Ever have problems with your wifi connection?
If your wifi isn’t working as well as it should do, one potential problem could be the channel your wifi is on. Selecting the best possible channel for your wifi network can reduce congestion, and increase performance on your router.
This is especially the case in built up areas where many different wifi networks are all competing for the same space.
One of the many benefits of the 5GHz band is that there are a much higher number of potential channels to choose from when compared to the 2.4GHz band. As such, choosing the best 5GHz channel for your router can give your network a real boost!
What 5GHz Channel Should My Router Be On?
What Is The Best Channel?
Well, the first thing to mention, is that there is no ”best” channel. All channels are the same and will offer the same speeds and bandwidth (unless you have used channel bonding).
This means that the simple answer to this question is that the “best” channel should be the channel with the least interference. The problem, of course, is deciding which channel that is.
How To Choose The Best Channel For Your Router
The first thing you can do here is to see if your router has the ability to select the best channel by itself. If this is the case, then happy days! Simply select this option on your router’s settings and enjoy your internet.
Now, most home routers only select a channel on start-up. Therefore, if you ever notice your internet slowing down and you think it is a channel issue, simply reboot your router and it will automatically select a new best channel.
This video looks at 5GHz and 2.4 GHz channels
Of course, if your router does not have an auto-select feature, things can get a bit more complicated. The first thing to do is to find out which 5GHz channels are being used by neighbors or by surrounding networks. Devices such as DECT phones can also interfere with your network.
The good thing about 5GHz is that there are plenty of channels that you can use. In fact, there are a total of 23 non-overlapping that you can use on the 5GHz network. This compares to only fourteen available channels on the 2.4GHz frequently, of which only 3 non-overlapping channels exist.
The high number of channels available on the 5GHz band means that when compared to the 2.4GHz band, congestion is generally much less of a problem.
As such, when selecting your channels, you should be sure to choose ones that don't overlap with other channels in your area. This is because having more than one device using one channel will cause interference. By selecting channels that don't overlap, you will be more likely to avoid issues with congestion.
To find out what channels are being used in your area, you can use a piece of software, such as Acrylic, that will check the local area and determine which channel will be the best one for you to use.
Once you know which channels are being used in the local area, you can set your router to use the channel with the least congestion.
What About 5GHz Channel Bonding?
Channel bonding is a function that bonds two channels together to give you more bandwidth. This can be anything from bonding two 20GHz channels to get a 40GHz channel, to bonding two 80GHz channels to get you one massive 160GHz channel.
The bigger your channel, the faster your wifi speeds should be, however, there are some downsides to having a wider channel.
The main two problems are that the wider your channel, the more you will a) congest the local area and b) be affected by other wifi networks in your area. For example, using a 160GHz channel will take up space on eight individual 20GHz channels which means other people will struggle to use these channels.
As such, it is best to leave the really wide channels for remote places where you know you are the only network in the area.
Test Your Coverage
Now you know all about choosing the best channel, it is time to test out your wifi network. If you were previously suffering from congestion, you should now find that your wifi seems faster and more efficient.
If you are still suffering from congestion, you can keep switching channels until you find the optimal setup for your local area.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed this article! Switching channels can make a really big difference to the efficiency of your network so it is worth looking at which channels your network is using if you are having wifi problems.
If you have any further questions about the article, please leave a comment below.