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Q: After changing a router channel, then what?
Old 11-14-2014, 04:13 PM   #1
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Q: After changing a router channel, then what?

My home wireless speeds are all over the map...falling to precipitously low levels when all the neighbors are home from work and school.

The cable company has been out and assures me that their signal is perfect.

A bit of sleuthing (thanks, free WiEye Android app!) reveals that there are up to 7 other nearby locations using the same channel as my Linksys router.

Before I go changing things willy nilly, I have a question...after I change the router channel (Hopefully, there's an option that my neighbors aren't using )...is that it? Or do I need to do something else...like change all the wireless devices to recognize the new channel, too?

omni
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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I use WiFi Analyzer on my Android phone to scope out what channels the neighbors are on, then pick the least busy one. In the 2.4Ghz band it needs to be either 1, 6, or 11; I'm not that familiar with 5Ghz. If 2.4Ghz is crowded on all channels, you might want to consider getting a 5Ghz n router.

Switching channels on the same band may require you to disconnect/reconnect devices for them to switch channels, but they'll find the SSID on any of the channels. If you switch bands, you need to make sure all of your devices will use that band.

This is the reason I run wired Ethernet to all my boxes that do audio or video streaming.
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Old 11-14-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
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If your router is newer it may an auto setting which it will determine the best channel to use. Channel overlap can be an issue but I would suspect your neighbors signal strength drops a lot before reaching you. Other things inside your house can cause problems, microwaves, cell phones etc

5GHZ has much shorter range but more bandwith, good for streaming, xbox type applications. If you have just a single access point you can use any channel you want. With multiple access points in your house you want separate them, the 1,6,11 scheme does that.

Some info here, Why Channels 1, 6, and 11? | MetaGeek
inSSider is a great tool to analyze the wireless layout, but it used to be free now it costs. Probably can still find the free version floating around ( I still use it )
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:44 PM   #4
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Consider the possibility that your neighbours' wifi is not the bottleneck. It may be the supplier of "the last mile". Oh, they told you they weren't the problem, silly me.
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Old 11-14-2014, 08:31 PM   #5
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5 GHz is largely unused and would fix any interference problems. Though it may give you a weaker signal. However, all your devices may not have this capability (802.11a).


You should be able to change channels at your router and have all your devices find it again after a minute or so. I've switched mine a few times.
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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Consider the possibility that your neighbours' wifi is not the bottleneck. It may be the supplier of "the last mile". Oh, they told you they weren't the problem, silly me.
To test this find one of the speed test apps around, and test in on an ethernet connection, likley the router has an attached ethernet. This will tell you what the connection is capable of.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:55 AM   #7
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Use your cell phone to see which channel is free, then switch your router to that channel. If you end up with something that needs the channel switched and cannot do it, then you can always switch the router back.

Do you have the WPA/WPA2 turned on with a long secure key? If not perhaps some of your neighbors are getting free internet via you.
If you do change the key, you have to change it for each wireless device.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:26 AM   #8
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Use your cell phone to see which channel is free, then switch your router to that channel. If you end up with something that needs the channel switched and cannot do it, then you can always switch the router back.
I have a wifi analyzer on my PC to view this but how do you see what channels are free on a phone?
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:21 AM   #9
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I have a wifi analyzer on my PC to view this but how do you see what channels are free on a phone?
As they say "there's an app for that"... this is for android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...analyzer&hl=en
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
My home wireless speeds are all over the map...falling to precipitously low levels when all the neighbors are home from work and school.

The cable company has been out and assures me that their signal is perfect.

omni
Read your post again. Are you sure it's the wifi speed and not the internet speed. I would plug directly into the router, with a cable, when things getting slow and check the internet speed ( speedtest.net ). Cable is shared in a neighborhood and will slow down when everyone jumps on the same segment at once.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
My home wireless speeds are all over the map...falling to precipitously low levels when all the neighbors are home from work and school.

The cable company has been out and assures me that their signal is perfect.

A bit of sleuthing (thanks, free WiEye Android app!) reveals that there are up to 7 other nearby locations using the same channel as my Linksys router.

Before I go changing things willy nilly, I have a question...after I change the router channel (Hopefully, there's an option that my neighbors aren't using )...is that it? Or do I need to do something else...like change all the wireless devices to recognize the new channel, too?

omni
You don't mention if you're using desktop, laptop, etc. What about the router? The specific versions and models are usually important. Every router does not work optimally with every device. Some interactions are downright crappy. For example, some notebooks have really bad wireless radio, and it never gets good in that case.

Inssider 3 is the last free version, so look for that, if you can. You can see the real time performance, and how a neighboring signal might overwhelm yours at times. It could be interference from another wireless device (landline system).

Inssider also lets you see the difference in signal strength visually, over time, and I think the phone app you mention may not have that real-time.
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