How can we tell from a WiFi card spec whether the NIC is 2.4GHz or 5GHz, or both?

Page 1 of 3  
How can we tell from an HP WiFi card spec whether the NIC is 2.4GHz or 5GHz, or both?
I'm trying to help my sister buy an HP laptop on the web.
My problem is that I contacted HP Support (via their chat mechanism) because USA phone support is not open now, and technical support isn't open tomorrow.
All I want to know is HOW to tell if a WiFi card has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
For $300 at Costco, plus $30 for shipping, this seems to be a decent 15.6-inch display laptop: http://www.costco.com/HP-15z-Laptop -|-AMD-E1-|-Windows-10.product.100222779.html
The main drawback from that Costco offering is that the WiFi isn't "ac", there's no mention of bluetooth, and the laptop doesn't come with Office 2013.
But, we can fix that at the HP web site.
If we go to the HP site to buy it, we can customize it to add what Costco doesn't have (and get free shipping). http://store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/Laptops/hp-pavilion-15z-laptop-m7d88av-1 #!&TabName=specs
0. We start with the HP price of $350 which comes with twice as much memory as Costco's (4GB -> 8GB) plus free shipping (worth $30), so it's only $20 more than the Costco price. 1. We add the Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 from HP for an extra $140 (either boxed, or already installed - I suggest they get the box for easier re-use later). https://store.hp.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CTOAddonsView?partNumber=QM4342 2. We add a WiFi "ac" card from HP for an extra $30 but is it dual band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz or not? 3. We add an extra wireless mouse and keyboard (no wires!) for $30 (because my sis wants that). https://store.hp.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CTOAddonsView?partNumber=LV290AA%23ABA The resulting price is $550 + tax (free shipping).
For that price, I see she gets a good laptop, but I chatted for half an hour with the HP sales chat people and they couldn't confirm if this 802.11 n/ac laptop has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz or if it only has one of those two frequencies.
HP chat sent me this URL but it just confirms that both "ac" and "n" don't have to be dual band; either one can be a single band. Also, it confirmed the 1x1 or 2x2 or 4x4 just means the number of dedicated data transmit and data receive antennas, which says absolutely nothing about the frequency. http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/pdf/next-gen-80211ac-wifi-for-dummies.pdf
My question is ... How can we tell from the HP WiFi card spec whether the NIC is 2.4GHz or 5GHz, or both?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 7 Sep 2015 06:15:37 +0000 (UTC), Ewald Böhm

Looks at the specs. If it says 802.11 followed by: b/g = 2.4 GHz only b/g/n = 2.4 GHz only a = 5 GHz only a/b/g/n = 2.4 and 5 GHz The key is the "a" as in 802.11a, which is 5 GHz only.

Broken link. Try: <http://reviews.costco.com/2070/100085182/hewlett-packard-hp-envy-15z-laptop-amd-quad-core-a10-backlit-keyboard-reviews/reviews.htm which says: 802.11b/g/n WLAN which is 2.4 GHz only. You might want to read the reviews.

A BlueGoof dongle can be plugged into the a USB port. <http://www.ebay.com/itm/321216764033 <http://www.ebay.com/itm/171217973745 Buy a few spares as I've been shipped defective receivers.
Office 2013 is usually extra. If you must have Microsoft Office, look at Office 365 or the various Office Mutations available. Or, use free open source software such as Libre Office or Open Office. There are also Office alternatives: <http://www.informationweek.com/software/productivity-collaboration-apps/8-microsoft-office-alternatives/d/d-id/1320386 <http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/best-microsoft-office-alternatives/ <http://www.pcworld.com/article/2010005/5-free-open-source-alternatives-to-microsoft-office.html
Still nym shifting?
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, September 7, 2015 at 3:42:55 AM UTC-4, Jeff Liebermann wrote:
Like Jeff says, the specs should say if it supports B/G or not. If it does, then it has 2.4 ghz. The one thing that wasn't posted was the link to the actual HP card so we could look.
I don't see a problem with getting MSFT Office Home for $140. When I bought my HP I got the starter version of Excel and Word for an additional fee, might have been $100. Boxed or not, is up to you. But these PCs typically ship with a complete backup image on a separate partition and they tell you and encourage you with some nagging to make a further complete backup image on CDs, from which you can also restore the whole thing if necessary.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
trader_4 wrote:

Keep in mind some WiFi card in HP laptops are white listed. You can't install(or upgrade) with any WiFi card. BIOS won't allow it. I use OpenOffice and it is free. Don't have to use word or excel.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Sep 2015 11:06:16 -0600, Tony Hwang wrote:

