Tuesday, August 11, 2020

How can we check if our Mac is connected to the 5GHz Wi-Fi network

For several years, the majority of routers that we have at home offer two types of network: the fastest and the slowest. These two networks receive the same name So how do we know which of the two we are connected to?

Most routers, for several years, have been broadcasting the network signal on two channels: one 2.4GHz channel and the other 5GHz channel. Both have advantages and disadvantages. The channel of 2.4 covers much more area, albeit at a significantly slower speed. If we are more than 8 or 10 meters from the router (depending on the model, installation, walls, etc.) we can only access the 2.4 signal. If we are closer to the router we will have access to the 5GHz network, which is noticeably faster.

Without going into more detail, we can say that the 2.4GHz network, with a theoretical maximum speed of 300 Mbps, usually reaches maximums of 100 Mbps. Meanwhile, the 5GHz, with a theoretical maximum of 1.7 Gbps, usually reaches about 850 Mbps.

How to know which network we are connected to

Know if our Mac is connected to one or the other network, as long as they have the same name, it is very simple. We do so:

  1. Hold down the Option key (⌥).
  2. We click on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar.
  3. In section Channel,  We check whether, between brackets, 5GHz or 2.4GHz appears.

Depending on whether one or the other appears, we will know which network our Mac is connected to. Given this, can we ask the computer to connect to the 5GHz network? Yes, besides, we can also do it on our iPhone or iPad.

The process is very simple. We must first get close enough to the router so that our device reaches the 5GHz network. Then, on our Mac, we press the Wi-Fi icon and choose Disable Wi-Fi to then press it again and choose Activate Wi-Fi. On our iPhone or iPad, we simply activate and deactivate the Airplane mode.

With these simple steps, and since our devices always choose to connect to the “best” network available, we will automatically be connected to the 5GHz network.

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