There is a great variety of dual-band Wi-Fi routers in the market that can translate Wi-Fi network in both bandwidths, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. However, not all user’s devices can see and connect to a 5 GHz bandwidth Wi-Fi network. Let’s look at the case when a device running Windows 10 doesn’t see such a wireless network.
Advantages of Using 5 GHz Wi-Fi Network
What are the main advantages of a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network? This frequency is less loaded and has less noise. It is especially important for people living in apartments where a lot of neighboring routers, phones and microwave ovens work on the frequency of 2.4 GHz. Operating at a higher frequency, higher bandwidth is reached and 23 separate transmission channels are supported (compared to three channels of a 2.4 GHz network). The disadvantage is lower coverage compared to 2.4 GHz.
How to Check If Your Device Supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi Networks
Whether your computer, laptop or tablet supports 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks, depends on the model of a wireless adapter installed in it. You can find your network adapter model on the manufacturer’s website and read its characteristics. (Often there is a phrase Dual Band in the name of these adapters.) But there is an easier way.
In Windows, you can check what wireless standards are supported by the driver of your Wi-Fi adapter as follows:
- Start the command prompt with the administrator privileges.
- Run this command: netsh wlan show drivers
- See what is shown in the Radio types supported section.
This is the list of wireless network modes supported by this driver.
Adapters that support 802.11a, 802.11h, 802.11j and 802.11n network modes can work both on bandwidths of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz.
802.11ac mode means that the device can operate only at 5 GHz.
- Suppose that 802.11b and 802.11g network modes are shown in the list of supported radio types. It means that the driver supports only 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks;
- If it is shown that the adapter supports 802.11a, 802.11g and 802.11n network modes, both bands are supported.
Thus, if there are no entries in the list of supported network modes that indicate that the new band is supported, it’s worth to look it up on the manufacturer’s website whether your wireless adapter supports new standards. In some cases it’s enough to install the latest driver version downloaded from the official website to enable the correct operation at the frequency of 5 GHz.
If you see that the driver supports 802.11ac/802.11n, but your Windows doesn’t detect a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network, open the wireless driver properties and make sure that only one band is not selected manually.
For example, in Surface Pro 3 with Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller you can see that you can select the mode of the adapter operation (Auto / 2.4 GHz Only / 5 GHz Only) in the Band property of the Advanced tab. Change the mode to Auto.
Windows 10 Not Detecting 5 GHz Wi-Fi Network After the Upgrade
Some users complain that after the upgrading Windows 10 build, the system has stopped detecting 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks. As a rule, the problem is solved after you manually download the latest driver version for your wireless adapter from the official website and install it. It is recommended to disable automatic driver update in this case.
What If the Adapter Doesn’t Support a 5 GHz Network
If your network adapter doesn’t support 5 GHz Wi-Fi networks, just use a 2.4 GHz network. If you want to work at the new frequency, buy an external 5GHz USB Wi-Fi adapter (Above we have described the requirements to 802.11 network modes that must be met by your device).