You have to realize what you're saying, & that your suggestion can't work.
If you were suggesting to "me" to use openoffice or staroffice or libreoffice or framemaker or numbers-pages-keynote or polaris office or kingston office or wps office or any number of freeware office look-alike apps, then your suggestion might actually make a lot of sense.
But, you can't take the average extremely non-technical grade-school teacher, and seriously suggest they use a free office-like equivalent, when they have enough trouble just getting used to the ribbon changing from one Microsoft office version to another.
They complain when they have to open an office 2013 doc in office 2007, and they fail at that, half the time, without help.
They can't even print something as simples as a protected PDF without my help.
So, if you're suggesting that free office-look-alikes are "equivalent" to office for such a person, then you fundamentally don't understand people.
It's just not gonna happen.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Sep 2015 04:56:58 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

I apologize and agree. I had posted a screen shot of all the information that HP provides: But that's all I have.
The problem is, if I look at a DELL or Toshiba or Lenovo laptop, I'll still have the SAME PROBLEM of figuring out whether it has 5GHz or 2.4GHz or both, from the specs.
So, it behooves us to be able to read the specs.
From what Jeff said, all I can tell is (is this correct?): 802.11 a ==> 5GHz only 802.11 b ==> 2.4GHz only 802.11 g ==> 2.4GHz only 802.11 n ==> 2.4GHz only? 802.11 ac ==> 5GHz only
Basically, if it has an "a" in the description, then it's 5GHz. Otherwise, it's 2.4GHz.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, September 8, 2015 at 12:35:07 PM UTC-4, Ewald Böhm wrote:


Have it your way, you gonna buy the thing or not?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 09:42:31 -0700, trader_4 wrote:

You missed the point.
I'm trying to *recommend* a laptop for a teacher who is not technical. I started at Costco, but the Costco laptop wasn't dual band. I went to the HP site and can't figure out if it's dual band.
If it's dual band, I'll recommend the teacher buys it. If not, I will choose another laptop.
I don't actually care what laptop she gets. I'm just trying to help her.
The laptop has to be about the right size & shape. It has to be within her price range (around $500 out the door). It has to have MS Office on it. It has to be Windows.
Everything else, she's leaving up to me. One thing I'm requiring is dual band 2.4GHz & 5GHz simultaneously (with backward compatibility).
All I'm trying to find out is if this HP 15z laptop is dual band. It's amazingly difficult to find this out.
I'm online right now with a supposedly-special HP customer support sales hotline (888-999-4747), and they STILL don't know the answer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 16:35:02 +0000 (UTC), Ewald Böhm
Nope. It should be: 802.11 a ==> 5GHz only 802.11 b ==> 2.4GHz only 802.11 g ==> 2.4GHz only 802.11 n ==> 2.4GHz or 5GHz <=== changed 802.11 ac ==> 5GHz only

Yes, but the "a" and "ac" are a concidence. The IEEE 802.11 committee(s) ran out of letters when they hit "z", so the started using two letter suffixes as in "as", "ab", "ac", etc. There fact that "a" and "ac" are both "5GHz only" is purely coincidental and should not be relied upon to determine if something operates on 5GHz.
As I mentioned before, if it does "ac", it should be able to do "a". Nobody makes a 5GHz only radio these days, so if it does 5GHz in any form, it should also be able to do 2.4GHz. However, these are logical deduction and assumptions which should not be relied upon. To be sure, you need to pry the Intel product number out of HP and lookup the specs on the Intel web site, which should have a better description of the products capabilities.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 10:17:44 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Thank you Jeff for clarifying this spec:
http://i.imgur.com/hBcFWkQ.jpg
After a half hour on three separate HP calls, I learned something (I think) that nobody told me yet... 1. HP Tech Support 888-222-0029 2. Advanced HP Tech Support 866-221-4553 3. HP Shopping Team 888-999-4747
HP: They first told me the ac card was just ac. ME: I told them that this was unlikely, so I asked them to doublecheck.
HP: After a long wait, they told me the "ac" card was backwards compatible, but it was only 5GHz. ME: I told them that was impossible.
HP: Then, after another long wait, they told me it was NOT dual band, but that it had both bands. ME: I told them that this confused me, and I asked them to clarify.
HP: Finally, they came back and said that the "ac" card was backwards compatible, so that it had two frequencies, but they don't operate at the same time, so it's not dual band. ME: I said thank you but I would like to ask you, Jeff, to clarify.
Does that HP answer make sense? The "ac" card is backwards compatible, so, it has both frequencies, but it doesn't do both frequencies at the same time?
What does that really mean?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 18:40:39 +0000 (UTC), Ewald Böhm

Please note that I did not suggest that you call support. I suggested you call pre-sales support (shopping team or something similar) and ask what model Intel wireless card is the "ac" device.

