Google Home is a smart speaker that serves as the vehicle for the search giant’s voice-activated virtual assistant, Google Assistant.
To access Google Assistant via any Google Home speaker model, you need to connect it to the internet using the Google Home app.
But can you connect it to 5GHz Wi-Fi, which is a short-range home network system?
Google Home can connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi as long as it isn’t too far from your router. A 5GHz band works best in smaller spaces or if you have a Wi-Fi extender. Connecting your Google Home to 5GHz Wi-Fi is also recommended if you need less interference from other connected devices.
In this article, I will talk about what a 5GHz Wi-Fi is and what it means to connect your Google Home to it, including the pros and cons.
I will also discuss how connecting to a 5GHz is different from connecting to a 2.4GHz band.
Advantages of Connecting to a 5GHz Wi-Fi
Wireless routers, especially the newer ones, are most likely dual-band, offering Wi-Fi separately on a 5GHz band and 2.4GHz band.
The difference between these bands or frequencies is that the 2.4GHz gives better range, while the 5GHz gives better speed.
The 5GHz is the newer band between the two.
5GHz Wi-Fi’s Shorter Range Means Less Interference
One advantage of using the 5GHz band is that it can cut through interference and clutter in your network and therefore maximize performance. This is because with its shorter range, there aren’t too many competing devices connected to it.
The 2.4GHz band, by comparison, is more crowded.
The 5GHz band has a higher frequency than the 2.4GHz and therefore has a shorter reach. Higher frequencies also have more difficulty traveling through walls, floors, and other solid structures in a building.
Meanwhile, the 2.4GHz has a lower frequency and longer waves, so the transmission can go through walls and solid obstructions.
Ideally, according to ScreenBeam, the 2.4GHz band is best for connecting devices that are meant for low-bandwidth activities such as internet browsing.
The 5GHz, on the other hand, is best for devices doing high-bandwidth activities like streaming and playing online games. As such, the 5GHz is the better band for reducing lag in gaming.
5GHz Has More Channels and Higher Connection Speed
What’s more, the 5GHz band also operates over more unique channels. While the 2.4GHz has 11 channels, with only three of them not overlapping, the 5GHz boasts 25 non-overlapping channels.
The less overlap in the channels also means less interference and better performance.
In terms of speed, the 5GHz band has a maximum connection speed of 1Gbps. The 2.4GHz band only has a maximum speed of 150Mbps.
Continue reading: How Many Devices Can Connect to 5GHz WiFi? 3 Network Facts
Reaching the 5GHz Range
To connect Google Home speaker to the 5GHz band, it must be close enough to your router. Since new routers have a 5GHz band and a 2.4GHz band, you need to make sure your 5GHz Wi-Fi can reach your Google Home speaker.
If you have placed your Google Home within the 5GHz band’s reach, you can expect your smart speaker to automatically find the frequency.
Usually, this won’t be a problem if both devices are in the same room.
However, if your Google Home and your router are not near enough or are separated by a wall or any solid object, the device will connect only to the 2.4GHz band.
Here’s a video showing how to set up your Google Home, including how to connect it to your Wi-Fi and how to ensure optimum network signal:
No Exact Distance
There is no exact or absolute distance or a number of feet between your Google Home and your router for your 5GHz band to be optimal.
Keep in mind that Wi-Fi requires two-way communication between your router and your device, so your device’s own set of characteristics play a huge role in determining how many feet is optimal for its placement.
Other factors like physical environment, which includes walls and solid objects, as well as the number of competing devices on the network, also affect range and connectivity.
Computer Applications expert Rakshith Sarvotham explains that the type of wireless router is also important in determining how far a 5GHz Wi-Fi can go. Higher-powered routers understandably have a longer range.
Moreover, a device’s radio power also influences its connectivity.
Devices with a low-powered radio don’t have the same strong wireless connection as those with high-powered radios.
Theoretical and Real-World Distance
Sarvotham further explains that the type of 802.11 protocol used also has a say in the optimal range between your device and your router. The higher the data rate and the broader the signal bandwidth, the shorter the distance being covered.
The first Wi-Fi standard of 802.11b supports the narrowest bandwidth and the lowest data rate, which means that it provides the lowest speeds and the lowest throughput yet gives the best range.
According to Sarvotham, with the 802.11a standard, the 5GHz band can theoretically reach 390 feet (118.9 meters), but, practically, it only reaches around 195 feet (59.4 meters).
Meanwhile, the 802.11n standard can theoretically cover a range of 460 feet (140.2 meters), but its real-world distance is only around 230 feet (70.1 meters).
The 802.11ac standard, when amplified, can theoretically reach 820 feet (249.9 meters), but can only reach 410 feet (125 meters) in reality.
Learn more: Why does Google Home show up as WiFi?
When It’s Best To Connect Google Home to 5GHz Wi-Fi
Whether it is better to connect your Google Home to your 5GHz band or to your 2.4GHz band depends on your priority and your needs.
Connecting to 5GHz Is Best for Smaller Homes
If you live in a small home or apartment and every corner is within your 5GHz band’s range, then you can connect your Google Home to it.
You don’t have to worry about placement because you can put your smart speaker anywhere and it can communicate with your other smart devices.
If you have a bigger house with many rooms, the 5GHz band may not be able to reach your Google Home, especially if you place the speaker far from the router.
If you have a number of Google Home speakers in separate rooms, some might not be able to connect to the 5GHz Wi-Fi without Wi-Fi extenders.
Also, in this case, just know that connecting your speakers to the 2.4GHz would still be fine. Especially if you don’t have too many devices crowding your bandwidth.
Connecting to 5GHz Is Best if You Have Connectivity Issues
However, if your house has too many gadgets or devices that are connected to your Wi-Fi, you can expect connectivity issues to arise.
So, if you are experiencing such issues with your Google Home, one of the solutions you could try is to connect it to the 5GHz band.
Doing this will help relieve the congestion in your Wi-Fi traffic, help your other devices have better connectivity, and allow your Google Home to connect somewhere with less interference.
You might also like: Should a Google Home Stay Plugged In? 3 Device Facts
You can connect your Google Home to a 5GHz Wi-Fi if it’s within range.
This means your smart speaker needs to be close enough to your router for the 5GHz band to give it the network signal coverage it needs. As such, connecting to your 5GHz Wi-Fi works best if you have a smaller home.
It’s also better to connect Google Home to the 5GHz band if you’re experiencing connectivity issues because there is less interference here than in the 2.4GHz band.
Because of the 5GHz’s shorter range, fewer devices can connect to it, thus reducing interference.