Why should I change my Wifi channel ?
You have probably heard about people who change their wifi network channel. But should you do or at least know how to do the same ? The answer is Yes. Same way all of the RF devices that sends and receive data, your wifi device needs to establish a “channel”, that is, a specific radio frequency value that will be used to send wireless data.
All right, what’ the matter with that ? Well, the point is: Most routers and wifi modems are programmed by default to use the same channel band to send and receive data. That means that if you are on a building or near other users and your wireless network is dropping out often and the speed is not reaching the expected rate, that’s very likely because the traffic on the standard channel band used by the wifi devices is heavily loaded.
Changing your wifi channel to a less loaded frequency band will certainly improve your wifi connection.
How to choose a better a channel ?
A couple of minutes is all you need to change your wifi channel. Follow the steps below:
First of all, you need to find out which channel is less crowded. This is done using specific tools that analyses the wifi channels and provide you graphs showing how is the traffic on these channels. Some tools available are:
- WifiInfoView (windows)
- inSSIDer (windows)
- Wireless Diagnostics (MAC has this tool integrated on the OS)
- Wifi Radar (Linux)
On Linux systems you can also you use a prompt command:
These tools will show you graphically or in other forms how loaded are the wifi channels. A typical graph is like the one below:
You can identify by the different colours which channel band is less crowded. This graph was provided by inSSIDer. Some tools are paid, but there are free applications available that do the job as good as the paid ones.
After you identified the better channel to use, you need to access the web based configuration panel of your router. Follow these steps to do this:
- Connect to the wifi network.
- Launch a web browser and type the router default IP address. This is usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. Check out this list for more details.
- Enter your login credentials. If you have problems with password, check out the list indicated on step 2.
- You are in!
On the web configuration page of your router, go to the Wi-Fi settings and you will see the channel number on a dropdown-menu that can be manually changed. So, just insert the channel number you have found to be the best one on step 1.
Depending on your router brand and model, the precise location of the channel number may be slightly different, but it is no big deal to find it. Remember to save the changes performed before leaving the configuration page.
Now you’re done! Enjoy a faster and more stable network after reading this article and changing your wifi network channel.