Posted by WifiExtSetup on 26th August 2020
In this Article we will learn what wifi channels are, how they work and which is the best wifi channel for your netgear Device and how you can change wifi channels to get the best wifi performance.
You are used to watching online videos every now and then either for resolving any routine, household, work related or any other tremendous type of queries or issues you encounter in your life or just as a recreational activity.
However, it is now irritating you, just because it is taking too long to load and appearing as if it is taking years. In today’s world, where every other person spends a good amount of time on such an activity, the issue in WIFI performance and speed is a common occurrence.
As every problem has a solution, this can also be resolved just by changing the WIFI Channel. Let’s understand what it is, how does it work and how to change the WIFI channel on a Netgear router by following a few simple steps.
Most of the routers these days broadcast data using one of the two WIFI frequency bands for signal: 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Some routers are dual-band routers i.e. providing the facility of switching the frequency band for your wireless network i.e. 2.4 GHz for more WIFI coverage and 5 GHz for faster speed.
The 5GHz frequency band is useful if you are living in a densely populated area such as an apartment building and 2.4 GHz is preferred to cover a wide space and you need your transmission to penetrate through solid objects.
The two frequency bands are like two highways having different width (range) and number of lanes (smaller bands). In order to choose the fastest lanes on either highway, the lanes with the least traffic will be preferred.
The lanes or the number of smaller bands on these frequency bands are known as WIFI channels designated with numbers like television channels. Thus, a WIFI Channel is a medium of sending and receiving data on a wireless network.
On most of the routers in the U.S., the 2.4 GHz frequency band is divided into 11 channels and the 5 GHz frequency band is divided into 45 channels. Any of the 11 channels of 2.4 GHz frequency band or 45 channels of the 5 GHz frequency can be chosen for a WIFI network for working smoothly.
Each subsequent frequency band uses a higher frequency than its preceding band with a slight overlap in the adjoining bands which leads to interference between the channels. So, for the smooth working one would need to select a WIFI channel with no overlap. Each channel on 2.4 GHz frequency band is allotted only 20 MHz, separated by 5 MHz and this 2.4 GHz band is only 100 MHz wide.
Thus, the 11 channels of 20 MHz overlap with one another. This overlapping causes the interference on WIFI network and a halt in its performance. Only three channels (1, 6, and 11) of the 11 channels on 2.4 GHz frequency band are free of any interference or overlap and hence these can work simultaneously in the US and channels 1, 7, and 13 in Europe. On the other hand, 5 GHz frequency band consists of 24 non-overlapping channels.
Even though most of the WIFI channels and the respective frequency bands are selected by our routers automatically in our homes, however; for larger wireless LANs and systems, frequency planning is usually required so that the best performance can be attained.
Further, for some of the home WIFI systems where WIFI extenders and WIFI repeaters have been attached, the knowledge of available frequencies and their best applications is useful. A few simple settings in the WIFI router and wireless extenders can improve the WIFI installation network speed.
There are several situations when there are high chances of wireless signal clash and hence a slower network when you can get rid of the interference by opting for the least crowded frequency band or WIFI channel.
For instance, when you and your neighbour are both using the same or overlapping WIFI channel for your wireless network leading to your wireless signal clash and hence an interference, slowing down your network. Secondly, using a WIFI router with a default set-up of WIFI channel number 6 with a probability of the same default channel being used in your neighbouring WIFI networks.
In these situations, using a wireless scanner tool like Actiontec’s free mobile app, WIFI Assistant is helpful to scan the activity on different WIFI channels. If a high traffic is observed on a particular channel then switching to a new WIFI channel can provide better WIFI speed. For example, if channel 6 is found to be highly crowded, channel 1 or 11 can be opted.
Network channels can be changed by following a few simple steps. Firstly, you will need to change the automated channel used by your wireless router. For this purpose, you will need to log in to the admin interface based upon the router’s model.
To access the router’s web-based control panel, you will need the IP address of your wireless router’s IP address. On the wireless settings page you can change the selected channel.
In case of an auto channel selection featured router, disable the automated feature and then manually choose your preferred channel.
In some regions, some of the channels are unavailable. In that case, you must be aware of the available channels in your region or you may experiment with different channels by hit and trial and find the best channel yourself. Else, select channels as widely spaced as possible.
You can also check our Extender Buying Guide if looking to extend Wifi Range.
Note: Extenders and the routers must operate on the same channel.
Following are the basic steps to change the wireless channel on Netgear router:
You can follow these steps to experiment with multiple channels and avail the best WIFI channel in your region
A number of apps like Wi-Fi Analyzer, Acrylic Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Scanner, or linSSID etc. are available in android that helps to select the best WIFI channel in Netgear routers. The 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi has 13 different WIFI channels, but according to the local regulations, 11 are available in most of the countries. Presently, the 2.4 GHz frequency band have most of the wireless interference because of fewer networks and devices using the 5 GHz band.
It is best to stick on to 20 GHz Wi-Fi on a less congested channel. Additionally, the 5 GHz band has a much larger number of channels that have least overlapping. Therefore, if you are using a dual-band 802.11n router and it supports 5 GHz, then you should use the less crowded 5 GHz band.
For more queries regarding how to change channels on Netgear router, you can connect with our technical experts.