How to Change Channel on Router

Improve your Wi-Fi performance by switching to an unused channel

What to Know

  • Login to your router as admin and look for the Wi-Fi settings.
  • Change the wireless channel to one with the fewest other devices for maximum performance.
  • Use a channel scanning app to find a wireless channel that's less populated.

This guide will walk you through how to change your router's channel so you can improve your Wi-Fi performance. Depending on how many other routers and wireless devices are in your local area, how effective this change is may vary.

How to Change the Wi-Fi Channel

Learning how to change the router channel can be a great way to improve your wireless performance, especially if you're in an area where many other wireless devices and routers compete for the same frequencies. It's a relatively simple process on most modern routers, though you will need to login to your router using the admin credentials, so be sure to have those handy if you don't know them by heart.

All routers have a slightly different backend. Yours may look a little different from the screenshots in this guide, but the general steps should be roughly the same. If in doubt, consult your manual or the manufacturer's website.

  1. Connect to your router as an administrator by navigating to its IP address in your browser.

    Login to router
  2. Using your router's menu, select the wireless band for which you want to change the channel. For most routers, this will be either 2.4GHz or 5GHz. You may want to change them both if you make use of both frequencies.

    Channel on router menu
  3. Open the Wireless Settings menu for your chosen frequency.

    Wireless Settings in Router Menu
  4. Look for the Channel option. Select a new channel from the drop-down menu, or input one manually if necessary.

    Wireless settings in router menu
  5. Select Save or equivalent.

    If you utilize other frequencies, consider changing their channel too.

Why You Should Change Router Channels

All routers have a default channel. The default is typically adequate for everyday performance, especially if you live separately from other homes and broadcasting wireless routers. However, in busy areas (think apartment buildings), where multiple routers can overlap each other's wireless networks, there is the possibility of overcrowding those same default channels.

However, most routers support the ability to change their broadcast channel, making it possible to change yours to one less crowded, resulting in better Wi-Fi performance.

How to Find the Best Channel For Your Router

When you change the router channel, you could pick a new one at random. However, it's better to change to a channel you know isn't as well populated, as your wireless performance should improve more, or at least not degrade as other routers come online in your area.

To find the least populated wireless networks, you need to use a Wi-Fi analyzer. Not only can you use them to see what channels other routers are operating on, but you can see how much they overlap so you can choose a better channel to use with your router.

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