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Are you tired of suffering a slow wireless connection 4 Reasons Why Your Wi-Fi Is So Slow (And How to Fix Them) 4 Reasons Why Your Wi-Fi Is So Slow (And How to Fix Them) When you rely on Wi-Fi, speed issues can hurt -- and Wi-Fi speed issues aren't always easy to diagnose. Here are some things you ought to check. Read More ? Maybe you’re paying for a 100 Mbps broadband plan but your actual speed comes out closer to 5 Mbps. Before you blame your ISP, you should check your settings.

Not long ago, a user on Reddit posted a Life Pro Tip that outlined an easy way to fix one of the most common Wi-Fi speed problems: poor channel selection.

wifi-analyzer-overview-details

Wireless signals travel in waves through channels in the air. If multiple signals use the same channel, they can interfere with each other. This causes data to be lost so the waves have to be rebroadcasted, which is why your speed drops.

If you live near other routers — such as in an apartment building — then there’s a good chance your slow Wi-Fi speeds are due to channel interference.

That’s why you should download and run Wi-Fi Analyzer (available on Windows and Android), which tells you which channels are being used.

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  • Run the app and analyze your network.
  • Look at channels 1, 6, and 11. Note which is least used.
  • Consider Wi-Fi Analyzer’s recommended channel.
  • Switch your router to that channel.
  • Done. That’s it!

For me, I went from 4.5 Mbps to 21 Mbps using Fast.com as my preferred tool for testing speeds. That’s almost 5x faster than what it was! Now I can make near-full use of my 25 Mbps broadband plan.

There are other ways to boost your Wi-Fi speeds, such as changing up the location of your router Wireless Feng Shui: How to Optimize Your House For Best Wi-Fi Reception Wireless Feng Shui: How to Optimize Your House For Best Wi-Fi Reception Setting up a Wi-Fi network should be an easy prospect, shouldn't it? I mean, a house is a closed-in box, and you'd think when you place a device that transmits wireless signals in all directions... Read More and learning to use some of the more advanced features 10 Crucial Features to Use in Your Wireless Router Setup at Home 10 Crucial Features to Use in Your Wireless Router Setup at Home Most wireless routers are equipped with a handful of amazing features that you probably aren't taking advantage of. Here are some of the more useful ones to start exploring right now. Read More . But channel switching offers the most bang for the buck, for sure.

Try it and tell us how it works for you! If you have any other tips for boosting Wi-Fi speeds, we’d love to hear them too. Share with us in the comments below!

  1. Peter R Grobe
    June 17, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Well written... Thnx!

    • Joel Lee
      June 19, 2016 at 4:13 am

      Thanks Peter! Hope it helped.

  2. Gail
    June 16, 2016 at 3:15 am

    I ran the analyzer and it told me to use channel 36. That is what I switched to and have no idea if it is right or wrong. If you aren't a tech guru you are screwed. IMO

  3. George Davis
    June 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Being somewhat of a Technical Software developer myself I started to explore channel selection at least 3-5 years ago. If you analyze your WiFi processes you immediately discover that, as you stated in the article, there can be a large swing in channel use. I did as the article suggested, went into my router settings and hard coded my channel to one that inicated faster capacity, and it worked, but not for long. The caveat here is that the router firmware detects a channel it determines is the best at the time and makes the assignment. Often, I would analyze the WiFi map only to discover it's changed, again, and the channel I assigned is no longer the best. In other words, the 2.4ghz spectrum is pretty dynamic. I did not find this to be true in the 5ghz spectrum. All of the 5ghz channels seemed to be firing on all cylinders as they used to say. My hearty recommendation? Dump your old router and purchase a Dual Band router such as the ASUS RT-AC66W (excellent product) that will then allow you to assign your High Speed Tablets, Smartphones, ROKU devices to the 5ghz band thereby greatly reducing the competition for bandwidth. A onetime expense for a new router (buy the fastest dual band you can afford) will, by far, increase your streaming, etc speeds a bunch (technical term) thereby negating the need to spend time juggling channels in the 2.4ghz jungle.

