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These smart plugs support 5Ghz Wi-Fi

Broadlink SP4D-US Dual Band Plug
Broadlink SP4D-US Dual Band Plug (Image credit: Broadlink)

Wireless communication at 2.4GHz has been very popular for decades, and for good reason. It's been relatively fast and has had good enough range for just about anything you throw at it, except WI-Fi. While modern routers can deliver 200Mbps or more using 2.4GHz, some people would like to leave it behind for a 5GHz future with much greater capacity. Not only that, but many people have reported that their 2.4GHz smart home equipment simply doesn't work as expected when connected to some newer systems. If you're looking for a 5GHz smart plug, there's really only one option for the time being, but there are some other ways to avoid using your 2.4GHz network.

Does 5GHz matter in a smart plug?

The vast majority of Wi-FI smart plugs support only a 2.4GHz signal for several reasons, including better coverage and wall penetration, and price. However, 5GHz is desirable for some people as their Wi-Fi routers don't offer dual-band connectivity or only have limited options when using single-band devices. This is especially true for some simplified mesh systems.

The Broadlink SP4D-US supports 5GHz Wi-FI though it's still limited in that it only supports up to the older 802.11n standard or WI-Fi 4. While Wi-Fi 4 has more than enough speed for a smart plug, it adds one more complication to your network setup. Still, if you can only use 5GHz and need a smart plug, you've got an option.

Hubs and IoT networks

Gryphon AX review

Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

Hubs can simplify things, but they also reduce the number of compatible devices you have to choose from. Zigbee has established itself as a strong option thanks to a lot of support and inclusion in many products such as the Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 line of mesh routers. Zigbee devices also act as repeaters, so your entire home can stay connected even if a direct connection to the hub is not possible.

Some Wi-Fi routers, like the Gryphon AX, have included an IoT network option that creates a separate network with only 2.4GHz Wi-Fi specifically for your smart home tech. With an IoT network, you can rest assured that your devices will connect and won't interfere with the rest of your network. It's also worth remembering that many of the best Wi-Fi routers, including some mesh systems, allow you to disable band steering so you can have a separate 2.4GHz and 5GHz SSID for better compatibility.

When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.