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How Wi-Fi Works

Currently, this support area is intended for new and current customers eligible for Midco Fixed Wireless Internet (located in portions of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota). If you have other Midco Internet service, check out our Internet Support tools.

Wi-Fi Explained

A Wi-Fi (or wireless) network uses radio waves to deliver wireless, high-speed internet to compatible devices, such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, home security systems, printers, appliances and more. Wireless connectivity through your Midco router (for fixed wireless)  enables you to be mobile throughout your home.

  • When you have a wireless router it not only connects to Midco’s high-speed network in your neighborhood, but it also broadcasts a Wi-Fi signal, so your wireless devices connect to each other and the internet.
  • Midco offers routers only to residential fixed wireless customers, who can purchase or lease the router from us. If you wish, you can also use a third-party router for your in-home network; however, Midco does not support those routers.
  • Device capabilities and technology makes a big difference in your Wi-Fi speed and performance.
  • Where you place your wireless modem in your home matters quite a bit to your Wi-Fi performance overall, as it can amplify issues with competing conflicting radio waves.

All wireless devices in your home should operate on a 2.4 GHz network. Only newer devices can work on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. However, not all wireless modems, routers or devices can connect to both frequencies.

  • Newer equipment will have capabilities for both, meaning they are dual-band devices – and they use 802.11n or 802.11ac technology.
  • The DOCSIS 3.1 modem and some other newer, dual-band, Wi-Fi modems work with both frequencies to take advantage of bandwidth steering. Your devices will automatically steer to the frequency providing the best signal, all on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Older dual-band modems will display different networks for each frequency that you have to join manually to see if you get a better signal. (For example, 2.4 GHz would display as a wireless network name of CGN-8090, and 5 GHz would display as a wireless network name of CGN-8090-5G.)

To see if your device is compatible with a 5 GHz network, check your device’s user manual. To see which band your device is connected to, go to the Wi-Fi network settings on the device.

2.4 GHz

The 2.4 GHz frequency is very common is many consumer electronic devices, meaning there can be a lot of wireless interference in this frequency. However, 2.4 GHz signals generally travel farther and have greater range than 5 GHz signals.

5 GHz

If you’re looking for less Wi-Fi interference and faster speed, the 5 GHz frequency may be a better option for you, because it has more capacity and throughput. This frequency is better for applications requiring high bandwidth, such as streaming video. However, this technology has a shorter distance or range for wireless signals.

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