  4. Chris
    June 2, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    I actually just went through my system at the weekend after suffering a year of poor wifi signal in our new apartment.

    I have both 2.4g and 5g on the router and a 2.4g AP (power line) and on the recommendation of the manufacturers all had the same SSID.
    I often found it hard connecting to Upnp devices, Chromecasts etc and would find my internet lost when moving rooms and having to disconnect and reconnect.

    I separated the 3 AP's onto seperare SSID 's, devices that can connect to 5g only use this, devices that are static in the room with the powerline device connect to it and all others are on the main 2.4g on the router.

    I used Wi-Fi analyser as per this article and choose a quiet channel for each and have been experiencing fantastic speeds and my worries were over...... Until yesterday 2 of the Chromecast devices kept losing connection (every 5 minutes) and my wife had to connect to the AP instead of the router.

    Checking Wi-Fi analyser i found a neighbors router now on the same channel as ours and on a 5 minute cycle ours would raise in strength while theirs would drop then vice versa.

    I changed the router back to auto channel select and it seems fine, although the speed on the furthest chromecast is down.
    I've had to choose reliability over speed unfortunately.

    My 5g devices are still improved.

  5. Justin
    June 1, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    For me I switched from 2.4Ghz to 5ghz and found this was the best route as not many people use 5ghz. This app is very useful for seeing what channels are the busiest though.

  6. Zeugma
    May 31, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I live in the US and use the free version of inSSIDer software to view the WiFi signals in range. This software shows the signal strength in addition to channels being used.

    You need to make your channel selection to avoid the channels with the strongest signals other people are using in your area not just the same channel. I believe most WiFi routers default to Channel 6 so that may be the most commonly used.

    If all the signals are weak compared to yours then it's not that important but if the weakest signal is on the same channel you are using and all the others are significantly stronger, then use that channel.

    Other WiFi users also change channels now and then and new SSIDs pop up too so you need to check this periodically.

  7. fcd76218
    May 31, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    If most people are using the recommended channels 1, 6 and 11, doesn't that create a lot of interference and contention? Wouldn't it be better to use channels 3, 4, 8, 9 or 13?

    I read the Reddit Life Pro Tip and to tell you the truth, i came away more confused then before reading. There was no consensus. Almost every poster had a different idea of what is best. Very few offered any factual proof or reasons for their opinions. Most posters seemed to be guessing or just repeating hearsay.

    • John
      May 31, 2016 at 5:31 pm

      You can use the non-standard channels, but you still have to take into account the overlap.

      See the image in the article.

      Channel 3 would have overlap from 1 and 6.

      Also, this article only covers the 2.4Ghz channels, the 5Ghz are different.

      And it doesn't mention that some routers have the ability to automatically scan and change channels to find the best one.

    • Gary Lin
      June 2, 2016 at 12:14 am

      I'm no net guru but everything I've read says to use ONLY 1/6/11 as they are spread apart enough, any other channel will overlap and cause it and both surrounding channels to slow down due to interference. Yeah that is a stupid design from way back when.

      Multiple routers on the same channel aren't as bad. It's like the guy in the crosswalk playing leapfrogger in traffic causing rubbernecking vs flowing traffic taking it's turn in the same direction. Also depends if there's any actual traffic communicating regularly on that router.

      Best is to use much less crowded 5G, next 2.4G 1/6/11 with either weak or few other signals, but not one with an overlapping channel.

  8. Peter Fitzsimmons
    May 31, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    I doubt this would work for me as I am BT customer and they insist on spewing tons of signals from my router.

    One just one single wifi router i have: BT hub (how i access the net), bt wifi (used for public access!!!) bt wifi X (no idea what that is for), BT wifi - Fon (another access point i have no idea what it's for) .

    If I ever try to change channels, ALL of the wifi names move with it.

    BT refuse to cancel any of these "added extras" which are not of any benefit to me, but I still have to pay for them.

    I'd love to change my phone supplier but live in an area where they are the only supplier.

    • B.White
      June 2, 2016 at 10:41 am

      You are entitled to "opt out" of being a public hotspot but in doing so remove your free access to other hotspots provided by other users.

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