Q: Can you explain the difference between a multi-band Access Point (AP) and a dual-band AP?
A: Typically, the multi-band AP can work in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands but not at the same time. This means that you will need to configure your AP to transmit on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz band. These APs are ideal for small businesses that require the flexibility to change the frequency band sometime in the future.
Dual-band generally means that the AP is capable of transmitting on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands at the same time. In other words, you can deploy a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi network and a 5GHz Wi-Fi network using the same AP. These APs are ideal in larger enterprise organizations that want to support legacy equipment on the 2.4GHz band and allow newer 802.11n clients to attain higher data rates by connecting on the 5GHz band. In general, these APs have two sets of antennas, where one set operates on the 2.4GHz band and the other on the 5GHz band.
Always check technical specifications
The multi-band and dual-band terminology isn't consistent in the industry. You should therefore always check the technical specifications to see whether the AP allows simultaneous transmissions in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands.