5GHz vs. 2.4GHz
Most people are familiar with WiFi, a technology which allows two WiFi enabled devices to connect to each other wirelessly using the 2.4GHz radio frequency, the most common use is WiFi Internet routers which allow users to connect their laptops, PCs, tablets, and smartphone to the Internet without the need for a cable, in fact many modern devices such as tablets can only connect to the Internet via WiFi.
The 2.4Ghz range is fairly limited in terms of range, more often than not this is due to interference from other devices using the same frequency such as cordless phones, baby monitors, wireless printers and Bluetooth enabled devices and the fact that most WiFi routers use omnidirectional antennas.
Some modern WiFi routers and devices are starting to incorporate 5GHz technology to improve speed and performance, but this is only at fairly short ranges as omnidirectional antennas are used.
Another advantage of the 5GHz band is that it does not have as many overlapping channels as the 2.4GHz band and is not subject to so much interference so is ideal for long-range connections when used with directional antennas.
Another advantage of the 5GHz range is that it is not absorbed by water (rain and water in tree leaves) as much as the 2.Ghz frequency and performs much better in non line of sight (LoS) installations.
5GHz Wireless Point-to-Point Link
Wireless technology sometimes gets a bad reputation for poor performance but like with any technology, used incorrectly it will perform poorly. Just remember that millions of people enjoy hundreds of TV shows beamed down from space via satellites, pilots flying at hundreds of miles per hour communicate with ground control and engineers operate the Mars Rover from over 30 million miles away, all wirelessly.
Advancements and improvements in wireless networking have made connecting two or more points wirelessly a cost-effective and viable alternative to cabling. One of the most common uses for PTP wireless bridge is to connect two buildings; they could be across the street from one another or miles away in the next town. A rapidly expanding company may wish to establish a connection between their office and newly acquired or temporary warehouse, it could take days or weeks to have a high-speed line installed in new premises, setting up a 5GHz point to point link can take just a few hours. In some instances there simply isn't a line/Internet connection installed in the new building.
Wireless PTP links are being used for many more applications which would have been too expensive to cable, it is now very common to see municipal CCTV systems utilizing wireless technology, and it can drastically reduce costs for industries such as agriculture where vast areas and livestock need to be observed from a central location.
5 Ghz Point to Point / Point to Multi-Point for WiFi Hotspots
Wireless meshing is excellent for increasing coverage in a particular area, but it will not work over long distances. Using a 5Ghz point to point link you can bring an internet connection to another location, sometimes miles away, think of it like an invisible ethernet cable.
You can use a 5Ghz link you have a customer who is a long distance from your WiFi hotspot or if you wish to have multiple hotspots in different areas. Instead of having an internet connection at each location you can have a single high-speed connection in just one location and use 'point to point' (PTP) equipment to bring the internet connection to another or, multiple locations miles away with a 'point to multi-point' setup (PTMP).
This will save you money and time as when you find a new location you simply install another PTP unit and this will create another WiFi hotspot/zone without having to wait and pay for another internet connection to be installed.
5GHz PTP Equipment
As the name suggests, for a point to point link two units will be required, one of the most well known and reliable manufacturers are Ubiquiti, their equipment ranges from less than $100 a unit for a basic setup up to a few thousand for a high capacity unit which can compete in terms of performance with a fibre line. The price of equipment has fallen drastically recently, in some cases the cost of going wireless has become cheaper than laying cable. The range of equipment available means that a simple wireless link can be set up for less than $100.
Using the 5GHz wireless frequency can provide a cost effective alternative to laying cable and is ideal for temporary installations or locations where installing an Internet connection is not possible.
Creating a 5GHz link between two or more sites or buildings can be set up rapidly and easily and achieved in less than a day.
© 2015 SpaceShanty
SpaceShanty (author) from United Kingdom on August 27, 2015:
Jacobb9205, Thanks for your comment, I am surprised to hear it was slower, what brand/model were you using? Was there a clear line of sight? What Bands were you using?
Jacobb9205 on August 21, 2015:
Thank you! I tried using 5ghz, but it's slower than using 2.4ghz for some reason. Any idea why?
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on June 08, 2015:
Very interesting ideas for honing connectivity.