Changing your Wi-Fi channel to boost speed

“If your home Wi-Fi has slowed to a crawl, there are all kinds of possible reasons why. Maybe your router has hardware problems or is misconfigured. Maybe your service provider is in the middle of an outage,” Melissa Holt reports for The Mac Obeserver. “Or maybe you live in a densely populated area, and your neighbors’ networks are fighting with your own.”

“The thing to find out, though, is whether you and your neighbors happen to be using the same wireless channel,” Holt reports. “Think of it like radio—if you drive through an area with a ton of competing stations, you won’t be able to hear any of them clearly, right? It’s the same with Wi-Fi.”

“If you think that’s what’s going on with your network, then, all you may have to do is unplug your wireless router and plug it back in. By default, most devices choose the best channel for the current conditions, so you’ll be set,” Holt reports. “But if you need to investigate further, I’m going to walk you through finding out how many of your neighbors are on the same channel as you are and some suggestions for what to do if your router doesn’t seem to want to adjust its settings with a reboot.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once and awhile, we scan around the area to see which Wi-Fi networks are out there and what channels and bands they’re using and adjust accordingly. If your having Wi-Fi issues, the directions in the full article can really help.


  1. My home iMac routinely picks up at least 40 different WiFi neighbourhood networks (I’m on the 12th floor of a typical Manhattan hi-rise complex). Some neighbours are quite creative with their network naming (“NSA_surveillance_van”, “FBI-HQ”, “Cartel_Escobar”…), and yet, with all these networks, I can’t say I’ve experienced noticeable impact on my access or bandwidth.

    1. Yes, I enjoy being creative with SSID naming as well — as do some of my neighbors. In my condo complex, I currently see one named “Mom use this one” (love it!).

      I’m currently using “We are the Borg…”, and just last weekend I noticed that someone had used “Resistance is futile…” in return. I had to stop using “José’s Mexican Cantina”, as nearly every neighbor it seemed was asking another if they knew where that Mexican restaurant was located!

  2. Someone near my location uses a nasty LinkSys Extender router in my area that bounces around within the 802.11n channels, making an interference nuisance of itself. I can’t move over to 802.11ac thanks to the WiFi limitation of my printer. Thankfully, my Wi-Fi router can automatically switch around as well when the nasty extender interferes with the same channel. – – I’m posting this information because: Yes, this kind of crap happens and can wreak havoc with one’s bandwidth.

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