wireless channels wich one to chose?

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by NEOo, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. NEOo

    NEOo Network Guru Member

    hi i got myself a wireless network card yesterday and it all works fine.
    but i dont know shit about these things and now i see there are 13 wireless channels to chose... can someone please tell me which one i have to pick for the best connection?

    and i'm using the mac filter is that enough firewall?

    thnx in advance!

    BTW: i got the wrt54G v2 eu with hyperwrt tofu6.2 firmware
  2. SteelersFANinMA

    SteelersFANinMA Network Guru Member

    Hi, I have a WRT54G v2 US and using tofu6.2 Hyperwrt. In the US, the channels only go up to 11, but I've heard that in Europe they go to 13. Since you're in the Netherlands and using an EU WRT I'm not sure what the default channel is. You should take that into account when reading this post. In the US, default is 6. Get a free program like NetStumbler which will recognize any other AP's in your area and see what channels they're on, (this program will also give you other useful info. on your own and other AP's). In my area ALL other AP's are on 6, (default). So, you should probably avoid whatever default is for EU, and those channels that other AP's are on. I've been told to try to stay away from the channels farthest from the default as they are at the end of the range. Also, to stay away from channel 1 because that is the channel which is most affected by 2.4 ghz phones, (your own or a close neighbor's). If you don't have 2.4 ghz phones in EU then you don't have to worry about that, but again channel 1 is at the very end of the range. So, what channel to use? In the US you have 1, 6, and 11 as the beginning, middle (default) and end of the range. So, try to stay somewhere in between the range ends and default. In the US, channels 3 and 9 are good choices. I've found that 3 works best for me. Again, you'll have to take this info. and convert it to the EU channel range to find what works best for you and remember to use NetStumbler to see what channels are already in use by local AP's.
    OK, I'll guess that since there are 13 channels, that 7 may be the EU default. If so, channels 4 and 10 may be a good place to start testing, providing that no one else in your area is using them. Good Luck! :cool:
  3. SteelersFANinMA

    SteelersFANinMA Network Guru Member

    PS: When using the mac filter, choose allow only and then add your mac. Also, I believe the NAT firewall is enabled by default. If not, enable it. Also, use encryption. WPA2 with AES is the most up to date choice and is probably the safest. You'll need to have Windows XP sp2 to use WPA2, but if you have sp1 you can go to the Microsoft site and download a patch that will allow you to use WPA2. Your Wireless card or NIC will also need an up to date driver that supports WPA2. Read this thread from the Wireless Adapter forum to get all the info. on WPA2:


    WEP encryption = Old, can be cracked
    WPA encryption = Not as old, but can be cracked
    WPA2 encryption = Newest, hasn't been cracked yet AFAIK
    Also, AES is meant for WPA2 and I believe is safer than TKIP. However, you can use TKIP with WPA2. I also believe that some may debate which is safer, AES or TKIP. Some NIC's/Adapter's don't support AES, if that's the case then use TKIP.
  4. NEOo

    NEOo Network Guru Member

    thank you very much! :thumbup:

    i've got a Creatix CTX404 WLAN 802.11b with driver from 2003 so thats not so great and there are no newer drivers i think so the only encryprion that works for me is WEP.

    but thnx for all the info :D
  5. vincentfox

    vincentfox Network Guru Member

    802.11 channels overlap. Rule of thumb is that 1, 6, and 11 are the only ones that don't overlap. So having an AP on Ch. 1 right next to another AP with Ch.2 you WILL Have lots of interference.

    Pick the farthest channel you can from any nearby AP's. If you see lots of local strong signals on 6 and 11, then use Ch. 1.

    Here is a link that will help visualize the problem:

  6. SteelersFANinMA

    SteelersFANinMA Network Guru Member

    vincentfox, that's a great visualization chart. I've never seen one before. However, I was told that 2.4ghz phones interfere with channel 1 and I just googled some articles which show this. Here is a link to one:


    Here's a good one that charts everything including the frequency vs. signal strength for channels 1, 6 and 11 and then the same for common jammers like 2.4 ghz phones, microwaves and Bluetooth:

  7. DallasFlier

    DallasFlier Network Guru Member

    You've been told completely wrong, my friend. As has already been explained in this thread, and as you yourself found out in the sources you found - the only NON-overlapping channels in the US are 1,6 and 11. Therefore, to avoid interference from all the other units in your immediate vicinity which are on channel 6, your best choices are either channel 1 or channel 11. Different 2.4 GHz phones will interfere in different parts of the spectrum, so its worth experimenting a little to decide whether to use channel 1 or channel 11. But your choice of channel 3 puts you into interference mode with all the channel 6 units in your area, so is not the best choice.
  8. SteelersFANinMA

    SteelersFANinMA Network Guru Member

    I agree, that it is easy to see the overlap when using channel 3, but the overlap is not that much. However, the first link I posted shows that certain 2.4 ghz phones broadcast on the 2.412 frequency which is dead center for channel 1, and is what I was told. Since I didn't post everything that was mentioned by Person X, it may have sounded like they were saying that channel 1 is a bad choice, which wasn't the case. I just think that it's good info. to know in case someone has problems with channel 1. Anyway, I own a 5.8 ghz phone so my only concern for channel 1 would be 2.4 ghz phones owned by my neighbors. I have used channels 1, 11 and 3 and found 1 and 3 to be the best for me. I suppose that it's best to experiment a bit since it is possible that in certain environments, channel 3 could perform better than channel 1. It is also possible for channels 1, 6 and 11 to be in use by other local AP's. Either way, I definitely learned a bit about channels and frequencies by posting in this thread. :cool:
  9. danielhaden

    danielhaden Network Guru Member

    That bit about channels 1, 6, 11 is from an ancient network text. And, it is not true.

    1, 8, 4, 11 do not overlap. This is the new standard for corporate use.

    However for home use, just choose the channel farthest away from your neighbors. In a radio-dense enviroment, choose to compete with the weakest competitor because that will cause the least interference. Avoid "G-Only" modes in a radio dense enviroment because that mode will drop connections in the presence of "B" devices (percieved as a loud noise in G-only mode).

    Choose an SSID that begins with a character that is not shared by any of your neighbors. For some reason, the ancient 8 character name carries through to wireless networking. You may choose a name longer than 8 characters, but most wireless devices will read only the first 8 characters. Isn't that just daft? Anyway, use anything except "linksys" as your SSID. Preferably, use your land line telephone number as your SSID. This enables neighbors to contact you to negotiate better networking.
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