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Selecting Wifi channel 13

maranello
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 11-01-2008

Selecting Wifi channel 13

I have the PN supplied TG582n router, which I have configured to use channel 13. There are other subscribers in my vicinity using channels 1, 6 and 11, and apparently with strong broadcast signals, hence using channel 13 which no other network appears to use. Is using channel 13 recommended, or should I try an un-congested channel in between in order to get more reliable and faster wifi connection?

My other car isn't a Ferrari
10 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

As far as I'm aware, it should pretty much just work like the other channels. If you're not experiencing any problems while connected on channel 13, I wouldn't see any reason to change it to a different channel.

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 Harry Beesley
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

In theory, it's worse to use partly overlapping channels like 13 when 11 is in use, and better to use the same channel as another network. Generally stick to 1, 6 and 11 which avoids any partial overlaps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

 

maranello
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

@ejs

Are you saying that it is better to use the same channel as another network, but choose the channel with the least number of networks, rather than an unused channel which overlaps channels used by other networks?

@HarryB

I have two issues. The wireless range of the TG582n isn't good enough to cover the whole house. I have a Belkin wireless extender which improves wireless coverage. This works fine although download speeds are typically around a quarter of speeds using a wired connection. Both the router and extender only use 2.4GHz. Browsing gets a bit laggy during the evening, my nearest neighbours are on BT, there is at least one other BT subscriber as well as a TT and Plusnet subscriber (as far as I can tell from the SSIDs that are not hidden). Would a router with a stronger broadcast signal reduce the impact of interference from other networks?

My other car isn't a Ferrari
bmc
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

PlusNet are happy for you to use a third party router and list the settings needed on their Support site. You could get a dual band model and split your usage between 2.4 and 5.0 depending on your devices.

 

Which router to get is another matter - the one you want is the one that works but without trying it in your location you never know which is best.

 

Brian

NorthPole
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

maranello, I used Channel 13 for ages without any problems before I upgraded to a dual-band router, and was the only one in my block of flats who did (as far as I could tell)! Ths only issue you could encounter is any visitors who want to use your wi-fi, but whose equipment is not set up to use the 2.4GHz channels above 11 (the default US setting).

maranello
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

Laptop is static and connected via ethernet most of the time. I'm not sure if our tablets can connect on 5GHz. (802.11 b/g/n). At this point in time a dual band router may not be particularly useful, but if I have to replace my current one it would be useful to be prepared. Wifi Analyser reports a signal strength at ~40dBm when standing within 3 feet of either the router or extender, but I haven't seen any router specs which report wireless signal strength. 

@NorthPole - which router did you upgrade to?

My other car isn't a Ferrari
NorthPole
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

An Asus DSL-AC68U.

maranello
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

And only £140! 

I think I'll look for a cheaper alternative, but how do you compare wifi performance?

My other car isn't a Ferrari
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13


maranello wrote:

Are you saying that it is better to use the same channel as another network, but choose the channel with the least number of networks, rather than an unused channel which overlaps channels used by other networks?

Yes, but it's not possible to select the best channel by counting the number of other networks or even looking at their signal strengths. There are many factors that a wifi scanner app does not show. They don't show how heavily used each network is. One heavily used network will have far more traffic than 5 lightly used or completely unused networks. They don't show non-wifi sources of interference. I think they don't even show which networks or channels will be slower due to the presence of older devices (11g or even 11b devices slowing down 11n networks).

It's quite likely a lot of wireless networks will be using automatic channel selection and so will change channel occasionally. Automatic channel selection seems to have a bad reputation, which is strange because the auto channel selection can take into account things like how heavily used each channel is, which a wifi scanner app can't show.

In many cases, the choice of channel will make no difference to anything.

NorthPole
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Re: Selecting Wifi channel 13

maranello, I got mine for £99 in a Curry's Christmas sale! Wi-fi seems fine to me on both bands; but then I'm in a flat, so perhaps not the best environment to test coverage over long distances and on different levels.