Change the channel on your access point or router

WIFY

Today’s post is a tip about wireless network.

If you can see a lot of other wireless networks besides your own where you are living, you might want to switch to another channel on your router or access point. In my case I can see more than 10 wireless networks where I live. In this case this can cause some issues with connectivity and speed if too many of them are using the same channel as I am. This problem is that many of the products you buy today use the same default channel/frequency. To avoid this I have found out how to detect which channel the other network are running on and changed my channel to another one that not was used by others. To figure out what channel is optimal for your router or access point, you can use the free software named insSIDer from Metageek. With this software installed you can see what channel your neighbors use and change to a channel that not is used by anyone only be a few networks. If too many Wi-Fi router/access points are using the same channel they might interfere with each other. The channel that is best in my situation might not be the one that you should use. You will have to test what is best in your situation. With insSIDer you can get an idea of what is best for your network.

insSIDer (Click to see large image)

Each channel represents a frequency.

Here is the list of channels (frequencies associated) of the ISM bandwidth (2.4 GHz) authorized in Wi-Fi:

Channel 1: 2.412 MHz
Channel 2: 2.417 MHz
Channel 3: 2.422 MHz
Channel 4: 2.427 MHz
Channel 5: 2.432 MHz
Channel 6: 2.437 MHz
Channel 7: 2.442 MHz
Channel 8: 2.447 MHz
Channel 9: 2.452 MHz
Channel 10: 2.457 MHz
Channel 11: 2.462 MHz
Channel 12: 2.467 MHz
Channel 13: 2.472 MHz
Channel 14: 2.484 MHz

How to change the channel:

Well on my router (Zyxel) it was pretty easy, but you might need to check the manual of your Wi-Fi product if you can’t find it. Under “Wireless LAN” I had the possibility to change the channel from the factory default to the one I wanted.

You don’t need to change anything on your clients. They will automatically change to the new channel.

Change channel on wifi

[youtube]SSk50pS-nVA[/youtube]

Video from Metageektrent’s Youtube Channel

Give it a try and drop me a comment on your experience with insSIDer or changing channel on your Wi-Fi network.

Thomas
About the author:
I am an IT Professional that has this blog as a hobby project in my spare time. I have been in the IT business since 1996 and want to share some of the thing I have picked up over the years with people who visit this blog...

>>Subscribe to my Newsletter<<

13 Responses to Change the channel on your access point or router

  1. Adrienne says:

    Hey Thomas,

    I don’t have a wireless connection but my friend does. She’s always complaining about not receiving a good connection so I’m going to have to send this post to her to read. I bet this will solve her problem and she’s going to be SO happy I now have a new contact in the tech world. 🙂

    Dang, you are so smart.

    Adrienne

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Adrienne
      It is for sure worth a try. It can also some times help to move the router to another location for better coverage.

  2. vighnesh nair says:

    I appreciate your knowledge thomas ! awesome 🙂

  3. Marlon says:

    Thomas,

    Most people don’t have knowledge about the basics of networking. This is one of the basics that all people with wireless networks in their home should know.

    I’m sure many will appreciate this post – so basic yet so useful!

    -Marlon

  4. Mark Monelli says:

    Wow, i didn’t think of that. I’ve tried so many things, i was actually going to figure out if i couldn’t have multiple wireless routers so if the internet goes down on one i can connect to the other. I’ll try it tonight and see how it goes for a week.

  5. Vernessa Taylor says:

    Hey Thomas!

    Love these tips. Nice piece of software with a catchy name (who would’ve thought to stick the SID “inside”) 😀

    Thoughtful of MetaGeek to code up a Linux version.

    • Thomas says:

      Thank you Vernessa
      It is a cool little tool that can make a big difference. I actually changed the channel on a router at some friends I was visiting today. They had problem with the signal falling out from time to time and it really helped a lot.

  6. Allyson Stewart says:

    I’ll have to look into trying inSSIDer. I can definitely see several other wireless networks nearby. And I do have problems from time to time with my connection. I might have to switch channels.

    Thanks for pointing this out, Thomas. Very helpful indeed!

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Allyson
      You should give it a try. It might give you a better connection because most people are using the default settings. Otherwise you can always switch back if you don’t think it has any effect on your connection.

  7. Andrew Dawson says:

    yeah!Changing the channel makes your connection faster.sometimes you will get frequency conflict, specially if you have a lot if gadgets.thanks for the share.

  8. Christa Joe says:

    I never knew that wireless routers can share same channel in vicinity. I always it to work on the same principle a GSM antenna for mobile works, re-using frequencies or channels but at distant location.
    This will surely help many people to figure out the optimum channel to be used to work properly.
    Thanks for such a nice information Thomas.
    Great going.

  9. Edie says:

    I have been using WiFi analyzer on my droid phone which does alot of things inSSIDer does. I have discovered that most my neighbors were broadcasting on 1, 6, and 11 @ 2.4
    I moved to channel 9, decreased my beacon to 50, decreased my frag threshold to 2306 and my RTS threshold to 2307 and kept my channel width to 20 only and (yeaaa!) my neighbors superhub is no longer trying to ‘find me’. Well for now, anyway. Thank you for posting the frequencies for 2.4 as I can distance myself away from the congestion.

    The best part is I no longer have router signal drop outs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *