Wi-Fi Channel Selection

JonSaunders
JonSaunders Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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Lee_Bo said:
People don't understand there's a delicate balance that has to happen for wifi to work at its optimal levels.  Wifi devices and channel are the two biggest.

I'm using two routers configured as access points to handle the wi-fi activity around the house with around 50-60 devices.  Based on their locations at opposite ends of the house, each access point picks up about half the load. I've selected a wi-fi channel for each that is not being used by neighbors.  I'm using the free app Wi-Fi Analyzer to help in the channel selection.  Should I continue using a different channel for each access point?  Or is it better to use the same channel for both?
VioletChepilOoron

Best Answers

  • pwmeek
    pwmeek Member, Beta Tester Posts: 139
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    #2 Accepted Answer
    Lee_Bo said:
    People don't understand there's a delicate balance that has to happen for wifi to work at its optimal levels.  Wifi devices and channel are the two biggest.

    I'm using two routers configured as access points to handle the wi-fi activity around the house with around 50-60 devices.  Based on their locations at opposite ends of the house, each access point picks up about half the load. I've selected a wi-fi channel for each that is not being used by neighbors.  I'm using the free app Wi-Fi Analyzer to help in the channel selection.  Should I continue using a different channel for each access point?  Or is it better to use the same channel for both?
    Unless your wifi access points can be configured and managed as a mesh network (where a device can be handed off to the AP with the best signal) you need to put them on separate channels, preferably far enough apart that the bandwidth doesn't overlap. If they are not "cooperating" to share the same channel, they will interfere with each other. 50-60 devices isa lot. At my old houise, there were over 100 and I found it expedienmt to wire the whole place with ethernetr and restrict the Wi
    VioletChepilHronosTheCustomCaveYapFlapper
  • pwmeek
    pwmeek Member, Beta Tester Posts: 139
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    #3 Accepted Answer
    Lee_Bo said:
    People don't understand there's a delicate balance that has to happen for wifi to work at its optimal levels.  Wifi devices and channel are the two biggest.

    I'm using two routers configured as access points to handle the wi-fi activity around the house with around 50-60 devices.  Based on their locations at opposite ends of the house, each access point picks up about half the load. I've selected a wi-fi channel for each that is not being used by neighbors.  I'm using the free app Wi-Fi Analyzer to help in the channel selection.  Should I continue using a different channel for each access point?  Or is it better to use the same channel for both?
    Unless your wifi access points can be configured and managed as a mesh network (where a device can be handed off to the AP with the best signal) you need to put them on separate channels, preferably far enough apart that the bandwidth doesn't overlap. If they are not "cooperating" to share the same channel, they will interfere with each other.  
    VioletChepilYapFlapper
  • Jack
    Jack Member Posts: 54
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    #4 Accepted Answer
    If you have multiple AP's in your home then you should try to separate the channels (unless they are mesh linked) and then use channels 1, 6 and 11 to avoid overlap of your own AP. 
    JonSaundersTheCustomCave

Answers

  • ThinkFing
    ThinkFing Member, Beta Tester Posts: 21
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    I don't think there is a particular problem using separate channels for each AP, especially as you've chosen channels that are not heavily used by neighbours. For you, I imagine "optimal level" is related to maximising data throughput. If so, it could just be a question of whether all devices require high throughput, low latency and are all online at all times.
    VioletChepilLee_BoHronos
  • JonSaunders
    JonSaunders Member, Beta Tester Posts: 13
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    Yes, I pulled Ethernet to all the places with high demand (entertainment and computer centers) and use W-fi for phones, cameras, and smart things.
    VioletChepilpwmeek
  • Gidster
    Gidster London, UKMember Posts: 224
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    I'm wondering is overlap really contributes to "interference" - that can impede wifi performance - or if load on the channel and congestion of data transmission isn't the critical factor? Say, if 100 smart devices were regularly pinging a few packets around on the same channel, would that cause issues for someone trying to stream, as much as several high-bandwidth devices trying to stream over the same channel?

    Head of Product at Fing
  • Mirekmal
    Mirekmal Member, Beta Tester Posts: 68
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    As @Gidster mentioned overlapping channels become issue when available bandwidth is heavily utilized. If WiFi is used to exchange only small packets of information risk of traffic congestion over same channels become lower and might be even unnoticeable. Heavy usage, like streaming can block the channel for other use... or vice versa, be interrupted by other devices 'pinging' over WLAN. 
    Other issue with multiple access points is roaming for moving devices... I never figured out how to configure WiFi to work seamless for such scenario and what are requirements... Luckily not a big problem for my use scenarios.
    TheCustomCave
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    When it refers to WiFi channels, sometimes setting it to 'Auto' isn't always the best solution.  If you're having an issue, look into performing a wireless survey to collect the SSID and channel information of the networks around you.
    In most cases, big-box internet resellers will leave the setting as 'Auto' and can overlap with the neighbors in your immediate area.  Obtaining information about what's around you and what channel most people are using, try a non-standard channel that would isolate your wireless from everyone else. Sometimes channels 1, 6 and 11 while optimal, just isn't the best solution for the situation.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
    MDavide
  • GadgetVirtuoso
    GadgetVirtuoso Member Posts: 21
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    I'd advise against using the "auto" function of your 2.4Ghz WiFi network. To answer your question, you should use two different channels when setting WiFi networks that are within range of each other. Moreover, for 2.4Ghz WiFi you will want to stick with channel 1, 6, or 11. For the 5Ghz networks you will want to look at the chart here to make sure you're picking a channel group that doesn't over lap. Also be aware that DFS channels can experience more interference if you happen to live near an airport.
  • YapFlapper
    YapFlapper Member Posts: 5
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    Best solution:

    Consider moving to a mesh solution Like Orbi or Ubiquity. You will see huge improvements in performance, ease of management, etc.

    Things to consider with current solution:

    Unless you are isolation devices to separate networks for a reason, consider bridging the two units.

    Use WiFi channel analysis to steer clear of channels that are not yours, but receivable in you house. Walk around, including garage, porches, and each floor.

    YF

    kltaylor
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    Best solution:

    Consider moving to a mesh solution Like Orbi or Ubiquity. You will see huge improvements in performance, ease of management, etc.

    Things to consider with current solution:

    Unless you are isolation devices to separate networks for a reason, consider bridging the two units.

    Use WiFi channel analysis to steer clear of channels that are not yours, but receivable in you house. Walk around, including garage, porches, and each floor.

    YF

    I agree and can never stress enough about Mesh networking.
    It's an amazing technology, relatively easy to set up and manage.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain
  • Pooh
    Pooh Member, Beta Tester Posts: 674
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    My old set up was a couple of Asus Routers linked together by a Wired Backhaul. Total PitA to manage as one was a full router, the other just an AP. Each needed separate configuration and management etc.


    Now my Eero's are so much simpler to manage. Click one button, 5 minutes later all three Eeros are updated and back online.

    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
  • kltaylor
    kltaylor Member, Beta Tester Posts: 1,231
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    Pooh said:

    My old set up was a couple of Asus Routers linked together by a Wired Backhaul. Total PitA to manage as one was a full router, the other just an AP. Each needed separate configuration and management etc.


    Now my Eero's are so much simpler to manage. Click one button, 5 minutes later all three Eeros are updated and back online.

    Here at work, I had to re-configure a router acting as an AP, since all that the previous admin did was connect it to an Ethernet port.  Whenever the power would flake out on us momentarily, suddenly our devices would start connecting to a 192 subnet, and not 10.1.x.x as I have it set now.
    "There's a fine line between audacity and idiocy."
    -Warden Anastasia Luccio, Captain