If you are experimenting with the various functionalities of your wireless network, you may wonder what is the best channel for my router. The best Internet routers, after all, can be operated via numerous wireless channels. So what is the best channel for a router and how do you find out? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Generally speaking, choosing the right Wi-Fi channel helps minimize interference and maximize throughput with a wireless connection and wireless router.
  • When it comes to 2.4GHz connections, go with channel 1, 6, or 11, though this is subject to change.
  • 5GHz connections offer much more variety when it comes to Wi-Fi channel selection, so you can likely pick any GHz channel and be fine.

The Best Channel For Routers

When you reference a WiFi channel, you are really talking about a frequency band. Most modern routers include two frequency bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. 5GHz is faster, so that is the obvious best one, right? Not so fast. It truly depends on your Internet connection and, most importantly, what device you are connecting. Certain devices, such as smart home appliances, work better with the slower speeds of a 2.4GHz connection, as they don’t need constant wireless updates from the router. Of note, frequency bands only relate to connection speed and power, not range, if you are wondering how to connect two WiFi routers together wirelessly.

But There are Actual Channel Numbers Right?

Yes, in most scenarios choose channels 1, 6, and 11, this will maximize throughput and minimize local interference when it comes to a 2.4GHz connection. Modern 5GHz routers offer a multitude of channels, so interference is becoming a thing of the past and you’ll never have to learn how to block a device using a WiFi router.

Finding the Best Wireless Channel

Some operating systems have built-in tools that pull up a multitude of channel options for your unique wireless network.

Mac OS

  1. If you are using a Mac computer, start by holding the option key and clicking the WiFi icon at the top of the menu bar.
  2. Next, select “Open Wireless Diagnostics.”
  3. Select the Wi-Fi scan tab and click “Scan Now.”
  4. The “Best 2.4 GHz Channels” and “Best 5 GHz” Channels” fields will recommend the best channels to use.

Windows Operating System

  1. There is no dedicated way within the operating system itself to receive channel recommendations.
  2. There are many software options, however.
  3. Download and install a well-regarding channel monitoring software suit to find recommended channels to use.
  4. Any good software should issue recommendations for 2.4GHz bands and 5GHz bands.

F.A.Q.S

How to change your router settings to the best Wi-Fi channel?

To change channels within your Wi-Fi network, no matter which GHz band you use, you’ll have to enter the router’s admin panel or use dedicated software apps with channel centers.


What if Wi-Fi channels 1,6, and 11 are crowded?

Unfortunately, if channel 1, channel 6, and channel 11 are all crowded, you should simply stay put. Any other Wi-Fi channel will also be crowded, as channels 2 and 3 operate adjacent to channel 1 and so on.


Which WiFi channel analyzer is best?

NetSpot is a popular option, though there are many software apps out there to help with channel selection and channel settings to help find the optimal channel in your unique network environment.



STAT: One of the main differences between the 2.4 GHz WiFi frequency band and the 5 GHz is the WiFi coverage and WiFi speed they provide. Because 2.4 GHz WiFi transmits signals at a lower frequency, it is able to extend WiFi coverage further. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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