Find Best Wi-Fi Channel with Wireless Diagnostics on Mac OS

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Just about every semi-technical person has a wireless router installed with it home or at the office, wondering which broadcast channel would be best to use. Sure, some Wi-Fi routers make it simple and will recommend a channel themselves, but often that’s left up up to the user to decide. Let’s face it, most people have absolutely no idea what the best Wi-Fi channel would be, let alone which one to use for a 5 GHz wireless N network versus a 2.4 GHz 802.11b / g network, or even what the difference is between the networks. . For average people it’s a lot of pointless tech jargon, they just want wireless internet and they want it to be fast, right? Fortunately, OS X Mavericks makes this easy when a Wi-Fi router doesn’t, with a simple solution offered through the included Wi-Fi scanner app that works with any brand of Wi-Fi router out there.

Detect the best Wi-Fi broadcast channels for use with a wireless router

To get started, you must first jump to the Wireless Diagnostics Utilities app:

  1. Hold down the OPTION key and click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar
  2. Select “Open Wireless Diagnostics”, usually the very last option
  3. Option-click the Wi-Fi menu to access the Wireless Diagnostics utility in Mac OS X

  4. Enter the administrator password and ignore the boot screen completely
  5. Open the “Windows” menu and choose “Utilities”
  6. Select the ‘Wi-Fi Scan’ tab and select ‘Scan Now’
  7. When you’re done, check the bottom right for the best channel recommendations:
  • Best 2.4 GHz Channels (Usually 802.11b / g)
  • Best 5 GHz channels (usually 802.11a / n)
  • Now log into your Wi-Fi router (this varies depending on the manufacturer) and make the channel changes as needed – usually this means using a web browser to get to the local router’s IP address (192.168.0.1, etc.)
  • This tool exists in all modern versions of OS X and it is very easy to use, this is how it looks from Yosemite, note that the layout of the app is slightly different from previous releases, but the tool itself is mostly the same, with the Wi-Fi channel scanning and recommendation feature:

    How to    find the best Wi-Fi channel to use in Mac OS X

    In the screenshot below, the best channels are 2 and 3 for 2.4 GHz and 149 and 157 for 5 GHz.

    Scan and find the best Wi-Fi channels to use

    As mentioned earlier, changing the broadcast channel depends on the router manufacturer and the IP address used. Using a Netgear router with an IP 192.168.1.1 as an example, point a web browser to that IP address, log in with the router admin login (often admin / admin), and look for the “Channel” option, usually within a preferred region for “Wireless Settings” or “Broadcast Settings”. Change the correct channels for each protocol, save the settings and you are good to go.

    Change Wi-Fi broadcast channel to the best option

    The Wi-Fi network should now be faster with less interference for all devices on the network, not just the Mac used to scan and detect the best channels. Ahead, the amazing OS X Wireless Diagnostics tool can also be used to further optimize Wi-Fi networks by measuring signal strength as you physically rearrange the placement of a wireless router in relation to computer hardware. This works exceptionally well, and it’s worth taking a moment to perfect it, especially if you think a wireless network is slow or problematic.

    Optimal channel detection Trick for iOS users

    Can’t access a Mac or the Wireless Diagnostics Utility? Maybe you don’t have OS X Mavericks yet? For users with an iPhone or mobile iPad with the iOS Personal Wi-Fi Hotspot feature, you can use a roundabout trick to also detect the best channel for a router. All you need to do is place the iPad or iPhone in the general region of the hardware that can access the primary wireless router, then turn on the Personal Hotspot temporarily. iOS automatically scans, detects and chooses the best possible channel to use, just like the OS X scanner tool, so one can easily connect to that broadcast hotspot, watch the chosen channel, then turn off the hotspot feature and reconfigure the router to use that broadcast channel. Handy trick, huh?

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    How to Find the Best Wi-Fi Channel with Wireless Diagnostics in Mac OS X: FAQ

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    What is actual time in which this method complete?

    The time to complete the How to Find the Best Wi-Fi Channel with Wireless Diagnostics in Mac OS X tutorial is 10+ minutes.

    What are the supported Device?

    Apple

    What are the supported Operating system?

    mac OS


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