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Old 03-22-2012, 01:03 PM   #1
theMouthPiece
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App to establish best WiFi channel to use...

Hi All

Just wondering if anyone can suggest an app to use on my mac to establish the best (least used) channel for my home WiFi network. I currently let the router (Extreme) decide the channel, but have read on the web a few times now that sometimes it is good to see which channel is least used within your neighborhood.

Any recommendations...?

Ta
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #2
DeltaMac
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Your System Profiler (System Information in Lion), click on Network, then Airport (or Wi-Fi) will show you all the wireless networks that your wi-fi card can see. Part of the information for each network is the wireless channel that each is using.
I also like to use iStumbler to list all the wireless networks.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:07 AM   #3
theMouthPiece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaMac
Your System Profiler (System Information in Lion), click on Network, then Airport (or Wi-Fi) will show you all the wireless networks that your wi-fi card can see. Part of the information for each network is the wireless channel that each is using.
I also like to use iStumbler to list all the wireless networks.

Hi - thanks for this, however when I select System Info I don't see any network selection option.

This is the first screen I see...


... and when I select 'More Info', this is the screen I see...



Any advice please...? Thanks.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:22 AM   #4
NaOH
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In that last screen shot, click the System Report button. That opens System Information to its full display. Like its predecessor, System Profiler, System Information can also be opened from within /Applications/Utilities (or via Spotlight). Once the full report opens you'll see the Network information that DeltaMac mentioned.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:09 AM   #5
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Right! I keep forgetting that there's an extra click (in Lion) to get to the System Report list.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
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Kismac

Hi,

Here in the UK, most suburban houses will be able to pick up between 40-50 WIFI networks (in my experience) which, given there are only 11 normally used channels, means that on average 4 other users will be on your channel.

The best method is to use Kismac to find a relatively "clear spot" in the spectrum, where the other users on the chosen channel are far away hence will have low signal strength, and will be swamped by your local signal:

http://kismac-ng.org/

Many WIFI routers are preconfigure to "Auto" select a channel, and with so many networks around they will jump channels so much that the WIFI controller chip overheats and crashes. Putting a small fan over the chip or a hair dryer on low speed cold onto the WIFI router vent will demonstratively fix this problem, and so will changing the "Auto" setting to a clear fixed channel.

Some areas have so many WIFI networks that it is impossible to use WIFI any more. Back to Ethernet cables !

Regards,

Nick
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #7
DeltaMac
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What about the possibility of moving to 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
There's many more non-overlapping channels.
Then, you could let the rest of the wireless world do what they want - while you connect in peaceful bliss....
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #8
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5Ghz is great but....

So many people seem to be still using 2.4Ghz only devices !

Regards,

Nick
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
NovaScotian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macsolver
So many people seem to be still using 2.4Ghz only devices !

Regards,

Nick

The real problem is that so many people have wireless routers that are not capable of dual-channel so they have to revert to the lowest common denominator.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:52 AM   #10
theMouthPiece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaMac
What about the possibility of moving to 5 GHz Wi-Fi?
There's many more non-overlapping channels.
Then, you could let the rest of the wireless world do what they want - while you connect in peaceful bliss....

Hi

I am on a 5GHz channel now using the Apple Extreme router. I was just curious as to being able to see local usage across all the channels.

Thanks all for the comments.

John
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