Step by Step How to Change Wi-Fi Router Channel
Technological advances had seen Wi-Fi networks come a long way from when they were first introduced. However, many factors affect Wi-Fi speeds, such as your router set up or interference from buildings or other objects. You can easily change your Wi-Fi router channel via a few easy steps.
Going through your router’s settings, you will see various channels, and most likely, your router is set on Auto.
What are Wi-Fi Channels?
Wi-Fi channels are found within Wi-Fi frequency bands and are used to send and receive data. You have several channels you can choose from, depending on the frequency band your router is on. The different channels to choose from include:
- Eleven channels on the 2.4 GHz frequency, of which only channels 1,6, and 11 overlaps. These channels are 22 MHz wide, with 5 MHz spaces in between the adjacent channels.
- Forty-five channels on the 5 GHz frequency band. It has 23 20 MHZ and non-overlapping channels, several 40 MHz, 80 MHz, and 160 MHz channels.
Some channels are better than others because of Co-Channel interference where devices are crowded on one channel and Adjacent-Channel Interference, where devices from different but overlapping channels are competing to communicate, each trying to outdo the other.
To avoid all this interference, you can opt for a non-overlapping and less crowded channel.
Wi-Fi Channel Width
Each Wi-Fi channel is allocated a 20 MHz segment in its frequency. They can also be joined to make a wider segment. Your Wi-Fi channel width determines how much data can be sent, as well as the speed. A wider channel is better for sending more data faster unless there is interference.
How do You Know the Best Channel?
The best channel is relative and subjective. You should check which channels other networks in the neighborhood are using. Downloading a Wi-Fi analyzer on Android or a Windows app will help you identify any problems with your Wi-Fi, as well as the best channel for you to use. Unfortunately, there is no Wi-Fi analyzer for iOS, and there are no apps in the Apple App Store that can report your signal strength.
Connect your phone to your Wi-Fi network and log into the app. If your router is using separate 2.4 and 5GHz channels, connect to each of them and check which of the two is less crowded.
A graph appears, showing all the nearby networks in different colors. The graph also indicates the channels they are on, plus the signal strength. A higher curve indicates a strong signal, so you can easily tell your network’s signal strength.
How to Change the Wi-Fi Channel on Your Router?
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to change your Wi-Fi channel.
Wirelessly connect your PC to your router or use an Ethernet cable to connect to its LAN port. Navigate to the address bar and type 192.168.3.1, which takes you to the router’s management page.
Navigate to More Functions, click on Wi-Fi Settings, and select Wi-Fi advanced. Select the 2.4GHz channel and choose the Wi-Fi channel you want.
Changing the Router Channel on Apple
If your router is an Apple such as Airport Extreme or Time Capsule, you can still change the channel. Go to Applications and select the Airport Utility folder. Look for the network provider base station and enter the password. Click on ‘Edit’ then ‘Wireless.’
Click on the ‘Wireless Options’ at the bottom of the window where you will find the channel selection. Pick between 1,6 and 11, or whichever the Wireless Diagnostic suggests. Save changes.
Changing Channel Using a Wi-Fi Analyzer on Android
- When you launch the Wi-Fi Analyzer, it leads you to the channel graphs. To check the channel rating, click on Menu Key on the device and click on ‘View.’
- From the list that appears, click on Channel Rating
- To select your network or access point, click on “Please tap here to set an AP.”
- After you choose your AP, a star rated channel list appears. At the screen’s top, your AP and your network channel will be listed. Wi-Fi Analyzer recommends other channels should they be less crowded.
The Wi-Fi Analyzer has a Signal meter that allows you to check whether your router is in an ideal location. Use the signal meter to walk to different locations in your office or home to check the signal reach so that you can make necessary changes.
Changing your Wi-Fi channel is not as complex as you may think. You can do it manually by following the above steps or use a Wi-Fi analyzer, which simplifies the process for you.