Changing Wireless Channel to Improve Wireless Signal Quality

Quality of WiFi signal from an Access Point(AP) is determined by many factors in addition to the device quality. wireless interference, obstacles in between your laptop and AP, the power of antennas, etc can influence the total signal strength. One common reason for low signal quality is the competition between different WiFi routers to use the same wireless channel. We can test it by changing the current channel to a different one. IEEE802.11 networks use multiple WiFi channels starting from 1 to 11. Among these, the best are 1,6 and 11. We should use one of these three because these three are having no overlapping. If your router is using channel 1, you can change it to 6 or 11 and check for improvements in signal quality. If you are using smart AP which can detect the best channel by analyzing the interference, you should set auto. Most modern devices support this auto-detection feature.

Now let us check the relation between interference and Wireless channel. Normally we consider the interference by other devices which uses the same frequency of Access Point. Two devices having same frequency range can cause WiFi interference. It can be avoided by increasing the distance between them. Interference on the same wireless channel is also similar. If more than one WiFi device broadcast signal in the same channel, it causes interference and reduces the wireless quality. For example, if your router uses 1 to broadcast signal, you do not need to change it as long as there are no other routers or APs use the same number. However, if multiple devices use 1, to broadcast, you may need to change to 6 or 11 to avoid interference. 1, 6 and 11 are the three non-overlapping channels.

Changing Channel will not Change the Frequency

If you are using IEEE802.11g device to broadcast, changing the channel will not change the working frequency. The 11g device works in 2.4GHz frequency. 11a works in 5 GHz and 11b standard uses 5 GHz. If you go for the 802.11n standard, it can operate in both 5GHz and 2.4GHz. Though backward compatible with 802.11n, IEEE802.11ac standard works in 5GHz only.

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