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Could Changing Wi-Fi Channel Boost Your internet Speed?

Are you paying big money to your ISP for a high speed internet and not getting an expected speed? If you’re stuck with slow speeds on your Wi-Fi devices, before blaming anyone, it’s time to check your Wi-Fi settings… Perhaps you can get a better Wi-Fi coverage and performance by choosing a right Wi-Fi channel.

Think of the channels as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ channels. Selecting a good channel for your network is the key to improve your network performance, as the bad channels always have some level of interference, which ultimately affects your connection speeds and throughputs. To explain the difference, let’s start with the Bands.

2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Bands

These are the two different bands that your Wi-Fi can use for signals. The difference between these two are mainly the speed and the range. And of course, choosing a band depends upon what band your Wi-Fi router supports and also the speed through it varies upon what wireless standards (802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or 802.11ac) it supports.

The 2.5Ghz band is better for longer range and powerful transmission through solid walls and objects. If you have longer range requirement, you should consider the 2.5Ghz band. However, large number of other devices like cordless phones, baby monitors etc. are using this band, which can result in congestion and can cause dropped connections and slower speeds.

The 5Ghz band is less congested and you will get more speed and stable connections. It offers non-overlapping 23 channels (20MhZ). But the shorter waves used by this band makes it less able to penetrate through solid walls or objects. And yes, you might have options to improve this range by using Wi-Fi extenders and all but again it’s another investment.

If you are using a dual or tri-band router, you will have the option to use both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, and you can choose the band according to your connecting devices and the range requirements. If the router supports only one band, that’s just your only choice. The 2.4Ghz is the most common band and most of the Wi-Fi devices works well on this band.

Wi-Fi Channels and Interference

For 5GHz channel selection is really just about selecting a channel that doesn’t have any other access point using it, however for 2.4GHz it’s a bit more complicated.

The 2.4GHz band is divided into a number of smaller channels and choosing the correct channel for your location is the most effective method of getting the best wireless network performance. All channels overlap with their neighbor channels. So the trick is to make sure you are using channels that don’t overlap. For example if your neighbors were using channels 1 and 6 then you should select channel 11, any other choice would result in your device and your neighbors device interfering.

If you are looking for a high throughput and less interference, channels 1, 6 and 11 are your best choices. Then again, considering other networks in your area, one of those might be better than the others.

If there are multiple Access points using the same channel, there might be the chance of Adjacent channel or Co-Channel interference. The interference occurs when the two network overlaps, and the devices will transmit at the same time and causes congestion which then affects the performance of both the networks. This can lead to a slow internet - or no - internet.

If there are multiple access points using the same channel, you get interference. Interference occurs when the two network overlaps, and the devices will transmit at the same time and causes radio signal congestion which then affects the performance of both the networks. This can lead to a slow internet - or no - internet.

So, it’s important to first identify the overlaps in your Wi-Fi network and then plan your channels accordingly.

There are different tools that can help you to find the clearest channel. The one tool we are discussing here is the Wi-Fi Analayzer.

Wi-Fi Analayzer

A Wi-Fi Analyzer is a popular (free) Android tool that helps you to analyze your Wi-Fi network. You can do a scan of your network through this tool and there are few different options you can take advantage of.

Channel Graph

The channel graph in Wi-Fi analyzer will show you the available Wi-Fi networks and also displays any overlaps in the channels.

Channel Rating

Where there is no clear channel space (as in the image above) then using the app’s Channel Rating is a good approach.

The channel rating will rate all the available channels, displays the number of access points in each channel etc. It will also suggest the best possible channels in your area.

Access Points

This option gives quick glance of your network and your neighboring Wi-Fi networks. The security detail will help you to identify the security method implemented in each Access Point.

Thanks

We hope you found this article from Netcelero interesting. Netcelero combines existing internet connections to eliminate downtime, improve network security and many other business critical benefits, even in remote locations. For example, Netcelero is perfect for Wi-Fi users who need a robust connection and a globally routable static IP address.


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