Unstable Wi-Fi is often caused by wireless congestion. Congestion problems are common in apartment complexes or densely-packed neighborhoods when too many people using Wi-Fi leads to connectivity problems.
Wireless congestion is caused by issues with two factors: frequency overlap and limited Wi-Fi channels.
1. Download and Install a Wi-Fi Analysis App
On Windows, many free apps can analyze the quality of wireless channels. One of the best options is available on the Microsoft Store: Wi-Fi Analyzer. For those without Windows, search your respective operating system’s app store for “Wi-Fi Analyzer,” and you’ll see dozens of options.
2. Detect Unstable Wi-Fi
Using Wi-Fi Analyzer is dead simple. Just install and run the app. After installation, you can launch it by going to Windows Search (Windows key + S) > Wi-Fi Analyzer.
The tool should detect your Wi-Fi signal strength, ranging from zero to -100 decibel milliwatts (dBm). If you have a 5GHz network, a toggle at the bottom of the app interface allows you to switch between detecting 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
To analyze your wireless router’s signal quality, take the following actions:
Click on Analyze in the top menu bar.
Wi-Fi Analyzer then displays a visualization of the Wi-Fi networks in your vicinity. If two networks broadcast on the same channel, you’ll notice overlap. Each channel has a number between one and 161 on the 5GHz frequency and one through 11 on the 2.4GHz frequency.
When two networks overlap:
The X axis represents the channels available on the 2.4GHz spectrum. As you can see, channels four to seven are unoccupied. Channels five and six have no competition whatsoever. Given the app’s analysis, I should change my router’s 2.4GHz channel to either five or six.
But how do you change your router’s channel?
How to Change Your Router’s Channel
Accessing your router’s settings requires a browser, like Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Accessing its settings, unfortunately, varies between different router models, but some general rules apply.
- Netgear routers: In your browser, navigate to https://routerlogin.net
- TP-Link routers: In your browser, navigate to https://tplinklogin.net
- Linksys routers: In your browser, navigate to 192.168.1.1.
You can complete an internet search to find the login URL for your specific router brand and model.
Most routers use “admin” as the login and “password” as the password. The login details may also be printed on the back of the router or in the instruction manual that came with it. If you cannot access your router, try searching the internet for your individual router’s access method.
For my own Telus router, changing the Wi-Fi channel is easy. First, I navigate to the router login address and enter my login and password. Changing the channel is usually located under Wireless Settings > Advanced Settings.
I then change the network channel to the option which offers a good connection, save the settings, and restart the router by power cycling it (turning it off and on again). Afterward, it stopped randomly disconnecting.
One thing to mention is that most modern routers include a dual-band feature that combines 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies onto a single network name or SSID. This feature is notoriously unreliable, and if you’re having network problems, I suggest disabling it as a precautionary step. On my Telus router, it’s referred to as SmartSteering. Other brands have completely different names.
How to Fix Unstable Wi-Fi? Decongest It!
If your Wi-Fi sucks, a Wi-Fi analysis app is the best way to find out your router’s ideal network settings. If you’re still getting unreliable internet after changing your router’s channel, consider troubleshooting your Wi-Fi problems. Sometimes ironing out the kinks on your home internet will fix those irritating reliability issues.
Written by Kannon Yamada for muo©
Source: How to Fix an Unstable Wi-Fi Connection: 6 Tips and Fixes (msn.com)