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Gaming has come a long way from its early roots on simple handheld or television consoles that supported only a few colorful pixels on the screen at one time. Today, many games are very intense in their use of graphics, run on powerful engines that support many features, and have stories or plots that are as involved as some long-form novels you may read.
Along with all of this, developers have made it easier than ever to purchase items digitally or play with others, and much of this is due to how game consoles can connect to the internet. In the early days of gaming, the most one could do was play against another friend with another controller, but the internet has changed all of that. Home consoles can now connect to your Wi-Fi network.
There are two bands to which electronics connect, and some gamers wonder if the Xbox console supports connecting to the faster 5GHz band. We will discuss this topic in today’s article, and we can go into further details about which versions of the console might support 5GHz connections.
Additionally, we can contrast the two bands to see if there are situations in which one is better than the other, give you some tips on how to connect to 5GHz, troubleshoot why the console might not be connecting, and go over why it might forget your Wi-Fi network in its saved list.
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Yes, the Xbox console can support a 5GHz band connection to the internet. Most versions of the Xbox console can do this, particularly starting with the Xbox One in 2013.
The Xbox One comes with the 802.11n network standard, and this allows it to use a channel on a 5GHz band.
As you might expect, later versions or special editions of the console can do this, too.
Some gamers have had success with connecting their old xbox 360 consoles to 5GHz as well. This can be a bit trickier than doing so for later versions of Microsoft’s console, however.
For some people, simply ensuring that the SSIDs for the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands on their routers had different names was enough to help the Xbox 360 console connect to the 5GHz network.
Others did not get it to work so easily, and they needed to use a special adapter to get the console to recognize and make a connection with the higher band. Part of this issue is probably because of the native support that we only saw with the Xbox One, but the capability seems to still be there with its predecessor, too.
The original Xbox is now many years old, having made its debut in 2001. Because of the older technology for both gaming consoles and wireless networking at the time, this console likely won’t be able to use 5GHz.
In fact, peripherals such as the wireless controllers that you can buy for the original Xbox have ratings for 2.4GHz wireless connectivity in their specifications.
Mostly, this should not be much of a problem, but you’ll need to have a router that you’ve configured to support the original console. Additionally, many regular Xbox games have backwards compatibility for support on newer versions of the console that can run on a 5GHz band.
However, some very old games for this console may not have online support anymore, meaning that you would not be able to use Microsoft’s servers to access online content for those games, including competitive or cooperative play.
Both bands have their uses, and which might be better for your gaming experience can depend on a few factors. We will go over some of the common ones here, but Microsoft usually recommends that players choose the 5GHz band for their Xbox consoles.
There are a couple of reasons for this, and they relate to making gameplay as smooth and streamlined as possible. Before you choose the 5GHz connection, you should know that it has a shorter range than its counterpart.
Therefore, to get the most out of your console’s online capabilities, we recommend that you place the unit quite near to your router or modem setup that you are using to get online. This will help you ensure that the signal can reach the console without any issues.
Furthermore, 5GHz is not as prone to signal interference as the 2.4GHz band. This is because many other devices in the area will use the 2.4GHz connection instead.
This is particularly true in a setting such as an apartment complex. In these situations, you have many of your own devices in the apartment that also want Wi-Fi connections.
Your neighbors will have their own stuff setup with their own networks, and the close proximity of everything can cause a lot of congestion across the channels on each band. For these reasons, running things on 5GHz tends to be a bit smoother for things like consoles.
However, the above is only true if you have a lot of devices that want to use the 2.4GHz connection natively. In some cases, you may have lots of devices in and around your space that also try to get on the 5GHz connection. If this happens, you could experience stronger network interference on that band.
Connecting your Xbox console to the other band may solve the issue. The 5GHz one tends to give faster speeds, but that does not mean that its counterpart won’t be suitable for online connectivity or gaming.
All things being equal, and coming from the Microsoft company’s recommendation, 5GHz should be your first choice. If that is clearly causing you a lot of stuttering or glitches when you are playing the Xbox online, however, there is little harm in connecting your console to the other band to see if play improves.
For our purposes, we’ll assume that you’re just setting up the Wi-Fi network for your console for the first time. The steps we show you will start from that point, but they work for any gamers who are trying to force a connection to the 5GHz band.
However, in order to do this, you may need to scan for or have the console forget the networks you have already anyway, and you would need to set things up again. You can do all of this by following these general guidelines:
1. Press the center button on your controller to bring up the console’s guide. Navigate to the gear icon to get to the ‘Settings’ menu.
2. Once you’re there, go find the ‘Network Settings’ heading in the ‘General’ tab.
3. Tell the console that you want to set up a wireless network.
4. The device will scan the area for new networks.
5. Wait until it finds the 5GHz one of your choice, and then enter the correct security information to get the console to connect to it.
6. Your Xbox should choose to stay connected to or reconnect to this network whenever you turn it on, but it doesn’t hurt to check this, especially if you ever experience issues when you’re playing online.
Sometimes, the Xbox doesn’t want to connect to 5GHz. There could be a few reasons for this, and we will explore the most common ones here. Before we dive into the list, you should make sure that your router supports both bands.
Many modern routers do, but if you don’t have a compatible one, there is nothing you can do to connect your console to the 5GHz band. With that out of the way, here are some reasons and solutions for 5GHz connectivity issues:
1. On many routers, your two bands may be under the same SSID. This can confuse the device, and it may just connect to the 2.4GHz version each time. Separate the names of the two bands for better results.
2. As we touched on, let as many other devices use 2.4GHz as possible. If you have too many devices connected to the 5GHz band, it may cause problems for your console.
3. If your console keeps connecting only to the 2.4GHz band, you may need to disable this one temporarily. That should help the device choose the 5GHz band.
Your Xbox should remember network connections you set up for it when you first got it, but some users notice that their consoles forget Wi-Fi connections with some regularity. Here are some things you can check for that:
1. Try to connect your console to your modem directly via ethernet cable and see if that solves the issue.
2. Check to see if it is only forgetting the connection to one band and not the other. Try staying on the band it remembers, if possible.
3. Perform a power cycle by holding down the power button for a while. You may need to power cycle the device a few times to get it to remember the connection.
4. This could be an issue that has no relation to the console itself, so try restarting the router, modem, or both to see if that helps.
Most Xbox consoles can make use of 5GHz bands on a wireless network. This is useful for more stable, faster gameplay that is less prone to latency. Since avoiding latency is one of the core pieces of advice when it comes to online gaming, the 5GHz band is a good choice for many players.
There are situations in which 2.4 might be better for you, but you can try both using a dual-band router. If you can’t connect your console at all, there are a few troubleshooting tips from us that you can try.