Your Wi-Fi signal has a channel, and if you are using the 5 GHz WI-Fi, you don’t need to worry much about the channel you are on because it operates on a much higher frequency than the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, therefore, isn't subject to some common “microwave interferences” the lower band experiences. Nonetheless, connectivity can get pretty crowded with so many Wi-Fi devices dominating our lives, and of course the more you have, the more these channels get crowded consequently, your Wi-Fi quality suffers as a result.
As such, it’s crucial to distinguish if you are using a 5GHz or 2.4GHz band, especially if you’re thinking of changing your Wi-Fi channel not only to ensure that all your devices have as little conflict with each other as possible but also to achieve a better signal connection.
What Causes Interference with WiFi?
Imagine going a single day devoid of your favorite news sites or being unable to access social networks, Netflix, or Google; it would be like being in the dark ages. A steady WiFi connection is truly the most important relationship you could ever have in an era where the internet has become a gateway to everything the world has to offer. So, if your wireless network seems slow, your router’s position, microwave ovens, baby monitors, cordless phones, including obstacles, like walls and floors, have been shown to hamper Wi-Fi performance. However, the biggest source of interference today is using a Wi-Fi router that operates on a crowded 2.4GHz band.
If you live in an apartment block or a densely populated area, your neighbors' Wi-Fi networks could interfere with yours, hindering the performance and range of your wireless network. In this case, you can either buy a dual-band router that simultaneously operates at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz or change your Wi-Fi channel.
So, does changing channel improve Wi-Fi? Yes, it can. Why? While the 2.4GHz frequency band still plays a role in many wireless applications, almost all major technology takes place in the less troubled 5GHz band. Perhaps the main reason why the 2.4GHz frequency is crowded is that manufacturers continue to make devices that depend on it. Additionally, unlike the 5GHz ranges that have 500MHz of usable spectrum, there about 80MHz for 2.4GHz and while its signals propagate farther it makes it much easier for neighboring access points to interfere with one another.
You may be wondering what channel should your Wi-Fi be on? Wireless networks operate either in the 2.4GHz or 5 GHz frequency band, and today, most of the wireless interferences occur within the 2.4 GHz frequency and depending on the router, under ideal conditions, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi will support up to 450 Mbps or 600 Mbps while the 5 GHz Wi-Fi supports up to 1300 Mbps.
So, it’s a no-brainer here because the 2.4 GHz band is pretty crowded since it’s used by Wi-Fi enabled devices such as cordless phones, garage door openers, baby monitors, and many others. Of course, there are some caveats because the 2.4 GHz frequency band is better suited for longer ranges and broadcast through walls or solid objects; that is if you need better range on all your devices. The disadvantage of this band is that many devices use it consequently, the congestion then causes dropped connections and slower-than-normal speeds.
Conversely, you will likely get more stable connections and higher speeds with the less congested 5 GHz band as it has a large number of channels than 2.4 GHz that don’t overlap. However, if you have obstacles like walls the 5 GHz band uses shorter waves which makes it challenging to penetrate solid objects, but this shouldn’t put you off because you can mitigate this issue with range extenders. Additionally, most routers today are dual-band, meaning that they can operate on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies to give you the best of both Wi-Fi network worlds.
How to Change my Wi-Fi Channel
To help you figure out what your connectivity issues are, and change your Wi-Fi channel, you need the help of a wireless scanning app. Among the best Wi-Fi channel scanner tool that is now used by novices and professionals alike is NetSpot, which comes fitted with a survey and discover mode. It’s one of the most useful tools that lets you map a specific network area to deliver accurate signal propagation plus it also detects access points, monitor signal leakages, and scan your Wi-Fi network.
With NetSpot, you can quickly pinpoint dead zones in your home or office to re-position all access points accurately in order to enhance the signal consequently; this results in a significant boost of speed and quality of your Wi-Fi network.
Using this software to change Wi-Fi channels is easy-as-pie because all you need to do is upload the precise floor plan or map of your area, NetSpot automatically begins to collect Wi-Fi data of the zone. The map generated by the app helps you find spots that don’t have any wireless coverage and gives you a clear plan of your Wi-Fi network, which in turn, allows you to switch to the channels that offer favorable coverage.
NetSpot Wi-Fi signal booster app is one of the most sought-after applications for Windows and Mac OS that not only allows you to compare the signal to noise ratio of every channel, but it can also detect cross-channel intrusions, illegal workstations as well as false-positive invasion alerts.
The surge of wireless connectivity and network complexities calls for a multi-faceted troubleshooting tool, and NetSpot has thus far proven to be a well-regarded Wi-Fi signal booster and Wi-Fi survey app that will analyze and improve Wi-Fi network settings and coverage be it at home, office or school. This Wi-Fi site survey app can save you time because it’s easy to use and comes handy when you want to find dead zones and channel interference in order to build an optimal network or set-up repeaters as well as wireless access points to sure they run at peak capacity.
Published by Charlesa Gibson