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Standard User gilesp
(regular) Wed 06-Jan-16 23:30:55
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Selecting wifi channels


[link to this post]
 
The airspace in my house appears to be quite congested as far as 2.4Ghz wifi is concerned, typically anything between 5-10 access points can be seen by my mobile in the front room. Most of these networks have had minimal setup, by the looks of things - default SSID names, and I suspect 'auto' channel selection - thus most of the AP are either on a channel 1 6 or 11.

Is there any merit in setting my WAP to a channel like 9 or 3, which has a partial overlap, but isn't 'on top of' another ssid nearby?
Standard User micksharpe
(legend) Wed 06-Jan-16 23:41:22
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
Selecting a partially overlapping channel may make matters worse. See here. If selecting channel 6 or 11 doesn't help, leave it set on auto. There is an old but very good guide on wi-fi channels on the web, but I've forgotten the URL. Maybe someone else knows the site that I am referring to.

Edit: Some wireless routers do not do a very good job at auto channel selection. You will need to do some research for the router that you are using.

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Edited by micksharpe (Wed 06-Jan-16 23:45:30)

Standard User ukhardy07
(knowledge is power) Thu 07-Jan-16 00:28:19
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
Is there any merit in setting my WAP to a channel like 9 or 3, which has a partial overlap, but isn't 'on top of' another ssid nearby?


None, this is what screws it up for everybody.

2 devices on channel 1 is better than 1 on channel 1 and 1 on channel 3.

Devices on the same channel will try to co-exist and transmit to minimise collisions in the air. Devices on channels 1 and 3 will transmit together = wireless collisions = higher errors = lower throughput = need to send the same data over and over etc.

If too many people opt for the "mid way" channels, ie 2,3,4,5,7,8,9,10 etc eventually users will even be unable to connect to their SSID.

When users change their network from auto and choose one of these channels I despair.

Edited by ukhardy07 (Thu 07-Jan-16 00:28:59)


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Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Thu 07-Jan-16 10:34:51
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
Keep in mind that normally, "Auto" selection identifies the clearest/cleanest WiFi Channel/s, and switches accordingly.

Other non-WiFi items such as many unlicensed radio devices, eg baby monitors, microwave ovens/cookers, radio-controlled models, also use that unlicensed 2.4 MHz Band, so "Auto" may be avoiding those as well.

But as those other devices are not using WiFi Protocols, your WiFi device can only avoid a collection of "noises" as far as it is concerned.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 07-Jan-16 13:51:58
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: ukhardy07] [link to this post]
 
And people using 40 MHz or 80 MHz wide channels in busy areas can cause additional problems.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Thu 07-Jan-16 13:57:02
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by eckiedoo:
Keep in mind that normally, "Auto" selection identifies the clearest/cleanest WiFi Channel/s, and switches accordingly.
Also remember that when the router switches channels automatically all the connected devices lose their connection.
Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Thu 07-Jan-16 14:05:41
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: BatBoy] [link to this post]
 
Haven't seen that happen with my EE Bright Box 2, since June 2014; nor have I noticed it earlier with BB1 and ADSL.

Must experiment!
Standard User hunnymonster
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-Jan-16 14:28:29
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Usually the auto detect happens once only at power up (each power up, not just the first one) and of course if next door runs up a network on the same channel as yours nothing will happen until you reboot your router.

Mine was set to channel 11 by "auto" for close on 5 years - then next door got wireless and it also chose 11... next reboot, mine moved to 1. Next door the other side powered up on ch 1 and I moved to 6 at next reboot. Rarely bother with 2.4GHz now - only through necessity (where the device does not or cannot be made to support 5GHz)
Standard User BatBoy
(sensei) Thu 07-Jan-16 14:41:20
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Maybe it's more of a BT problem given the instability of the Homehub 5.
Standard User mixt
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 07-Jan-16 15:20:00
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Re: Selecting wifi channels


[re: gilesp] [link to this post]
 
As has already been said, try and stick to 1, 6 or 11. These are non-overlapping. Another common setup is 1, 5, 9 and 13. These have minimal overlap, but are still mostly non-interfering with each other. Channels 12 and 13 are UK only - if you have any US kit (like a company MacBook I had a few years back, which was US manufactured), that will not see SSIDs on channels 12 or 13, and you will be limited to using 1-11 in that regard.

If 1, 6 or 11 doesn't work, opt for setting your AP to the strongest channel that everyone else around you is using, to avoid overlapping and interference. But their APs maybe on auto mode and changing frequently so this may be a futile exercise long term.

If this doesn't work, leave it on auto and hope for the best, or consider moving to 5 Ghz. I have just one SSID in that range where I am, nothing else reporting on my MacBook, so it seems to be an uncongested band right now. But give it a few more years, I'm sure that will change. I'm considering getting a 5Ghz ac-wireless access point right now, but purely to allow faster access to my NAS, not because I have any performance problems with my existing 2.4Ghz setup (even though the space around me is quite busy in that band, like yourself).

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Edited by mixt (Thu 07-Jan-16 15:21:25)

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