The WiFi is not a perfect network, it has failures, it goes down, it goes slow … Sometimes, this may be due to the router being in a bad position or not very powerful, because the antenna of your mobile phone is malfunctioning or simply that is experiencing interference. In fact, it is very likely that this is the cause and the root of the problem is in the canals.
We are going to review what the channels are, how to know which one our router is using, which are the best to use and, of course, how to change everything directly from our Android device.
WiFi channels and interference
Let’s start with the basics. The vast majority of WiFi routers broadcast in the 2.4 GHz band, which is the classic one and with which all mobile phones are compatible. This ranges from 2,412 MHz to 2,472 MHz and is divided into 13 channels. These 13 channels share a 100 MHz spectrum, but each one has 20 MHz, so if we do the math … they don’t come out. Unless the channels overlap each other, of course.
That is exactly what happens. Channels overlap each other, so that each channel occupies a part of the spectrum of the underlying ones. In the image above you can see it more graphically and the clearest example is channel 1, whose bandwidth reaches channel 3. That means that a router that broadcasts on channel 1 will be generating interference to a router that broadcast on channel 2 and another broadcast on channel 3, and so on with everyone.
The interferences are generated, above all, by the overlapping of the channels
One possible solution is move to the 5 GHz band, which is less saturated since it has 25 non-overlapping channels and capacity for higher speed (although less range), but not all routers can broadcast in that band, over all the old ones. What’s more, not all mobiles have an antenna compatible with the 5 GHz band, so it’s not a, let’s say, universal solution. What do we have left, then? Change the channel.
Before changing the channel you have to know which one we are using
And which channel should you switch to? The one that is less saturated, of course. To find out what it is, you can use a completely free and well-known application on Google Play called WiFi Analyzer. This will show you all the WiFi routers that are broadcasting near you, their power and the channel they are using in a graph.
The graph will show you all the routers that are broadcasting around you and will help you to know which one is the best for you
As you can see above, we have endless routers broadcasting on our same channel or overlapping with us, which can cause interference, drops, speed reductions, etc. With this information we have enough to change the channel, but we can go further.
If you slide three times to the left you will access a ranking. Click on “Choose your AP” and select your WiFi network. It will show you which channel you are using right now and which is, according to those around you, which you should change to have an optimal connection. The 14th will always come out with all the stars, but it cannot be used. In our case, we are using 4 and we would be interested in moving it to 14 (which we cannot), to 13 or to 12.
And now we change it quickly
We already know the optimal channel, so now it’s time to change it in our router. To do this, open any web browser, either on your mobile or on the computer, and write the address 192.168.1.1. It will ask you for credentials which, if you haven’t changed them, are probably admin / admin, 1234/1234 or a combination of both.
Most routers are configured to choose the channel automatically, and it is a recommended option
Now it will depend on the router that you have that access is in one place or another, but basically you must look for the option to change the broadcast channel. In our router, which is a ZTE F680, the option is in “Network”> “WLAN Radio 2.4G”. By default it is usually set to automatic, a recommended option since, in theory, choose the one that best suits our location, but if you still want to change it, select the corresponding section and change it.
Save the modifications and voila, channel changed. In theory you should notice a small cut and then an improvement in the connection. Possibly temporarySince if your neighbors’ routers are set to automatic and detect that the channel you are using is the best one, they will change and you will have to repeat the process. At least you already know how to do it.
Image | Wikimedia Commons