Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently flashed my wireless router with a new firmware to solve an issue I had with the old one. It's a dual band router with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Previously, I was connecting my desktop PC on the 5 GHz band, and there were no performance issues, as long as there were no connection issues with Windows or the router.

But this time around, I decided to connect to the 2.4 GHz band instead, because I would like to preserve the 5 GHz band for media streaming. But since I live in an apartment complex there are many WiFi networks in my surrounding. So I have noticed some performance issues. It becomes very evident when I try to use web services like YouTube where the buffering stops after some time when watching a video, even though the video is only 5 or 10 minutes long and resolution is set to 480p.

I did a quick check with inSSIDer 2.1 and found that my neighbors are all using the 2.4 GHz band. Here are some screenshots.

inssider 1 inssider 7

Some additional screenshots to show the variation:

My WiFi is the dark blue one.

  1. Could the green Tele2 and the yellow TP-LINK network be causing interference with my own WiFi network?
  2. Which one is more likely to cause interference, the one that is on the same channel (green), or the one that's on a higher channel but has a stronger signal (yellow), when compared to the other one?
  3. Why is the TP-LINK network so wide?
  4. Given this diagram, what would be the best way to configure my WiFi network?

Update:

The networks Tele2Gateway, TP-LINK, and Netgear_Privat are so weak that they keep disappearing and reappearing in inSSIDer and they are not even shown in the D-Link driver software of my wireless adapter (DWA-160).

I have changed from 1 to channel 13 now and gained some signal strength. From around 62% in D-Link software to 76% now. But it still overlaps that yellow line (TP-LINK_E450F0). I don't think I can avoid it without going to channel 14, which I don't have.

On channel 1: d-link dwa-160 driver software 1

On channel 13: d-link dwa-160 driver software 2

(The Tele2Gateway was caught on this screenshot, and is said to be 10% of full signal strength.)

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

The typical channel choices for 2.4GHz are 1, 6, and 11. Seeing as 6 and 11 are already taken, leave your router on channel 1.

share|improve this answer
add comment

None. Use the 5 GHz band.

Reason: There are only a a few (14) available channels at 2.4GHz. Even less if you consider how they overlap. But wireless N at 5GHz has significantly more channels. There should be enough room at 5GHz for your normal surfing and for your media streaming.

share|improve this answer
    
Also, the majority of portable phones use the 2.4GHz band so your going to get more interference from that. –  ub3rst4r Jan 12 '13 at 21:52
    
As I have already chosen the 2.4 GHz I will use that for now, and try changing the channel. This router is buggy and I don't really want to mess with it too much. But if I don't get good results with 2.4 GHz on a different channel I will then switch to 5 GHz and hope that my media players and all that junk will cope with it. –  sammyg Jan 12 '13 at 23:00
    
I have 13 channels at 2.4 GHz, from 1 to 13. Why am I missing 14? Is that normal? On 5 GHz I have exactly four channels, I have 36, 40, 44 and 48. I don't have the other four channels for indoors that are listed on the link you provided. I am missing 52, 56, 60 and 64. Does this depend on the router model? –  sammyg Jan 12 '13 at 23:06
    
Not all channels are legally usable by the public in all countries. Channel 14 is one of the lesser used/legal ones. (Drivers will usable use of it when they think you are in the wrong country, e.g. when you set a different locale). –  Hennes Jan 12 '13 at 23:09
    
If I understand this correctly the interference occurs when these networks overlap each other? So looking at the diagram, my own network is on channel 1 but so is Tele2 (green). So these two would interfere when put next to each other. But if the Tele2 router is far away from mine, the signal is weak, and so it should not interfere with mine? What about that yellow line in that diagram, is that causing interference? Even if it is overlapping only at the edges? –  sammyg Jan 12 '13 at 23:13
show 5 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.