Aug 01, 2013

Why should you use WiFi channel 1, 6, or 11?

I know that generally it is better to choose WiFi channel 1, 6, or 11, but why are these better? It would seem to me that if everyone uses these three channels, it would be better to pick one of the other channels.

Change Your Wi-Fi Router Channel to Optimize Your Wireless Signal

"If you live in an apartment complex you’ve probably noticed more than just the passive-aggressive network IDs that your neighbors use—very likely you’ve had problems with your wireless connections dropping out, or just not being as fast as you’d like. Here’s a quick fix.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing you need to do to make sure your wireless network is running at maximum speed, but for today’s lesson we’ll show you how to pick the right channel to make sure you can stream the new Futurama episode to your laptop without skipping."

They don’t overlap the way other channels do. Think of the channels as fm radio stations. If you wanted to listen to 106.5, for example, you would still probably pick up a signal at 106.4 or 100.6. The signal is so narrow as to limit itself precisely to the channel. WiFi is the same way, and that bleed over can affect nearby channels, so that there are multiple signals overlapping, which can degrade performance. 1, 6, and 11 don't overlap to the same extent that the other channels do. For example, channel 3 would have signal overlap with 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6, where as channel 1 would have overlap with only 2, 3 and possibly 4.This chart illustrates it, and might make it more clear. http://www.geekzone.co.nz/inquisitor/2996

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