Sorta, if I read between the lines.

"ac" is always backwards compatible to "a". It has to be. Short lecture follows:
If you force the wireless router (not the client radio in the laptop) to do only "ac", then the maximum from router to laptop will be rather short. Basically, at a fixed power level, you trade range for speed. "ac" is all about speed, so the range decreases when it's used. If the BER (bit error rate) increases above some pre-programmed level, the router in "ac" mode will slow down, eventually going to the slowest "ac" mode speed. To go slower than that, it would need to revert to some "n" mode. Once the router slows down to the slowest "n" mode, it will need to go to ordinary "a" mode. If it didn't go: ac -> n -> a the wireless connection would not work more than a few feet in "ac" mode. Therefore, to obtain tolerable performance at reasonable ranges, the wireless devices need to support all the modes down to "a".
There is one exception. 802.11b is so disgustingly slow that the 802.11n spec (and others) demand that 802.11b be disabled if 802.11n is active.
End of lecture section (for now). Quiz to follow.
Now, on to the "dual band" problem. The issue of "simultaneous dual band" is more of a router problem than a client radio problem. The usual idea is that you can have different devices use different bands as required. To do this requires simultaneous dual band in the router, but not in the laptop client radio. For example, I've setup Roku wireless media player boxes to use 5GHz, while the laptops and tablets are all on 2.4 Ghz. I've also done the reverse, when there's so much screaming media traffic on 2.4Ghz that the only band that's usable is 5GHz. <http://www.netgear.com/landing/dual-band.aspx <http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/01/how-to-set-up-dual-band-wifi-and-juice-your-downloads/ Simultaneous dual band is (in my opinion) a requirement for wireless routers and access points. However, for laptops, tablets, and wireless client radios, it's only useful for marketing types that want to advertise higher speeds. There are protocols for bonding both the 2.4 and 5GHz channels between a laptop and a router in order to get higher download speeds. You're not going to see that on a $350 laptop and don't need it anyway. Therefore, the HP phone person was right that it's one band at a time, not both simultaneously.
Incidentally, the Bluetooth device shares the same radio as the 2.4GHz wi-fi section and are setup to alternate their operation so as to not mutually interfere with each other.

It means you've educated the HP phone support person. Somehow, I don't think that was your intent.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 10:17:44 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

This should be correct, by now, where I appreciate Jeff's patience: 802.11 a ==> 5GHz only 802.11 b ==> 2.4GHz only 802.11 g ==> 2.4GHz only 802.11 n ==> 2.4GHz or 5GHz (or both?) 802.11 ac ==> 5GHz only
Jeff: Notice the question mark in the "n" spec. Is "n" always just *either* frequency (i.e., one or the other). Or can "n" be either one or the other or *both* frequencies?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/08/2015 12:17 PM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

For completeness, there is the original 802.11 (with no suffix) that is also on 2.4GHz. IIRC, maximum speed for that is 2Mbps.
[snip]
--
107 days until the winter celebration (Friday December 25, 2015 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 9 Sep 2015 12:38:25 -0500, Sam E

Yep, however those were incorporated into the 802.11b specification. The two slowest speeds of 1 and 2 Mbit/sec became part of 802.11b when 5.5 and 11 Mbits/sec were added. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11#802.11-1997_.28802.11_legacy.29 Besides DSSS (direct sequence spread spectrum) there were also a few FHSS (frequency hopping spread spectrum) promoted by Raytheon, Breezecom (Alviron), and TI. However, you won't see these in modern equipment, unless you include BlueGoof, which is FHSS.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Sep 2015 00:42:47 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

So, if it doesn't have "a" (all by itself and not with "ac"), then it's not 5GHz? Is that correct?

laptop-amd-quad-core-a10-backlit-keyboard-reviews/reviews.htm>

This link worked for me just now: http://www.costco.com/CTOConfigureCmd?model=M0A67AV&catalogId 701&langId=-1&storeId301&refine=&categoryIdV001&prodtype=2

Sad story. Long story. Experience. Nothing else is Microsoft Office. You and I can handle any office lookalike program, but teachers can't. Office 365 is stupid, for anyone buying only 1 copy of Home & Student, and who is still using Office 2007, which means they'd pay for Office ten times over with the subscription than with the one price.
Back to the "a", which is 5GHz and "g" which is 2.4GHz. What if it's 802.11 b/g/n/ac ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 02:57:35 +0000 (UTC), Ewald Böhm

No. Both 802.11a and 802.11ac are 5 GHz only. Just look for the "a" and it should be able to do 5 GHz in some manner.

