How to Change Your WiFi Channel on a Router

How to Change Your WiFi Channel on a Router

If you live in a crowded area, you might have noticed times when your WiFi suddenly slows down or drops off out of nowhere. These performance issues can happen when too many of your neighbors are connecting to the same WiFi channel, which can interfere with your WiFi signal. Here’s everything you need to know about WiFi channels and how to change channels on your router to speed up your WiFi network.

What Is a WiFi Channel?

WiFi routers use radio waves to transmit data to all your connected devices. These radio waves are divided into different “WiFi spectrum bands,” which are then divided into “WiFi channels.” Basically, a WiFi channel represents the frequency your router uses to transmit data.

If you think of WiFi bands like highways, then WiFi channels would be like lanes on those highways. In order to achieve the best internet speeds, you want to connect to the fastest WiFi band and the least-crowded WiFi channel.

(Image Source: Gigabyte)

Before you change your WiFi channel, you should make sure you’re connected to the best WiFi band. There are currently three different WiFi bands available to choose from:

2.4GHz = Slowest speeds, longest range 5GHz = Faster speeds, lower range 6GHz = Fastest speeds, shortest range

If you have a dual-band or tri-band router, you might be able to change your WiFi band simply by switching to a different WiFi network. Usually, you can just look for networks with names that end in “5G,” 6G,” or “6E” to get the fastest speeds. On the other hand, networks that end in “2G” are typically slower.

Read More: What is a dual-band router?

After you connect to a WiFi band, you’ll want to change your WiFi channel. It’s important to do this because many routers will automatically connect to the same WiFi channel as other routers by default. So, if you don’t change it manually, your router might be using the same channel as all your neighbors, which could cause a traffic jam that will slow your WiFi down.

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of changing your WiFi channel, Hello All can help. We have thousands of technicians across the country who can come to your home and troubleshoot your WiFi issues in person.

How to Change Your WiFi Channel

To change your WiFi channel, type your router’s IP address into the address bar of a web browser and hit Enter on your keyboard. Then go to Wireless Settings, choose your WiFi band, and select the channel you want to use from the drop-down menu. Finally, click Save or Apply.

Note: Every router is different, so these steps might not be exactly the same for you, depending on what type of router you have.

Open a web browser and type your router’s IP address into the address bar. You can use any web browser you want, like Google Chrome, Safari, or Microsoft Edge. If you don’t know what your router’s IP address is, check out our step-by-step guide on how to find your router’s IP address on a Windows or Mac computer. 

Note: If you don’t want to go through the steps to find your router’s IP address, you can also try the most common variations, which include: “” “” “” and “″

Then hit Enter on your keyboard.

Note: Your browser might display a warning screen at this point. To continue, click Advanced > Proceed.

Note: You can only log in to your router if your computer is connected to the same WiFi network that your router is broadcasting. If you are connected to a different WiFi network, these steps will not work.

Next, enter your router’s username and password. This is not the same as your WiFi network’s name and password. If you don’t know your WiFi router’s login credentials, check out our step-by-step guide on how to find your router’s username and password here.

Note: If you don’t want to go through the steps to find your router’s login credentials, you can also try the most common default options. Most routers use “admin” as the username and “password” as the password. You can also try leaving the username and/or password blank.

Then open Wireless Settings in your router. The exact name and location of this option will depend on your router. In many cases, you’ll have to select Advanced Settings first.

Note: If you see an “auto-connect” or “smart connect,” you will need to turn it off in order to change your WiFi channel.

Next, choose your WiFi frequency band. Then click Channels to change your WiFi channel. Finally, make sure to hit Save or Apply.

Note: Once you save your settings, it could cause your router to reboot, which might lead to your computer and other devices losing WiFi connection briefly.

Now that you know how to change your WiFi channel, here’s a quick overview of the best ones to choose from.

Best Channels for 2.4GHz

There are a total of 11 WiFi channels you can connect to on the 2.4GHz band, but you should only connect to channels 1, 6, or 11. While all 11 channels are 22MHz wide, they are only separated by 5MHz from each other, so there are only three channels that don’t overlap.

Basically, the lanes on the 2.4GHz highway are too close to each other. So, if you choose any channel that isn’t 1, 6, or 11, you’ll be splitting between two lanes. This means your WiFi signal will experience interference from both sides, which can slow your network down significantly.

Best Channel for 5GHz and 6GHz

If you’re using the 5 GHz band, there are around 25 non-overlapping channels you can choose from. And the newest 6GHz band has around 60 non-overlapping channels. In addition, these newer bands also have wider channels to accommodate more users and higher-bandwidth activities.

(Image Source: Broadcom)

In order to find the least crowded WiFi channel in your area, you will need to use a WiFi analyzer app. This free app will also show you which WiFi channel you should change to.

How to Find the Best WiFi Channel

To find the best WiFi channel in your area, download the NetSpot app for Windows 10 or Mac. Then install the app and launch it. Next, select your WiFi network, click Details, and select your frequency band. Then you will be able to find which channels are the least crowded. 

Note: There are many different WiFi analyzer apps you can choose from, but we chose NetSpot because it works on all computers running Windows 7 and higher or macOS 10.10 and higher.

Go to and click Get NetSpot. You should see this in the top-right corner of the page. Then scroll down and click on Download now. Make sure you are downloading the free version of the app. Next, open the downloaded file and install NetSpot. If you can’t find the downloaded installer, check your Downloads folder. Then launch NetSpot and click Continue. This will let you use the free version of the app. Then select your WiFi network. You can see the WiFi networks in your area listed by name under the SSID (service set identifier) column. To make things easy, you can click SSID at the top of the column to sort by name. To select your network, click the name and make sure the box to the left is checked. You can also see which WiFi channel your network is currently using under the Channel column. Next, click Details. You can find this in the bottom-left corner of the window. This will open a new window. Then select your frequency band. You can find tabs for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands in the top-right corner of the window. If you selected your network in the previous window, you should see it highlighted below. The best channels will be the ones with the least traffic. Each network in your area will show up as a different bar. You can tell which channel each network is using by looking at the numbers in the center of each bar.

In the image above, the highlighted network is connected to channel 36 on the 5 GHz band. That channel is fairly crowded, so it might be a good idea to change the channel to the other end of the band’s spectrum.

Once you change your network to a less crowded WiFi channel, you should notice that your bar gets taller, meaning your network speed has increased.

With all WiFi analyzer apps, zero is the best number you can get for speed, but there are other factors to consider. For example, you might want to connect to a wider channel for high-bandwidth activities, even if it’s not the fastest channel. Also, even if a crowded channel gives you the best speed, you might experience less interference by switching to a less crowded channel.

If your WiFi signal is still weak, Hello All can send a professional to your home as soon as today to fix it for you. Our technicians are certified to install a new router or mesh WiFi system, fix your connectivity issues, and extend your current WiFi signal. We’ll even stick around after the job’s done to answer any of your questions.

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