How to Find the Best WiFi Channel for Your Router

Internet is one of the most necessary things that one needs to have and we are sure that pretty much everyone has a wireless network connection set up at home, school and/or office. This works through your router’s wireless access point being connected to a channel which connects to your Wi-Fi network.

However, if you live in a building or an apartment or a highly populated area, it is inevitable for you not to experience disconnection and slow connection issues. These issues often happen due to numerous people connecting to the internet which could cause for wireless signals to overload.

To get a faster WiFi connection in your area, you will need to switch to a different channel which is not that widely used by other users. We understand that this situation could be very frustrating. But, do not be disheartened as we are here to help you improve your WiFi connection through this step by step guide.

How to read WiFi diagnostics?

In finding the best WiFi channel, you will need to know some terms and consider the important numbers. You will need to check for the Noise and RSSI values.

Noise is defined as the totality of all the noise sources and unwanted signals within a connection range. In this definition, noise is the number of other signals that could interfere with a signal that is being monitored

RSSI, on the other hand, stands for Received Signal Strength Indicator which indicates how strong your connection is between your router and your device.

The values for both Noise and RSSI would always indicate negative numbers. For Noise you will have to look for the lowest number. Take note that the farther the number is away from zero the lower the number is. Example -90 is better than -85. RSSI, on the other hand, is the opposite, you will need to check for the highest number. The higher the value the better. Again, take into mind that since they are in negative numbers, the lower the number the higher its value is. Example, -85 is better than -90.

Now that we have both values, we will now need to compute for the difference between the mentioned two values. The difference value is called Signal to Noise Ratio or more commonly known as SNR. Simply subtract the noise value from RSSI value and you will get the SNR value. Example, RSSI is -50 and the noise is -90. To calculate, SNR: (-50)-(-90). Hence, your SNR is at 40.

The higher your SNR ratio is the better your WiFi connection will be.

What is the Difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz?

The difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz is its range and bandwidth. 5 GHz is much faster and is more effective when used at shorter distance. 2.4 GHz on the other hand could cover much farther distances, but, at a much slower speed. Though this is the case, 5 GHz connection is not as good as a 2.4 GHz in terms of penetrating objects. Other than that it also better to use a 2.4 GHz when you are in a denser populated area.

How to find the best WiFi channel on Mac?

To find the best WiFi channel on Mac, you will have to scan and identify all the WiFi networks available. You could do this by going and running the Network Diagnostics. To do, you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Hold option key
  2. Move your mouse on the top right of the screen
  3. Click WiFi connection icon
  4. Look for Open Wireless Diagnostics drop down menu
  5. Go to Window menu
  6. Click Scan
  7. Once you see all the Wireless Access Points in range of your router.
  8. Click Scan now
  9. Once done, you will find a diagnostics summary that will provide you an overview of analysis on which WiFi channel is the best in your router area.
  10. Calculate for your SNR ration
  11. The highest SRN ratio, the better the channel is.

How to Find the Best WiFi Channel on Windows?

Fortunately, there are a few tools and software that could tell you know which WiFi channel is the best in your area. Below is a list of free software applications:

  1. Acrylic WiFi- compatible with Windows 7,8 and 10.
  2. WiFi Analyzer- available on Microsoft Store.
  3. WiFi Commander- exclusively for Windows 10
  4. NetSpot – compatible with Windows 7,8 and 10.

Though all the mentioned software listed above are effective, we recommend WiFi Analyzer as it is the easiest to use. All you have to do is to follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Microsoft Store https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/wifi-analyzer/9nblggh33n0n?SilentAuth=1&wa=wsignin1.0&activetab=pivot:overviewtab
  2. Click on Get App. This will initiate the app to download
  3. Once the application has been installed, open the app, WiFi Analyzer.
  4. You will find extra filters on the right side. We highly recommend not to change the default settings.
  5. Click Analyze found on your dashboard. Once done, you will be provided with graphs and visuals which will indicate which networks are performing best and which ones are the worst.
  6. If the graphs confuse you, you could click on the word, “recommend”.

How to Find the Best WiFi Channel with Linux Command Line?

There are two ways to detect WiFi channels for Linux users. The first option is by running a command line in the terminal and the second option is you could download a visual enhanced tool such as WiFi Radar

To install a software in Linux is a bit much more complicated compared to Windows and Mac which is why we recommend that you use the first option which is to use the terminal utility. All you have to do is to launch the terminal and the command line, sudo iwlist wlan0 scan|grep Frequency | sort | uniq –c|sort-n . Once done, you will see all the channels and the sor-n command will indicate the rank of channels in fastest to slowest order.

How to Find the Best WiFi Channel on Android?

To be able to find the best WiFi channel on Android, we highly recommend WiFi Analyzer as well. This tool is available for Android and is available for mobile devices as well.

1 Download WiFi Analyzer in Google Play Store. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.farproc.wifi.analyzer&hl=en

2 Install it and launch it on your dashboard.

3 Check dBm, the signal strength and the graph which will help you compare the available networks.

How to Find the Best WiFi Channel on iPhone?

As we all know, Apple’s devices are designed uniquely in regards to how applications could not communicate with each other and due to this reason, it would be quite impossible to perform analysis of WiFi network with the use of your iPhone. The only way you will be able to analyze your WiFi network is when you jailbreak your iPhone. However, we understand that no one would like to experience any inconvenience or hassles, we recommend that you try to adjust your router.

How to Change Your Router Settings to the Best WiFi Channel?

Now that you know how to identify which is the best WiFi channel in your area, you could now change the settings of your router by following the steps below:

  1. Log into your router’s main dashboard
  2. Click Settings
  3. Look for WiFi or Wireless
  4. Select the little arrow and fold out the drop down menu
  5. Select the recommended channel based on network analysis

Take note that, as mentioned above you should go for 5 GHz WiFi channel if you live in a less populated or congested WiFi network area.


That concludes our step by step guide on how to reach the full potential of your WiFi network especially when you are in a populated, congested area WiFi network area. We hope we were able to help you enjoy faster internet connection speed!

Renee Biana

VPN Pick brings you all the latest vpn news, reviews and discounts.

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