The WLAN card is listed as "802.11b/g/n WLAN [1x1]" which will NOT do 5 GHz.

Are you sure? Office 365 can be installed on 5 machines. If the skool has 5 machines of any type, which makes the price for each machine about $20/year. <http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Office-365-Home/productID.286395000 Meanwhile, Home and Student is $140 and should last about 5 to 7 years before it become too old to use. At an optimistic 7 years, that's the same $20/year per machine as Office 365.

No such thing. In order to do "ac", it will need to also do "a". So the typical designation will be: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Sep 2015 21:32:53 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Unfortunately, the "typical" designation doesn't help us here. The HP spec, as you have seen, just says "ac" for the high end card.
http://i.imgur.com/hBcFWkQ.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 07 Sep 2015 21:32:53 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

I'm sure, but only because of arithmetic.
She's a teacher. Not a school.
She only has an ancient WinXP desktop that has Office 2007 on it. When she gets a new laptop, she needs a new Office anyway.
1. Renting Office 365 for a laptop costs $100/year and can be put on 4 more non WinXP machines that don't actually exist. After 7 years, renting cost her $700 for Office for that one laptop, which is more than the laptop costs.
2. Buying Office 2013 costs her $140, and can be put on one desktop and one laptop. Since the desktop is WinXP, the additional license is moot, so, it costs her $140 for 7 years (or 10% less with the teacher discount).
It's a no brainer, to me; but this isn't the question in the OP, so it's just an offshoot discussion which isn't at all confusing to me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 8 Sep 2015 08:54:00 +0000 (UTC), Ewald Böhm

If you don't believe the numbers, then what do you believe?

Nope. Office 2007 will run on Win 10: <http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/windows/compatibility/CompatCenter/ProductViewerWithDefaultFilters?TempOsid=Windows%2010&Locale=en-in&Architecture=X64&TextSearch=microsoft%2Boffice%2B2007%2Bstandard&Type=Both&CurrentPage=0&TotalPages=1&ShowCriteria=0&SortCriteria=Relevance&Compatibility=Unknown&LastRequested > Grab Belarc Advisor, run it on the XP machine, and PRINT the results. Somewhere in there, it will have the various serial numbers needed for the installation. If the ancient XP machine crashes without a backup or a list of serial numbers, she will not be able to reinstall Office 2007 on a new machine: <http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html >1. Renting Office 365 for a laptop costs $100/year and can be put on 4

Right. With only one machine, Office 365 doesn't make economic sense. I was thinking of a skool, not an individual user. I still think the various alternatives (Google Office, LibreOffice, etc) are worth investigating.
Good luck.
--
Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 08 Sep 2015 09:46:35 -0700, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

Jeff. You are correct. But you were thinking differently than I was.
You were thinking of bringing the (winxp desktop) 2007 license upward to the new (win10 laptop), and I discounted that out of hand.
This is a hand-me-down desktop that someone else didn't want, so they gave it to this teacher, many years ago. It came with zero discs!
But that wouldn't stop you or me.
If it were you or me, we'd use Belarc to find the original office product key (or serial number, I forget which) and we'd then find the Office 2007 download ISO hidden deeply on the Microsoft web site - and we'd download that Microsoft-provided ISO, perhaps burn it to optical disc for re-use, and we'd simply install Office 2007 on the new laptop from that ISO, and we'd bring over the old key that we unearthed using Belarc Advisor.
In the end, you or I would have Office 2007 running on their one (winXP) desktop and their one new (win10) laptop, which is within the license constraints (I believe).
But that ain't gonna happen with these people. They are not technical. They can't handle the complexity.
Plus, it's time they moved into the new century, so, if they stick with Office 2007 (which they continue to call "Word 2007", not realizing there are multiple office apps), they will eventually have problems reading Office 2013 documents.
So, it's time they got a new Microsoft Office suite.
Since they will *keep* the WinXP desktop with Office 2007 on it, all we're looking at is a *single* license of Office 2013 (which they continue to call "Word 2013", which means they're not using Outlook).
So, the price comparison is the following: 1. Pay $100 per year for Office 365 for the rest of their lives, or, 2. Pay $140 once, for Office 2013 H&S for the one laptop.
To me, unless I missed a step, it's a no brainer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.