In most cases whenever we set up our new router, we don’t pay too much attention to the Wi-Fi settings, especially the wireless channels. As a result, the default channels are just too crowded and this affects the speed of the entire wireless network. One of the ways to make things better is to change the default wireless channels. If you aren’t sure how to change the default wireless channel keep reading. This article is for you.
How to Find the Best Wi-Fi channel
As you can see the Wi-Fi channel can be changed pretty easily, but finding the best one requires some additional efforts and knowledge.
When we set up the router for the first time it tends to select the best channel at the moment. However, as your neighbors add their routers, they also select the same channel and over time it becomes too crowded. As a result, internet performance becomes weaker and weaker. You are starting to have problems with slow internet and you can’t get the most out of it. This is the main reason why the Wi-Fi channel needs to be changed.
One of the ways to find the best Wi-Fi channel is to choose and test one by one. However, there are some apps that can help you with this and you can easily find them available for both Android and iOS powered devices.
How to Change the Wi-Fi Channel
We don’t want to bother you right now what are Wi-Fi channels and how do they work. Instead, let’s see how you can change the Wi-Fi channel on your own. Later, if you have time, you can read what are the benefits of making the change. So, let’s get started!
The change you need to make needs to be done in the wireless router settings. In order to get access to these settings, you need to login into the wireless router first. To do this properly you need to know the router’s default IP address and the router username and password. And of course, you need to have access to the wireless network before you login or you won’t be able to reach the router login page.
The router IP and the router login details can be found in the user’s manual or printed on a sticker on the router. Alternatively, if you are a Windows user, you can find it on your own using the “ipconfig” command in the Command Prompt. The default router IP will be listed as Default Gateway in the results presented after you type the mentioned command.
Now, let’s say that the Default Gateway is 10.1.10.1. This means that your default router IP is 10.1.10.1. Type this IP in the Address bar in the browser you use most frequently.
After you hit the Enter button you will be asked to enter the default username and password. If you haven’t changed them you can use the ones found in the user’s manual or on the sticker we have mentioned before.
In case you don’t have the user’s manual and there is no sticker on the router try a combination of the following usernames (admin, user) and passwords (admin, password or leave this field blank).
After you enter the default login details you will gain access to the router settings. The option we need to change is usually located in the Advanced settings. The process of changing the Wi-Fi channel is pretty much the same in every router but depending on the router manufacturer the router’s user interface some things will be different. But don’t give up, just look for the proper settings, they are there for sure.
After you click the Advanced settings tab, find Wireless Channel in the menu. Here you can change it to a channel that is not so crowded. You can read below how to find the best wireless channel either by trial and error method or with the help of some third-party apps.
Most router’s today are dual band routers which means that there is a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless network available. It is important to change the wireless channel on both of them.
After you make the changes, don’t forget to save the changes and then log out.
Find the Best Channel Using Third-Party Apps
There are many apps in the Play Store and App Store that are designed to help you find the best wi-fi channel for your router. However, there are some that don’t do their job quite well while there are others that are just great. For example, Acrylic Wi-Fi, NetSpot, and Wifi Analyzer are very good wireless channel finder apps. Some of these apps have versions for Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS so choose what suits you best.
These tools will scan your network and they will suggest the best wireless channel for your router. Once you determine the best wireless channel, login to your wireless router and select it in the settings. The improvement should be noticeable almost instantly.
Is there a way to test the improvement?
Well, besides the noticeable improvement you can test the difference online. For example, you can use the free online tool at speedtest.net where you can measure your current upload and download speeds. When you visit the site just press the GO button on the screen and wait for the test to complete. In under a minute you will get the results. It is recommended to perform the test before and after you change the wireless channel in order to have something to compare the improvement.
We hope that this guide has helped you improve your internet speeds by choosing the best wireless channel. As you could see it was not that difficult to make the change. The steps given here will work for any router no matter what the brand is, but as we have said before there may be some differences depending on the router brand and model.