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How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Speed Up to 5x With One Quick Fix

Tired of your slow Wi-Fi connection? You might be paying for a 100Mbps broadband plan, but your actual broadband and Wi-Fi connection speeds are a fraction of that, and you feel like you’re wasting money. Not only that, you’re wasting time, as downloading even basic files takes 20 times longer than it should!

There is a great and easy fix for a slow Wi-Fi connection: change your Wi-Fi channel. You can apply this fix to your 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections, and you should see an immediate speed boost on both Wi-Fi bands.

What Is a Wi-Fi Channel?

Your Wi-Fi router broadcasts its signal on two bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Each band operates on a different frequency, and within each band are different channels that also broadcast on marginally different frequencies. The 2.4GHz band broadcasts lower quality Wi-Fi that can travel further, while the 5GHz band broadcasts higher quality Wi-Fi that is more susceptible to interference or interruption.

Now, there is also an all-new 6GHz Wi-Fi band, but we’re not getting involved with that right now.

The key thing to know here is that the Wi-Fi channel your router uses affects your Wi-Fi capabilities. There are a limited number of Wi-Fi channels within each band. If too many routers in a small area attempt to use the same Wi-Fi channel, on the same Wi-Fi band, you’ll experience interference, which can result in a slower Wi-Fi connection.

Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer slow Wi-Fi due to Wi-Fi channel interference! If you have access to your Wi-Fi router’s administration settings, you can manually adjust your Wi-Fi router channel selection in an attempt to find a quieter, interference-free channel.

How to Change Your 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Channel

If you’re looking for a Wi-Fi speed boost, switching up your Wi-Fi channel could provide that little bit more power. There are two things you need to do first, though. The first is to figure out the busiest and quietest Wi-Fi channels around you using a Wi-Fi analyzer app. You’re looking for the quietest channel to move to from your existing busy channel.

The second thing you need to do is figure out your Wi-Fi router’s IP address. Without it, you won’t be able to access your router to adjust the Wi-Fi channel settings. Once you have it, input the IP address in your internet browser address bar (where you’d normally input a website name like makeuseof.com) and press Enter. It should take you to your router’s admin login page, where you’ll have to enter your credentials.

Router administration and settings pages differ between manufacturers, but you’ll find the following instructions are roughly the same.

  1. Locate your Wi-Fi settings, typically found under Wireless, Wi-Fi, or Advanced Settings.
  2. Locate your 2.4GHz Wi-Fi options, then the Wi-Fi channel options.
  3. Choose a new 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channel. In the images above, the example router only features three channel options: 1, 6, and 11. These three channels are the only 2.4GHz channels that don’t overlap, and most routers default your connection option to one of these three.
  4. Select a new 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channel option, then press Save.

If you’re using a more advanced router, typically one that you bought yourself rather than your ISP-issued router, you’ll see the full array of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channels available for selection.

How to Change Your 5GHz Wi-Fi Channel

Changing your 5GHz Wi-Fi channel is very similar to the above, except you have a much wider number of channels to choose from.

Where 2.4GHz Wi-Fi uses a maximum of 11 channels (it has 14, but some Wi-Fi channels are banned), 5GHz Wi-Fi has 20 channels. Furthermore, 5GHz channels are less likely to overlap and can also bond with an adjacent channel to create one larger channel. While this sounds awesome, it can have unintended consequences, such as exposing your Wi-Fi broadcast to a wider area of interference.

  1. Locate your Wi-Fi settings, typically found under Wireless, Wi-Fi, or Advanced Settings.
  2. Locate your 5GHz Wi-Fi options, then the Wi-Fi channel options.
  3. Choose a new 5GHz Wi-Fi channel. In the images above, the example router only features four channel options: 36, 40, 44, and 48. As mentioned above, a better router will allow you to choose from the entire range of 5GHz Wi-Fi channels!
  4. Select a new 5GHz Wi-Fi channel option, then press Save.

Increase Your Wi-Fi Speed the Easy Way

The Wi-Fi channel trick can provide a Wi-Fi speed boost, but you must keep its overall performance boost grounded in reality. You might read things about it providing an instant 5x speed boost to a Wi-Fi connection, but that will only happen in an area with massive Wi-Fi congestion and potentially some other poorly configured Wi-Fi settings.

Still, it’s worth a try, and even if your Wi-Fi speed only creeps up a few Mbps, it’s absolutely better than nothing, right?

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