About 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi channels


#1

Running Firmware 6.1.0 build 1419 on a Surf Soho configured to use the 2.4GHz wireless band. Rather than specify a fixed channel, the device was set to “auto”.

In a crowded Wi-Fi area, the device chose to use channel 8. From my understanding of the technology, it is better to stick to channels 1, 6 and 11.

For example, if there are three Wi-Fi networks using channels 5, 6 and 7, my understanding is that they would all benefit from being on channel 6. The Wi-Fi protocol allows for sharing a channel, so they will all see other and co-ordinate their usage of the channel. Much like Ethernet. While one network may slow down due to another network using massive bandwidth, at least they won’t interfere with each other. When they are using channels 5, 6 and 7 each network will see the adjacent channels as noise and interference, which is worse.

I am not an expert on this, but from what I judge to be reliable sources, sticking to channels 1, 6 and 11 is best for everyone.


#2

Hi Michael, the reason it is recommended to use 1,6, or 11 is because these channels do not overlap with each other. But if you are in a heavily congested area and these channels are already saturated, you would probably see better performance using 3,4 or 8,9 for example.

It is always best to use a Wi-Fi analyzer tool and see what is actually being used in your environment and then go from there.

Thanks!


#3

I suppose there is no one best answer to this issue. While multiple Wi-Fi networks may be on channel 6 (for example) if they all send small amounts of data, then the channel is shared without degradation. Even if one network uses a lot of bandwidth, they at least have a clear channel to share. Networks on nearby channels add noise to the channel 6 signal, but someone more expert than myself would have to judge how much this slows things down. And, it probably differs with different devices.

If by Wi-Fi analyzer you were referring to the Android app, its great show showing channels used by local networks, but it does not show bandwidth for each network. Is there software or hardware that does this?


#4

Available bandwidth on each channel would be hard to determine in real-time, as conditions are always changing.

If you have the time, I recommend testing the various channels and see what works best for you. You could test by transferring a file to/from another device on your LAN.