What is Tri-Band WiFi?

 

What is Tri-band WiFi, and how does it work?  

Tri-band routers use three different frequency bands at once. They project a single 2.4 GHz frequency band, while also simultaneously projecting two separate 5 GHz frequency bands, allowing for optimized and dedicated wireless connectivity.

Here is a snippet on Multi-Band from WiKi:

In telecommunications, a multi-band device (including dual-bandtri-bandquad-band and penta-band devices) is a communication device (especially a mobile phone) that supports multiple radio frequency bands. All devices which have more than one channel use multiple frequencies; a band however is a group of frequencies containing many channels.

 

To understand how Tri-Band Routers work differently, let’s first briefly talk about standard wireless routers.  Currently, in the US WiFi uses two different wireless frequency bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.  

What is Tri-Band? – Some Info About 2.4 GHz 

Many wireless connections operate under the 2.4 GHz range, which is also used by many other household devices and appliances.  Because many other household devices use the 2.4 GHz frequency band it does suffer from interference.  But on the upside, the 2.4 GHz frequency range does travel pretty far.  This means that it is a good choice to use in large buildings and places with obstacles.

What is Tri-Band? – Some Info About 5 GHz

The 5 GHz frequency range is much less congested and it is used as more of a dedicated range for wireless connections.  5 GHz is better suited for high-speed connections like video streaming and gaming.  The only real down-side of the 5 GHz frequency band is the range.  the 5 GHz frequency waves do not travel as far as the 2.4 GHz frequency waves can.

If you would like to understand more about the differences between 2.4 GHz vs 5 GHz check out my other article about it

Some Routers use both 2.4 and 5 GHz – Dual-Band

These days, dual-band routers use both of these frequencies, allowing, essentially, for two separate wireless networks, one at 2.4 GHz and another at 5 GHz. Wireless speed is normally split and divided evenly across your devices, while under the same band in the case of traditional or dual-band routers.  This is a great solution so you can get the benefits of each frequency band.

 

In a Tri-band router, however, you’ll have access to one 2.4 GHz band and two dedicated 5.0 GHz bands, which can easily support intensive use like streaming, 4k-editing, low latency gaming, and very high download speeds. As a result, in a digital household with multiple devices that require stable and rapid performance, a tri-band router absolutely makes sense. Moreover, tri-band routers facilitate much better speeds, on top of dedicated connections. A tri-band router’s 2.4 GHz normally offers speeds of up to 600 Mbps, as well as having two 5 GHz bands that offer up to 1,300 Mbps.

You can think of Tri-Band Routers like a three-lane highway. The two left lanes (the 5 GHz bands) are for the faster traffic and the single right lane (the 2.4 GHz band) is for the slower traffic. If used properly, each of the lanes benefits from having the other lanes to help the traffic flow smoothly.

Tri-band routers offer much better performance than a traditional 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless router or even dual-band routers. Even though no device can realistically access the theoretical top speeds, a tri-band router will allow you to, essentially divide your total bandwidth across three multiple bands. This allows you to choose and sort devices that require intensive internet use and put them in the appropriate 5 GHz band, while you can set devices that enjoy micro-use, like smartwatches and digital assistants to operate in the standard 2.4 GHz band. The beauty of this system is that also saves your bandwidth by channeling what is needed to your more dependent devices.

What is Tri-Band WiFi? – Chart

What is Tri-Band WiFi - Frequency Bandwidth Chart

If you had two devices, say a computer handling 4k-streaming and another wireless device, such as an X-Box One also handing high-speed, data-intensive streaming, the router would simply put them in each of the two 5 GHz bands. At the same time, the Tri-band router would sort other miscellaneous devices requiring less bandwidth into the single 2.4 GHz band. By doing seamlessly doing all of this, Tri-band routers truly optimize your WiFi network.

Keep in mind though, that unlike advertised, tri-band routers won’t offer drastically higher internet speeds. Rather, they’ll optimize and manage your existing connections and devices, making them work seamlessly with one another in the network. Believe me, this technology truly works and you will see a big difference.

If you’re not really involved with heavy internet use on a daily basis, a tri-band router won’t do much for you. With modern WiFi standards being perfectly capable of handling normal use, such as social media, video-viewing, voice calls, and video calls, average browsing and the like. Moreover, a tri-band router is also dependent on a faster internet connection, so you’ll need to make sure you have an internet connection that is compatible with a tri-band router.

Ultimately, a tri-band router is somewhat of a luxury product in the wireless market. With standard internet connections being more than adequate at dealing with daily use, they happen to be more than sufficient for most users. If you’re not using multiple devices to the height of their potential then using a tri-band router is definitely overkill. On the other hand, if you’re trying to create a digital household and have multiple devices intensively using the internet and/or your primary devices are heavily dependent on a quality internet connection, a tri-band router is definitely recommended.