 a month and in 10 months I already can buy a wireless router. I didn’t know the worth of 2 network router but after I read your article I learned new things about 2 network wireless router. Thank you for sharing this information.

    1. You are most welcome!

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