Have you checked your wireless internet speed and found unsatisfying results? There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for high internet speeds and not seeing that speed reflected in practice. It feels even worse when your internet service provider tells you everything looks fine from their end.
The good news is you can get better speeds by switching your wifi channel. Here, you can learn everything you need to know about finding the best wifi channels for your needs.
2.4GHz vs. 5GHz
Before diving into the individual wifi channels, it’s important to understand the difference between channel bands. Older wifi routers only support the 2.4GHz channel band, while more modern routers likely support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. That said, even though the 5GHz band is newer, it may not suit your needs.
In short, the 2.4GHz band covers a larger range than the 5GHz band. While it reaches farther, it doesn’t transmit data as fast. These are the main differences between the two, and which one you choose will depend on your location.
If your router can only connect in a room far away from where you plan on connecting to the wifi, then a 5GHz band connection will encounter a lot of interference. Since it is a higher frequency, it has trouble penetrating thick walls and solid objects. In this case, a 2.4GHz band might serve your connection better.
However, if you live in an apartment complex or close to other buildings that use wifi, you may encounter interference from competing 2.4GHz connections. This happens because the 2.4GHz band is divided into wifi channels. These channels range from 1-14, with some variance.
If everyone in your area uses the same channel or channels close together, the overlap will cause the wifi signal strength to struggle. Because of this fact, you’ll want to figure out what channel is best to help you achieve fast wifi.
How to Find the Best Wifi Channels for You
In general, the best wifi channels are 1, 6, and 11. They have the least amount of overlap, which equates to less interference. Your router is likely set to automatically connect to one of these three channels out of the box.
Usually, this automatic connection is enough, and you won’t have to worry about finding a better wifi channel. But if your neighbors also connect to the same channel as you by default, it may lead to overlap. For example, if everyone in your building uses Channel 1, it’s going to get crowded fast.
To solve this, you’ll have to dig a little deeper, but most operating systems don’t have a sufficient built-in tool to analyze wifi channels. To get the information you need, you’ll have to download a wifi analyzer. Online, you can find both free and paid wifi analyzer apps, depending on how much detail you want.
Once installed, you can see a full list of available networks and how busy each channel is. For example, you can measure the strength of your wifi signal, which channel bands are available to you, and how many connections exist on each channel.
Using this information, you can then narrow down which channels experience the least amount of activity. From there, you can log onto your router’s web interface to adjust the settings. You should find an option to change the wifi channel.
Once that’s done, you can test your wifi signal strength and decide if that’s the right option for you. Generally, you’ll want to stick with channels 1, 6, or 11, but it’s worth experimenting to find the fastest connection. For more guidance on how to find the best wifi channel for your home or office, visit the following link: https://setapp.com/how-to/best-wifi-channel.
Other Ways You Can Improve Wireless Signal Strength
If you’re not getting the speed you want or stuck on an overlapping channel, what can you do? A reboot can work wonders. Turn your modem or your router off for a few seconds and plug it back in to reset the connection.
If that doesn’t work, you can contact your internet service provider and have them reset the connection on their end. Some providers allow you to do this online for ease of use. If this doesn’t improve your signal, something else is causing the interference.
Next, you should place your router in an optimal location. If you place your router behind your media center or other objects, you will stifle the wifi signal. This is especially true if you’re using a 5GHz band, which has difficulty penetrating walls and thick materials.
To get the best performance and range from your router, you should place it in an open space. Make sure nothing blocks it, and try to place it higher up. For example, if you put your router on a shelf, it will make it easier for the wireless signal to spread through the room.
You should also place your router in a central location for maximum spread. Doing so will provide a decent connection no matter where you are in the building. The closer you are to the router, the better the connection.
You can also try turning off the internet connection on any device demanding wireless access at the same time. Your router will divvy up its attention to transmit data to each device. In doing so, it will take longer to send data to each source.
To focus your wireless connection on the device that needs it most, you can turn off or disconnect the internet temporarily on other devices. You might not even realize which devices are connected to the wifi. Check every smart device, like smart televisions, and disconnect your phones to use data instead to free up internet interference.
Optimize Your Network for a Better Internet Experience
Finding and switching to the best wifi channels may improve your internet speed, but if not, you may need to look into other ways you can optimize your network. Every piece of networking equipment comes with its own tips and tricks, so don’t stop your journey to the ultimate internet experience yet. Take a look at your network layout and listen to the internet wizards out there to improve reliability and performance.
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