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Why Wi-Fi only works if I change the channel

Wi-Fi and channel issues

The wifi networks they can work through different channels, in addition to several bands. If you notice that the wireless connection is not working well, that it is slow and there are continuous cuts, it may be due to a problem with the channel you are connected to. There are several factors to take into account and that can be decisive for this problem to appear. It is usually fixed if you change the channel and we will explain why.

Can you think of the wifi channels as if they were lanes of a highway. There are different ones and traffic passes through each one of them. If a lane has many cars, the traffic will be slower there, you will not be able to overtake and you will have retentions. That is exactly what happens with Wi-Fi channels. If you are using one that is very saturated, you will not be able to have a good connection. Therefore, when you change to another you find a remarkable improvement.

wrong band

The first of those reasons or causes why there are problems with the Wi-Fi and the channel is the frequency that you use. Modern routers have the possibility of connecting to the band of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Some even use the new 6 GHz frequency as well.

If you are connected to the 2.4 GHz band, it is more likely that you will have problems with the channels. That’s where they usually are more saturated, since there are usually more devices connected to this frequency (think of all the Internet of Things devices you can have), but it is also the band with the fewest channels. Maximum there are 14, but depending on the country you can even have 11 only.

But it is not only the number of channels, but there is what is known as overlap. This means that if channel 3 is very saturated, for example, it will also affect 2 and 4, as well as other nearby channels.

Therefore, if you change bands and connect to the 5 GHz band, you may find a significant improvement. You’re much less likely to be using a clipped channel and there’s also no overlap problem. Of course, it is true that you will have a shorter range and it is more sensitive to obstacles, so you must weigh whether you are interested or not.

many connected neighbors

Another reason why Wi-Fi only works for you if you change the channel is because of your neighbors. If you live in an area with many houses around, there may be many neighbors who are using precisely that channel to which you connect or one nearby. that will cause interference and problems to be able to connect normally.

Let’s go back to the previous example: if a highway lane is full of cars, traffic is slower and you may even have to stop. If that Wi-Fi channel is being used by many users, it is going to cause you problems. You would have to connect to a different one and, in addition, that is not close.

Excessive use of the network

Something similar happens with the network usage. Not only the number of users using a Wi-Fi channel matters, but also the number of downloads at the same time, playing streaming videos in maximum quality and, in short, any use that is going to consume a lot of bandwidth.

If you notice that at certain times of the day the Wi-Fi does not work well for you and the problem is only corrected if you change the channel, it is most likely due to this. That channel is being used by other users, other neighbors, and the moment they start downloading or making intense use of the network, problems arise.

How to avoid this problem

Can we avoid this problem somehow? The truth is that it is not in your power to release a specific channel, since it will depend on your neighbors and the use they give it. But you can take into account a couple of solutions with which you can make the most of the wireless network and connect without major problems.

change band

One of them is change Wi-Fi band. If you have saturation problems with the channels, it is almost certain that you will be connected to the 2.4 GHz frequency. If your router is dual band and the devices you use are also compatible, what you can do is connect to the 2.4 GHz band. 5 GHz. Even at 6 GHz, if there was the possibility.

Therefore, if you have the possibility, you can change the band and connect to the 5 GHz band. Logically, you will have to analyze if it is also convenient for you due to speed and stability. If you move too far from the router, in this band you will have problems. There would also be difficulties if there are many obstacles.

Choose the channel well

Another option, and perhaps the best, is to choose another channel. If you’ve come this far, it’s because Wi-Fi only works when you change the channel. The question is to choose the best possible one and thus avoid any type of interference and problem that puts the connection at risk. Choosing one or the other can mean a considerable improvement in speed and avoid cuts.

To choose the best wifi channel You can use different programs, both for computers and mobiles. For example, we can name WiFi Analyzer, which works very well, Acrylic WiFi, which allows you to monitor networks and view channels in detail, as well as many other similar programs for systems such as Windows or Android.

Wi-Fi Analyzer

In all these applications you will see a graph where the different channels that are being used will appear. You will be able to see which ones are free and you can choose without problems. Ideally, avoid connecting to someone who is busy or even those who are next door. If, for example, 3 is busy, it is better to connect to 9 than to 2 or 4.

In short, if you see that Wi-Fi only works if you change the channel, it is clear that the problem is that it is saturated. We have explained what the main causes are and also the possible solutions to make the connection work as well as possible and have a good speed.

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