How can I choose the right Wi-Fi channel to prevent aborted connections?

With increasing density of WiFi networks we're facing more and more WiFi networks popping up in our neighbourhoods, which may impact performance on your WiFi network, if frequencies interfere.

To scan your neighbourhood for active WiFi networks use "Netstumbler" (for Windows) or "iStumbler" (for Mac), both easy-to-use WiFi scanner applications. After starting they will show you all discovered networks inlcuding the used channels.

Two WiFi networks operating on the same channel are forced to share bandwidth, as they can't "talk" simultaneously, which halves each network's bandwidth. In order to evade this effect, you need to change your access point's channel, but taking the adjacent one won't do it, as WiFi channels are arranged in an overlapping pattern, as you can see from this scheme:

Wi-Fi channels

Channel 1 overlaps channels 2 to 5, which therefore may not be used for a neighbouring WiFi network. If channel 1 is used, you should switch to a channel greater than 6.

There must be a spacing of at least 5 channels (or more) between each WiFi network in order to avoid interferences.

Further, if all your WiFi-devices support 802.11g (the 54 MBit/s WiFi-variant), you should set your router to 802.11g-only mode, as the 802.11b-compatibility impacts on bandwidth and range even among 802.11g-devices. Another possible cause of low performance may be proprietary WiFi acceleration modes like "SuperG", "MAXg", "125 High Speed Mode" or "SpeedBooster", if not all devices in your network support the very same mode, why you should disable those.

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