WiFi Routers are set to default settings out of the factory. However, you can make them perform even better with a little tweaking. If you are fond of tweaking your router, then you should consider choosing the best 5GHz channels to get the best performance. Sounds interesting? Read further to know more.
In this post, I will guide you on how to choose the best 5GHz channels for your WiFi network to bring the best out of your router. Additionally, I will also explain every essential bit of information about WiFi network channels. So, the next time you experience any issues, you can sort them out yourself.
- 1 What is the 5GHz Channel in WiFi Network?
- 2 Which is the best 5GHz Channel for your WiFi Network?
- 3 The Cons of using 5GHz Channel
- 4 Final Words
What is the 5GHz Channel in WiFi Network?
A router is a network device that transmits data using radio waves. The radio waves are transmitted in all directions and the connected devices catch them to receive data. Routers have different channel frequencies that decide their performance in various conditions. There are two types of channel frequencies in WiFi routers- 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Both the frequencies have different properties, and so deliver different performance.
Usually, routers are set to use 2.4GHz frequency channels as they have a wider range and lower bandwidth. Our focus for today is the other channel frequency. 5GHz is a major type of channel frequency in a WiFi network that has a shorter range but higher bandwidth. Thus, it is known to deliver a better overall performance than 2.4GHz channels.
The 5GHz channel frequency comes with 25 pre-defined channels that serve various purposes. Choosing the right type of channel is the key to getting the best performance and speed from your WiFi network.
Why using 5GHz Band is a wise decision?
We use routers daily to connect to the WiFi network and access the internet. Sometimes, the network doesn’t work properly and we end up facing issues. In such cases, we can alter the channels of the network to improvise the performance. Basically, channels are the width of a band at which a router is releasing signals in an open space.
The higher the channel, the wider the bandwidth. The 5GHz channel have a shorter range but a higher bandwidth. So, you can use it to notice a considerable boost in the performance of your router. That’s why using a 5GHz channel is a very wise decision if you are experiencing the ‘slow speed issue’ on your WiFi network.
Customizing a router is always a wise decision but a lot of users don’t know how to do that. Our sole purpose here is to aware everyone of the chances they are missing.
Why 5GHz Channel is better than 2.4GHz Channel?
2.4 GHz channel has a wider range and lower bandwidth while the 5GHz channel has a shorter range but higher bandwidth. Higher bandwidth is required for better performance, and the 5GHz channel has higher bandwidth. That’s why it is fairly better than the 2.4 GHz channel.
Also, the 2.4 GHz band has only 3 channels, while the 5GHz band has 25 channels. More channels also mean better bandwidth. So, the greater range is another reason that makes 5GHz superior to 2.4GHz.
Which is the best 5GHz Channel for your WiFi Network?
Now that you have decided to switch to a 5GHz channel, the main question arises- Which is the best 5GHz channel for my WiFi network that I should use? Since we have already told you that there are 25 predefined 5GHz channels in a router, we’ll also help you understand which 5Ghz channel is the best.
The 25 predefined 5GHz channels start from 36, 40, 44, 48, and go up to 149, 153, 157, 161, and 165. These channels are used by routers, scientific industry, military stations, and many other organizations for communication purposes. The different channels are divided into different categories based on the purpose they serve.
The first 36, 40, 44, and 48 channels are termed as UNII-1 channels. The UNII-1 channels are used by routers for domestic use, and hence these are the best 5GHz channels for your WiFi network.
Should you only use UNII-1 Channels?
UNII-1 channels are known as the best channel for WiFi 5GHz band as they are particularly signaled for home use. The other channels have different purposes and your router may not support them fully. For example, the 165 channel is specifically reserved for military use and sensitive communication. So, you will not be able to use it at home using a general router.
It is recommended that you only stick to UNII-1 5Ghz channels unless your router supports DFS. DFS is the abbreviation of Dynamic Frequency Selection. The routers having DFS automatically select the best channels without overlapping with the weather station, military, or other org-specific channels. However, home routers rarely have the DFS feature.
Therefore, you will have to use the 36, 40, 44, and 48 channels to get better performance.
The Cons of using 5GHz Channel
We have already seen the benefits of using a 5GHz channel over a 2.4GHz channel. However, some drawbacks of doing the same exist as well. Here are the cons of choosing the best 5GHz channel for your WiFi network:
- You’ll have to experience congestion– If there are many devices available having the same channel near you, then they might interfere and slow down the router.
- The signal penetration is weak– If you have thick walls, then you’d find less network connectivity behind them.
- The range is short– The 5GHz channels have a shorter range, so you’ll have to stay near the router.
- Even home appliances may interfere– home appliances and smart devices also use the same UNII-1 channels for communication. So, they may interfere with your router.
These are some major cons of switching to the best 5GHz channels.
Then, what shall be done?
If the cons have frightened you, I have a solution for you. You can use the WiFi Analyzer app. This app is able to check channel congestion around the router and suggests the best channel. It uses location, radio waves, number of devices around the router into consideration to calculate the results.
So, you can use it to avoid network congestion, and get better performance out of the router.
If you are experiencing poor performance from your router, switching to the best 5GHz channel is the right decision to improve the performance. The 36, 40, 44, and 48 (UNII-1 channels) are the best 5GHZ channels that you can use for your router. These channels will ensure higher bandwidth, and thus, better performance. However, the downside of this would be network congestion. You’ll have to learn to tackle it wisely.
That’s all for this post. I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to use the comment box to ask questions or share suggestions about anything mentioned here.