With more and more mobile computing devices like smartphones, laptops, tablet PCs, the consumption of WiFi network has increase multi-folds in past few years. In early days of home PCs, most users had desktop computers with wired Internet connection, those were simples days. These days almost all homes have their WiFi enabled Internet connections transmission a lot of information in a narrow band. The problem arises when you live in an apartment building where houses are too close and there are too many different WiFi connections nearby.
To add to the problems, if the WiFi connection is installed by an ISP with same kind of devices or WiFi routers, most likely they use same channels in their default setting. By channel we mean a part of the frequency band used by WiFi for transmitting information. In standard WiFi routers, there are 11 channels, channel number 1 to number 11. These are slightly separated from each other in the overall 2.4 GHz band in which the WiFi works. In case you have too many neighbors on the same channel located nearby, you are likely to face slow speeds, signal drops and other similar problems with your WiFi network. In this article, we will share some simple tips to deal with this problem.
The solution to this problem is fairly simple, you need to change the channel number from default to some other channel which is less used in your vicinity so that there is minimum interference or clash with your neighbor’s WiFi signals. Now the question arises how you will get to know which channel is less crowded in your neighborhood? To solve this, you can choose hit and trial approach or use a software tool to check which channels are more crowded and which are less crowded.
In hit and trial approach, change the WiFi channel in use on your router (instructions at end of article) and test the WiFi signal strength at a distance using your laptop or iPad etc. In the more informed and scientific way, you can download a free tool for Windows called the inSSIDer which scans all the WiFi networks in your surroundings and share the channel numbers in use and their strength.
Simply run this tool on your Windows laptop with WiFi and give it a few minutes, it will scan all the networks in your vicinity. Click on the 2.4 GHz Channels tab if you are using the 2.4 GHz channel or select 5GHz if you are using a 5GHz one. On this tab, it shows you on what all channels, which WiFi device is communicating. Check for the channel numbers with minimum strength and coverage and switch your router to that channel number. This way your WiFi connection will face minimum interference from neighboring WiFi routers and this will not only improve your WiFi network strength, speed and quality, it will automatically improve the neighbor’s WiFi speeds as well as your router is not interfering with their signals anymore.
Refer to our previous tutorial for detailed instructions on changing channel at the WiFi router.
Apart from the above solution, placing your router at a more appropriate location also helps improve the signal to some level. Ideally, please it close to the center of your home and away slightly away from walls so that it can deliver better coverage in all rooms of your home.