WiFi allows you to surf the internet using a modem and router without using cables. A secure wireless network makes sharing of files between computer and other devices very easy.
The wireless network can connect several computers and devices without the use of cables. The router enables the computer and devices to share file and documents, load files from portable wireless devices, connect multiple computers to a single printer.
If you have been spending money for a high-speed internet service provider without the expected result, or your WiFi network suddenly becomes slow, then you need to select the proper WiFi channel to improve the WiFi performance and coverage.
Understanding WiFi Channel
A WiFi channel is a route, means, or medium through which wireless networks can send data and also receive data.
We have different WiFi frequencies, and these frequencies have several channels. For the U.S made routers, the 2.4GHz band has 11 channels, and the 5GHz band has 45 channels.
Selecting the proper WiFi channel can improve your WiFi performance and coverage.
As you know, when so many WiFi networks overlap, it causes interference, which slows down the WiFi speed.
Hence, causing web pages to take forever to download, which leads to frustration and unpleasant experience surfing the internet.
The best WiFi channel is the one not being used by most other WiFi networks within your WiFi area or coverage. In the 2.4GHz band, the only non-overlapping channels are the 1, 6, and 11.
Meanwhile, in the 5GHz band, the situation is better because it has more space. This band has 23 non-overlapping channels that are 20MHz wide. The top standard today is the 802.11n, but the latest standard, which is the 802.11ac supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
Different WiFi Channels
WiFi 802.11 is used by many devices ranging from smartphones, laptops, tablets, remote sensors, actuators televisions, and others.
Different frequency bands within the radio spectrum are used for WiFi, and within this frequency bands are different channels.
WiFi is used within the unlicensed spectrum of the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) bands. These bands can be used without a transmitting license. The leading bands used for WiFi are:
The 2400 – 2500MHz often referred to as the 2.4GHz band, and it is the most widely used band for WiFi. It can carry a maximum of three non-overlapping channels.
The 5725 – 5875MHz often referred to as the 5GHz band has an additional bandwidth, with less interference. It gives a shorter range than the 2.4GHz, but it can carry up to 23 non-overlapping channels.
How to Change WiFi Channel
Sometimes you may want to change your WiFi channel for several reasons. However, most people find it a tad challenging to do; because they are unfamiliar with the steps involved in changing WiFi channels.
Here are steps you can take when you want to change your WiFi channel.
Step 1: Log into your router’s web interface: you can do this only by typing in the routers IP address in the browser.
If you don’t know your router’s IP address, then open a Command Prompt in Windows (PowerShell in later versions) and type “ipconfig” without the quotes. You will see the default gateway address from the resulting text.
Step 2: Copy and paste the default gateway address into the search bar of your browser, and your router’s admin web page will display.
Step 3: On your router’s admin page, a login option will be displayed where you will be asked to enter the admin password.
If you have not changed your default password, then use “admin” without the quotes or contact your service provider if it doesn’t work.
Step 4: Then look for WiFi settings from the web page that is displayed. Select the channel number from a drop-down menu.
If your router works on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, then you will have to choose the channel separately for each
Why Change the WiFi Channel
Sometimes you may experience a drop in speed of your current WiFi channel, the cause of this may not be far from interference.
This interference is caused when a series of networks broadcast on overlapping channels, therefore, making the stable system unstable and unusable.
Some channels produce better WiFi performance than the other because they are non-overlapping.
So, when you start experiencing slow WiFi connection, know that you may have to check your current WiFi channel. And, be sure it is not in an overlapping channel.
Once you discover the signal is overlapping with another channel, then follow the steps above to move to a non-overlapping channel.
WiFi Channel Scanner
Here’s where a WiFi channel scanner comes in; it helps you to detect possible WiFi issues and fix them by selecting the best channel.
The use of the wrong WiFi channel causes most WiFi channel-related issues.
To avoid this from occurring, use a WiFi channel scanner/analyzer such as Netspot.
To use the WiFi scanner, you’ll first have to either download the Netspot app or log in on the web version of the app.
Launch the app; then, select the Discover mode located in the toolbar.
Scan through all the available WiFi networks by selecting the small square icon under the Discover icon.
Click on the network you wish to analyze and select details.
Netspot is a broad WiFi site survey, WiFi scanner and analyzer, and also a troubleshooting tool for Windows and macOS.
How do I improve my WiFi Signal?
To improve WiFi signal you have to put your modem in a clear, central place in your home.
Avoid obstacles such as walls, cupboards, and others between you and the modem, also know that a typical indoor WiFi has a range of about 30 meters.
Get a WiFi extender if you have a larger area to cover.
Place your modem on a high level because WiFi signals travel better downwards.
Always keep your modem away from other devices that broadcast WiFi signals such as microwaves, metals, and others.