How to change your router channel

Wifi routers broadcast signals in the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. A 2.4 GHz connection travels further at a lower speed. A 5 GHz frequency provides faster speeds at a shorter range.

Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies are also divided into numerically labeled channels. These channels are similar to lanes on a motorway that guide traffic. Having a lot of other wifi signals around, such as from neighbours where the houses are close together, sometimes slows down the wifi channel. This can create something like a traffic jam, causing everyone’s wifi signal speed to slow down. However, most routers have the ability to change channels. This means you can manually choose a less crowded frequency and potentially increase your wifi speed.

To change the channel on your router, follow these instructions below. This is easiest on a PC or a Mac but can also be done on a tablet or mobile device.

  • Open a web browser (Chrome, Firefox or Safari)
  • Type your router’s IP address in to the browser’s address bar.
    • The IP address always starts with http:// followed by four number sequences separated by dots. For example: http://123.456.1.1. Your router will have its own unique number.
    • Different routers may use different terminology for the IP address, but the numeric codes will look like the one mentioned above.
    • Most routers have a sticker on them that shows information such as the router’s IP address and the username and password you need to log in to the router.
    • If your router does not have such a sticker, check the documentation that came with the router for the information or contact the router manufacturer.
  • Hit Enter after you type in the IP address (example: http://123.456.1.1)
    • Your browser may display a warning screen at this point.
    • Click Proceed.
  • Enter the router’s username
    • If you’re having trouble finding the username and password, check the documentation that came with your router or contact the router manufacturer.
    • Enter the username and password exactly as they appear. They are case sensitive.
    • The username and password can usually be found on a sticker on the router.
  • Open Wireless Settings.
    • If you have two bands, you can change the channel on both bands following the instructions below.
    • Auto-Connect is usually a Wireless Settings option.
    • The exact name and location of this option may differ for different brands of routers. Many of the most popular brands show Wireless Settings under Advanced Settings. Consult your router’s manual if you need assistance or ask a tech-savvy friend or family member to help.
    • Depending on your wifi service, you may have a 2.4 GHz and a 5 GHz band available.
    • If there is an Auto-Connect setting, turn it to OFF because you are trying to manually set a different wifi channel.
  • Click Channels.
  • Change your wifi channel to 1, 6 or 11. These are usually the least crowded channels.
    • If your router is already broadcasting on channel 1, 6 or 11, change the channel to one of the others.
  • Click Save or Apply.
    • Once you save your settings, your router may reboot. Be sure to let it restart and reconnect to your Ring device.

What to do if you can’t change the router channel manually

Certain router models lack the ability to manually change channels. If you’re having difficulty accessing the channel controls on your router, contact the router manufacturer and ask them to help you change the wifi channel to 1, 6 or 11. If it is already on one of those channels, have them switch to another.

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