Wi-Fi – Demystifying the myth about overlapping wireless channels.

Contrary to most people’s belief, every Wi Fi channel is best for use. Most people believe that, only 1, 6 and 11 channels are best for use. I disagree to that. Actually every channel is best to use unless it doesn’t overlap with each other.

I’m using channel 7 for my home Wi Fi. Let me post a screenshot here.

Wi Fi Channels

Wi Fi Channels

As you can see in above screenshot, the Channel 7 overlaps with 5 other Channels. That is, channel 7 overlaps with channel 5 to 9. Yes, that is the simple thing in here and the most misunderstood part too.

Let me explain. No matter which channel we use, that channel overlaps with 5 other channels.

The source of this confusion is some sort of misunderstanding about a particular Wikipedia image. People refer Wikipedia for knowledge. And when they see this image taken from Wikipedia, they take in the wrong meaning.

2000px-2.4_GHz_Wi-Fi_channels_(802.11b,g_WLAN)_svg

No, I’m not suggesting the above Wikipedia image is wrong. In essence, the Wikipedia image is 100% correct actually. But it’s the laypeople who interpret the image in a much different and wrong way.

In that image which is taken from Wikipedia which describes overlapping channels, most people notice only the direct lines. But most people don’t notice the dotted lines in that image which also shows other overlapping channels. And that’s why most people have misunderstanding about Wi Fi channels. They think, according to that image, only the channels 1, 6 and 11 are the best because it doesn’t overlap (straight line). They don’t notice other dotted lines in between. That’s the reason they have this common misunderstanding about Wi Fi channels.

So in-order to choose a best channel for Wi-Fi network, we should count up to 5 channels in order to avoid overlapping.

In my screenshot above, I chose channel 7 for my Wi-Fi network. And it overlaps with 5 and 9.

Let’s choose channel 8. Now when we inspect with inSSIDer for Windows, we can see that, channel 8 overlaps with channels 6 and 10. That is, channel 8 overlaps with 5 other channels.

If there are so many Wi Fi networks in the area, we should find out which channel is the least overlapping one and we should set that channel for our Wi Fi network.

Copyright: Text is licensed to Robin Mathew Rajan under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.