Networking And IT Management

Wifi Channel Change

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There are many reasons why someone would wish to change your Wireless Fidelity (commonly referred to as Wi-Fi) channel number. The first and foremost is the fact that any WiFi network that shares a channel with another will use up more bandwidth, because they are sharing the resources that are required for basic connectivity.

In order to change your channel, you must obviously have a computer that is connected to the network. You must now login to the default gateway, or in laymen's terms, the router. This is actually quite simple, and you can do it on both Mac or PC systems.

For PCs:

  • Click Start
  • Click Run
  • Type into the dialog box "cmd.exe"
  • A command line interface will appear. Enter the phrase "ipconfig".
  • Lots of information will appear. Scroll down until you find the Default Gateway, and copy the numbers that appear beside it. An example of this is

For Macs (Running OS X 10.4 or higher):

  • Open the System Preferences Panel
  • Click Network
  • Select Airport from the bottom drop-down menu
  • Click the TCP / IP tab
  • The number next to the word "Router" is the one you want, copy it to the clipboard

Now open up your web browser and where you would normally type in the web address, paste the copied number and hit the Enter key. You will be prompted to enter a username and password. For most routers, use admin as the username and admin as the password. Be warned that this varies with different routers, and your manufacturer's web site will be the end all rule for this information.

You'll see something that looks like a website. Simply click on the button that says "Wireless Settings," or something to that extent. You should be able to select from a drop down menu one of a variety of channels, and pick one that you like. Most routers will have a button that says "Save Settings." Then simply close your web browser and you should quickly experience faster internet and downloads.

Configuring a network is sometimes complex and difficult, but not always. Changing your Wi-Fi channel is one of the exceptions to the rule, and it's very useful to do if you find videos streaming slowly or downloads suddenly halting. This is a basic networking skill that everyone should be able to do, and even though the process will differ slightly for each router, it is a relatively universal technique. Simply follow the guidelines outlined above, and you might be the one who can help out with someone's tech woes.

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