With the increasing need to have an effective network, our questions about this network increase by the day. You might have experienced your connection slow down randomly or notice sudden glitches in the system.
We cannot afford such interruptions, especially now. With a pandemic over our heads, we are all dependent on finding a network that helps us move through our day most smoothly.
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Essentially, “Wi-Fi channels are smaller bands within Wi-Fi frequency bands that are used by your wireless network to send and receive data. Depending on which frequency band your router is using, you have a certain number of Wi-Fi channels to choose from.” Thus, finding a good Wi-Fi channel is pretty much the need of the hour today.
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Now, the question is, how exactly does one identify the best channel for a router on their operating system?
Firstly, it is essential to choose the right Wi-Fi frequency band. While you may want to choose 2.4 GHz as it is the more feasible option, you might also want to check the area around you. A 2.4 GHz band would be perfect for a home with many floors and rooms to reach, but it is wiser to use a 5 GHz band for a home with a more open floor and fewer rooms and objects to fill up space.
The following action you can take is to understand which channel is the least packed in your area. Then you can observe which networks use which channel. For example, the 2.4 GHz band is crowded, so it is wiser to choose channels 1, 6, and 11 since they are the only channels within this band that do not overlap. While channels 1-13 can all be used for the 2.4GHz band in the United States, only three of these channels are considered non-overlapping. Selecting such channels is an important part to remember as it will ease setting up your network.
If your Wi-Fi channel is the same as most of your neighbors or overlaps with them, then you are sure to experience a large number of interferences. Today, most wireless routers select a channel for you automatically during the setup. Still, it is always better to be prepared and know your media yourself to prevent fraud or mismanagement.
Further, there is a large array of applications or softwares that can also be used to find the best channels for you. Some of the best Wi-Fi Analyzer tools are NirSoft WifiInfoView (Windows), NetSpot (MAC), WifiFoFum (iOS), and Wi-Fi Analyzer for your (Androids).
NirSoft WifiInfoView has a simple interface, and it does the job of finding suitable channels without installation. All you need to do is launch the analyzer tool, locate the channel header and click on it to sort by Wi-Fi channel. It displays extensive information about the different media, including Network Name (SSID), PHY Type (e.g., 802.11 g), RSSI, Signal Quality, Channel Number, Frequency, Maximum Speed, Signal Quality, Counter, Company/Group Name, Router Modem and Router Name.
NetSpot is an easy and free wireless software. Just a few clicks will load the area map and quickly start a network site survey. Just point to where you are on the map, and NetSpot will start measuring wireless signals then and there. You can also make a move around and collect Wi-Fi data of the entire area. And then, you can proceed to choose the best channel for your network, which is the one without any noise sources and radio signal leakages.
A popular Wi-Fi scanning utility for iPhones is WifiFoFum. It scans wireless 802.11 networks and then displays detailed information about each of these networks. In the US, only eleven of these channels are legally available. Then, a radar graphic shows the locations of each network through Google Maps to provide an accurate geographic representation of the same. While iPhones have a built-in feature to identify channels, such an app boosts its performance since it distinguishes between the different channel strengths.
Wi-Fi Analyzer has made it easy to turn your phones into an actual Wi-Fi Analyzer! It shows you the different Wi-Fi channels around you to identify the minor crowded channel in your area and set your network based on it.
Once you have found the most effective and most minor congested channel in your area, the next step is relatively easy. If you were previously facing many disturbances or glitches in your network, all you got to do now is make the switch. Changing the channel your router chooses should be simple. You have to log into the router’s web interface in your web browser.
To do that, you need the IP address of your router, which is easily accessible. You then enter it on your browser’s search bar and hit enter. Once you have finished logging in, you can browse the router’s web-based administration pages and go on configuring its settings. Just click on the Wi-Fi settings page, locate the Wi-Fi channel option and choose your new network.
If you do not find it at first, there is no need to worry. It might just be on some other more advanced settings page. And that’s it! You have now attached your network to the channel with minor interruptions. This means that you can sit on your couch or work on your laptop or even attend your university for hours without any interruptions! This is, indeed, the formula to attain absolute Wi-Fi bliss.