Does 5G interfere with WiFi? This thought will cross your mind, especially when your WiFi speed slows down when your phone’s mobile data is activated.
There are instances where overlapping frequencies between two networks can greatly reduce network performance.
Let’s find out if this is the case.
5G and WiFi typically do not interfere with each other, and any slowdown experienced might be due to your device’s connection decisions. Even with 5GHz WiFi, interference with mobile 5G is unlikely to occur.
However, it’s best that you know more about signals and interference. Here are some important points you need to know about 5G and WiFi interference.
Does 5G Interfere with WiFi: Important Points to Know
In this article, we’ll discuss what 5G and 5GHz are, how they differ, and why you need them. While 5G is handy in most situations, WiFi is updated for other circumstances.
But, we need both technologies to take advantage of the internet’s benefits fully.
- Congestion for both mobile 5G and 5GHz WiFi networks
- Frequency overlap between the two networks
- Using different 5GHz WiFi channels can minimize interference
- Distance between your 5G device and WiFi router
Now, you understand how these two can work together to improve your wireless internet experience.
Let’s talk about them in detail in the section below.
Will 5G Interfere With WiFi: All Your Questions Answered
5G and 5GHz are two similarly named technologies, but they are not the same. The former is a new mobile standard, while the latter is an established home networking system.
Before we answer the question: Does 5G interfere with WiFi, we’ll discuss what they have to do with each other.
Is Cellular or Mobile 5G the Same as 5GHz WiFi?
Both technologies allow you to connect to the internet wirelessly, so it’s easy to think they’re the same or at least related.
Fundamentally, both mobile 5G and 5GHz WiFi use radio waves to allow devices to connect to the internet.
However, they’re not inherently the same, as these are completely different technologies. They’re named similarly.
For example, 5G means it’s the 5th generation mobile network. On the other hand, 5G WiFi is named after the 5GHz frequency it uses.
Here’s how to differentiate 5G and 5G WiFi:
- 5G networks are for mobile devices in a large area.
- 5G WiFi is for local network connectivity with a limited range.
- 5G networks use sub-6 GHz frequencies.
- 5G WiFi refers to the 5GHz band for wireless networks.
Note: As you can see, these are two incredibly different technologies that only happen to share a similar name.
What’s the Main Difference Between 5G and WiFi
The main difference between mobile 5G and 5GHz WiFi is that they have different purposes and applications.
It’s because of these major differences that they’re not going to affect each other.
Even though most places will have 5G coverage from different networks, they won’t be able to interfere with your 5GHz WiFi signals.
Here are the main differences of both 5G and 5G WiFi:
- Cellular or Mobile 5G is for mobile and smart devices.
- 5G WiFi is for local wireless connectivity of most devices.
- Uses cellular towers to cover a large area.
- Uses routers to provide an internet connection to a limited area.
- 5G WiFi is prone to interference compared to Mobile or Cellular 5G.
Are Cellular 5G Signals Prone to Interference
Since both are wireless signals, it’s understandable that they are prone to interference.
The good news is that they don’t really interfere with each other’s signals, so you don’t have to worry if you have a 5G phone and a 5G WiFi network at home.
Even though these two signals won’t mess with each other, a range of factors can affect their quality.
Here’s what you need to know about mobile 5G signal interference:
- Other 5G signals from a different cell tower can cause interference.
- 5G signals can reflect off buildings and other structures.
- Electromagnetic interference from power lines and transformers.
- Radio frequency interference from cordless phones and WiFi.
- Weather conditions such as rain, snow, or fog.
Note: Mitigating these different circumstances is mostly up to the carrier, so there's not much you can do about it.
What Causes Interference with Your Home’s 5GHz WiFi
While the Cellular or Mobile 5G signal covers many areas, it’s understandable that its causes of interference are also large-scale.
However, in the case of your home’s 5G WiFi, the little things matter a lot.
There are many ways in which your WiFi signal at home can be affected. Even small household appliances can affect the quality and cause poor reception.
Physical barriers like walls will also diminish the signal quality a lot.
Here are the main causes of interference with your 5G WiFi network:
- Presence of other WiFi networks in your area.
- Physical obstacles like walls, floors, and even large appliances.
- Electronics from microwave ovens, Bluetooth devices, and security cameras.
- Other sources of wireless signals like audio and video systems.
Note: There are instances when frequencies between 5G and 5G WiFi overlap, but these are rare.
Ways to Mitigate Interference Between 5G and 5GHz WiFi
Between these two signals, you’re not going to have much of a problem with cellular 5G.
As long as you have good coverage, you will be able to connect to the network and the internet.
However, 5G WiFi is the more temperamental of the two and is prone to signal issues from interference.
If you want to use both 5G and WiFi simultaneously, you will need to take a few steps to lessen the interference.
You can do this in many ways, and understanding the sources is a start.
Here’s how to lessen the interference between 5G and WiFi:
- Avoid placing your WiFi router near large obstructions.
- Keep your router away from interference sources like microwave ovens.
- Minimize obstacles like the number of walls and floors between your device and router.
- Adjust your router’s channel selection for 5G WiFi.
How to Change the Channel on Your 5GHz WiFi to Lessen Interference
Most ways to reduce interference are to keep your router away from obstacles and various sources.
However, if you feel like your WiFi’s interference is caused by the Cellular 5G network, using a different channel is the most effective way to deal with it.
Choosing the right channel means you’re also switching the frequency at which you connect to your WiFi.
Doing this will limit the overlap so the two signals don’t cause any interference with each other.
Here’s how to change the channel on your router:
- Launch a web browser to access your router’s dashboard.
- Type your router’s login credentials.
- Navigate to the Wireless Setting.
- Choose the 5G band.
- Select the Channel you want to change to.
Note: It's best to choose non-overlapping channels like 36, 40, 44, 153, and 161.
Knowing these will help you resolve issues with your 5G WiFi network. Your wireless network will feel any interference that you’re experiencing.
If you think there’s a problem with your network, you can contact your internet provider or a professional to help you.
Does 5G Interfere with WiFi? For the most part, you won’t have any problems with these signals and your devices.
Interference is part of any wireless network so that you will experience it occasionally.
Read Next: Can 2.4GHz Devices Connect to 5GHz?
Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.