Change the default Wlan Channel to improve wireless connectivity

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 4, 2007
Updated • Mar 3, 2014
Hardware, Internet

Are you living in a neighborhood with lots of WLAN activity? You can check this if you do search for WLANs on your computer and find many listed there.

How you search? You can either click on the connections icon in the system tray, or use a program such as inSSIDer Home which is available for Windows and Android.

The program displays displays all Wlan networks that the wireless network adapter detects. It displays detailed information about each network, and provides you with information about the channel distribution as well.

The only thing that matters when it comes to improving the connectivity of your own wireless connection is the channel distribution. All other information, be it whether WPA, WEP or WPA2 encrpytion is used, the name, or SSID do not matter when it comes to that.

If channels overlap, you may experience connection issues including slower than usual download rates or even disconnects.

Most WLANs use the same default channel when they ship from factory. This is most of the time channel 11 and sometimes channel 6. Most users keep those default channels which can lead to the mentioned WLAN problems if your neighbors use that same channel.

I would therefore change that default channel if you are experiencing connectivity issues like disconnects when using your WLAN. The default channel needs to be changed in the WLAN router, the computer will automatically pick the signal up without modification. I'm going to show you how a change would look using my WLAN router.

My U.S. Robotics Wireless MAXg router can be accessed locally with the IP You need to consult the manual of the router to find out how you can access the router interface. Sometimes, all the information needed are printed on the back of the router.

The main interface loads after you enter the username and password.

The Wireless tab at the top lets you change the wireless settings. I had to click on advanced settings to change the default channel from 11 to 3. You should try to raise or reduce the channel by 3-5 steps if possible. This can be an impossible task if you have dozens of WLANs in your neighborhood; My advise would be to start with the low channel numbers and work your way up until you find a channel that works nicely.

If you are using a program like inSSIDer, you can use it to pick abetter channel. Since it displays the channel distribution to you, you may find channels that are not used at all, or used by fewer networks.

You may still need to switch channels several times until you find the best channel connectivity-wise. Doing so can improve the quality of your wireless connection significantly.


Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. JRN said on March 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    It is really frustating to read uneducated suggestions like this. There are 3 channels that are proper to use in North America; 1, 6, and 11. The WLAN standard 802.11 B/G/N requires 25 Mhz of channel separation to avoid interference. Channels are spaced 5 Mhz apart. Thus, when you suggest somebody to use channel 3, they actually cause interference across two of the accepted and standardized channels for North America, 1 and 6. You also start getting interference from those two standard channels.

    Please educate yourself before giving advice. I live in a WLAN saturated environment, and suggestions like yours only makes matters worse for all of us. Wireless router manufacturers should explain this to their customers, or limit their devices to the standard and accepted channels.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.