You've got your wireless router and modem. You've signed up for an ISP that promises lightning fast speeds. Now, you're ready to enjoy your wireless network. But when you log in with your laptop or other device, you find that your Wi-Fi speed is lacking. Did you purchase the wrong equipment? Is there some type of interference preventing you from getting what you've paid for? Maybe. But maybe the problem lies within the channel that you're using for your Wi-Fi.
While it's nice to think that just plugging in your equipment is all you need to have fast Wi-Fi, often this isn't the case. Instead, you'll have to access the router settings and make some changes in order to optimize your internet. One of the settings you'll find that can affect performance is your Wi-Fi channels. In most cases, the channel is set automatically. However, some channels are faster than others, and you may have to make some adjustments to make sure your system is optimized.
Setting Your Channel for 5 GHz Wi-Fi
There are significant differences between channel settings for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. For the purposes of this article, we'll be focusing on 5 GHz Wi-Fi channels.
Since there is more free space at higher frequencies, there are 23 channels available for 5 GHz Wi-Fi. One of the positives of 802.11n and 802.11ac technology is that most modern routers automatically choose the fastest channel for you.
You can, however, look at your channel settings to determine if it's working for you. You can access this through your router settings. Once you've entered the settings menu, you can select your region, which will automatically select your channel range on most equipment. When setting up your system, you want to select a dedicated channel for the time being. Changes can be made later based on performance.
Your router may also have a channel bonding option. This option should be left on. It can, however, be turned off if there are performance issues or the channel selected does not work.
With 5 GHz Wi-Fi, the recommended step is to allow the equipment to make the channel selection for you. Since these higher frequencies have less traffic, it's rare that you'll experience a slowdown in performance until this newer technology becomes more mainstream.
One of the many positives about 5 GHz Wi-Fi is that the higher frequencies provide you with less congested options, so even automatic options can keep your internet performing at its fastest.
Do you have questions about 5 GHz Wi-Fi and the right channels to use? What's worked best for you? Let us know below in the comments!