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How to Change the WiFi Channel on Your Router

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You might notice times when your WiFi speeds drop or slow down in areas where you live. This is often due to too many people using the same WiFi channels within your area. It’s important to choose a WiFi channel that is not being used by anyone else in order to optimise your WiFi signal. To speed up your WiFi signal, here’s how you can change the channel of your router.

What is a WiFi Channel?

WiFi routers broadcast data in the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequency bands. Each band is broken down into channels, which are used to transmit and receive data over the WiFi network.

The frequency bands of 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz can be compared to two highways. WiFi channels are similar to lanes on these highways. You would choose the lanes with the lowest traffic if you were to choose which lane is fastest.

Channels 1, 6 and 11 are the best channels for 2.4 GHz bands because they don’t overlap.

img alt=”What’s a WiFi Channel?” src=”https://www.hellotech.com/guide/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/WiFi-analyzer.jpg”/>

If you use the 5GHz band, you have 24 channels that you can choose.

Learn more about the differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz and which one to use.

Many routers default to using the same channel. If you don’t modify your WiFi channel, your router will likely use the same channels as your neighbours. This could cause slowdowns in your WiFi signal. Here are the steps to change your router’s WiFi channel.

How to Change Your WiFi Channel

Log in to your router with any web browser. Open Wireless Settings, then locate the Channels drop down menu. Click Save.

Not all routers are alike, so the steps may differ for your router.

  1. Type your router’s IP into the address bar. You don’t need to know the IP address of your router. This step-by-step guide will show you how to find it on your Windows 10 PC or Mac.
  2. Next, hit and then enter into your keyboard.. To continue, click Advanced > Proceed.
  3. Enter your username and password. Next, enter your username and password.
  4. Next, open Wireless Settings . Your router will determine the exact location and name of this option. You will need to choose in most cases. Advanced Settings first.
    Notice: Choose the frequency band that you wish to change the channel to (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz). You might need to disable the auto-connect feature.
  5. Next click on the Channels drop down menu to change your WiFi channel.
  6. Last, be sure to hit Save or Apply.

Note: Saving your settings can cause your router’s to reboot. This could lead to a temporary loss of WiFi connectivity.

After you have learned how to change your WiFi channel you can find the most crowded WiFi channel. This is how the NetSpot app works to determine the best WiFi channel.

How to find the best WiFi channel

Download the NetSpot app on Windows 10 and Mac to find the best WiFi channels in your area. After installing the app, launch it. Next, click Details to select your frequency band. You will then be able see which channels have the highest traffic.

Not all computers that run Windows 7 or macOS 10.10 are compatible with the NetSpot app.

  1. Visit NetSpot’s official site. This information is available at netspotapp.com
  2. Click Get NetSpot. 
  3. Scroll down and click Download Now. You will then be able to download the free application
  4. Open the downloaded file to install NetSpot. You can find the app downloaded in your Downloads folder.
  5. Next, launch NetSpot. Click Continue. You can now use the free version.
  6. Then select your WiFi network. The SSID (service set identifier column) allows you to see all the WiFi networks within your local area. To sort by name, click SSID at top of column. Click the name to select your network. Make sure that the box to the right is checked. Click the name to select your network. Make sure you check the box to the left.
  7. Next click Details. This can be found in the lower-left corner. This will open a new browser.
  8. Next, select the frequency band. The tabs for the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands are located in the upper-right corner. You should now see the network you have selected in the previous window.
  9. Channels with the lowest traffic will be the best. Every network in your region will appear as a bar. Look at the numbers at the middle of each bar to see which channel is being used.

The highlighted network uses channel 36 on the 5GHz band. It is quite crowded so you might consider changing the channel to another part of the spectrum.

You will notice an increase in speed when you switch your network to a less-crowded WiFi channel.

You can find our guide to how to improve your WiFi signal here.

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