Why Channels 1, 6 and 11?

Spending money for high speed Internet and not getting what you expected? Are you and your colleagues not able to stay connected to the office network? Was your Wi-Fi network working fine in the past and then suddenly very slow Wi-Fi data rates?

Each case above indicates Wi-Fi interference.

There are three main causes of Wi-Fi interference: co-channel, overlapping channel and non-Wi-Fi wireless interference.

Channel related interference can be reduced or eliminated by selecting the proper Wi-Fi channel for your network. Ultimately improving your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network coverage and performance.

Let’s get technical for a moment. The 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) spectrum is 100 MHz wide and made up of 11 channels centered 5 MHz apart. Each 2.4GHz channel is 20 – 22 MHz wide making the spectrum a little crowded.

If each channel is 20 MHz wide, this means there will be a minimum of 10 MHz of overlap with neighboring channels (overlapping channel interference). For example, if your network is on channel 9, it will overlap with channels 7, 8, 10, 11.

Creating a situation where your network is yelling loudly in a foreign language, distracting any network on an overlapping channel. Vis-versa for the other networks and your network.

In the case of Wi-Fi, channel overlapping is bad. This leaves only channels 1, 6 and 11 not overlapping with each other.

General rule of thumb, you want your network to be anti-social with other networks. So, avoid being within 2 channels of any other network.

If you cannot avoid them, join them. Sharing the same channel, co-channel interference, is not ideal, the impact of the interference is reduced because the 802.11 specification has methods to negotiate same channel communications.

You can design your network in a couple ways; randomly changing your network channel until you find success. Or proactively design the network using MetaGeek’s inSSIDer Office with Wi‑Spy Mini.

inSSIDer Office will allow you to see all the surrounding networks, channel health, as well as provide tips on how to best optimize up to 8 networks. inSSIDer Office visualizes co-channel and overlapping channel interference giving even non-technical users the ability to greatly improve their wireless network.

With the addition of Wi-Spy mini, inSSIDer Office visualizes the 2.4 GHz RF spectrum. Why is this important? Because it will show where non-Wi-Fi wireless interference is causing issues.

Remember there are three types of interference, with wireless interference coming from various devices such as a microwave oven, Xbox controller, baby monitor, wireless security cameras, wireless AV systems, etc.

Without the ability to see the spectrum, you will not be able to avoid these interferers as well.

Wi‑Spy Mini shows you the transmitter destroying Channel 6!


Small Office

  • Do you have less than a dozen APs
  • Are you the only IT guy?

inSSIDer Office + Wi-Spy MiniLearn More

Enterprise Network

  • Are you in a large building or on a campus?
  • Do you have a team of IT staff?

Chanalyzer 5 + Wi-Spy DBxLearn More

Packet Analysis

  • Are you looking for more in depth Wi-Fi packet analysis?

Eye P.A. + AirPcap NxLearn More