Is It Better to Use a Wi-Fi Channel With a Higher Frequency?
When you have experienced problems with your wireless router, then you might start tweaking the settings in order to improve performance, like choosing a different channel. But are some channels inherently better than others? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a curious reader’s question.
One reader from our site wants to know if it is better to use a Wi-Fi channel with a higher frequency:
Today I had to call tech support to have my Wi-Fi channel changed because it was using channel 7, but the guy on the phone told me that channel 1 was “less powerful” than channel 11. He suggested that I use channel 11.
Using a Wi-Fi analyzer app, I discovered that channel 1 is the least used one in my building, so I ignored his recommendation and asked for channel 1. Was he right? Is channel 11 better?
Is it better to use a Wi-Fi channel with a higher frequency?
SuperUser contributor Mokubai has the answer for us:
Channel numbers do not denote power “levels”, so channel 11 is not “better” than channel 1 simply because it is ten digits higher. Wi-Fi does have overlapping channels though, which means that devices do not “want” to be on a channel that is too close to another nearby station’s channel.
For the best results and interoperability (least interference), there are only three channel choices: channel 1, channel 6, and channel 11. Here is an image showing why:
If there are many networks near your location, then you want to choose the channel which has the fewest or weakest signals. If, as you mention, that happens to be channel 1, then that is the channel you should use.