The “best channel for WiFi 5ghz” inquiry is a very important question because it helps people determine whether their WiFi connections will be faster or slower.
This article will explain what 5ghz means to WiFi, the best channels to use, and other useful tips about enhancing overall WiFi usage.
If you’re reading this article, you probably just want to know straight away how to find the best channel for WiFi 5ghz; this is why I will explain that first before going into what 5ghz means and other tips.
The other information is also relevant for people who want to know more about their WiFi connection.
The Best Channel For WiFi 5ghz
To be able to figure out the best channels, you will need to know that the channels in 5ghz (more than 20 in number compared to 3 in 2.4ghz) are grouped according to the categories of users that usually use them.
So, it is important I explain the different categories and what they’re used for. This will help you figure out where you stand and automatically tell you which channels are more likely to be better.
Here are the categories of channels
Let’s start with the bottom category.
The channels in this category are Channel 36, Channel 40, Channel 44, and Channel 48.
The category of users that are expected to use these channels is Home Users. These channels are of a general or domestic category.
You might have issues like congestion because it is a popular category of channels usually used by a lot of users but you can solve those problems by securing your WiFi with a stronger password and consider only connecting devices you use regularly.
These tips ensure you get the maximum out of a category of channels designed for home use.
Covering a frequency of a range between 5150 MHz – 5250 MHz, it is a popular band but as long as you follow the tips explained, you should be able to eke out more speed when using these channels.
You will also learn more about choosing a channel in the guide below.
Note:- For Home use, UNII-1 channels are considered the best channel for WiFi 5GHz.
There’s another term for it in case you see that term somewhere else instead of UNII-2. It is also known as UNII-2A.
This category of channels is not mainstream but can still be used. The channels are in a spectrum of 5250 MHz – 5350 MHz.
There are other advanced types of UNII-2 like UNII-2B with a bandwidth range between 5350 MHz to 5470 MHz, UNII-2C also called (UNII-2 Extended Range).
This longer range has a bandwidth range of 5470 MHz to 5725 MHz. These category channels usually are between Channel 100 to Channel 140.
As long as your device contains a Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and a Transmit Power Control (TPC), then you can use the channels in this category.
The reason your device is enabled with the above functions is to avoid clashes with military radar systems, weather station equipment, and other clandestine instruments that may cause harm.
Do you see how vital these channels are? That’s why most users are UNII-1 category channel users.
UNII-3 (UNII Upper Range)
This category has a bandwidth range of 5725 MHz to 5850 MHz. There are only five channels in this category but it is still more than the whole available channels for 2.5 GHz.
The channels are 149, 153, 157, 161. This channel category is mainly utilized by medical service providers, industrial uses, and scientific experiments.
So just as I explained above, as long as your device contains a Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and a Transmit Power Control (TPC), then you can use the channels in this category.
UII-4 Or Also Known As Dedicated Short Range Communications Service (DSRC)
This category of channels are not available to just about anybody, this particular category applies only to radio amateurs with licenses and other short-range communications.
You might have devices that can use this category of channels but usually, users won’t ever really need to go this far.
How To Pick The Best Channel For WiFi 5ghz
Now that we have discussed the channels, their categories, and which users are more likely to use what. We can now dive into choosing the best channels because usually there is no specific perfect channel.
There are some good, better, and not-so-fast options and that is why it is important I explain the categories first.
Here are a few tips on what you should be looking out for when choosing the best channel for WiFi 5ghz.
Channels Most Likely To Avoid Interference
The big issue that’s always disturbing WiFi users is interference from other WiFi users. This usually results in the internet connection becoming really slow because of interference from other devices.
There are two different classifications of interference that I will be using to explain how to choose a good channel.
1. Interference From Electronic Devices
This type of interference does not come from the devices sharing your WiFi, they just come because of the low tolerance a category of channels like UNII-3 has towards interference.
Remember I explained the features you needed to use the UNII-3 category of channels and I also specified how it is unlikely to be used by normal users.
So this interference issue usually won’t affect users who stick to the category UNII-1. These devices here are less susceptible to interference.
However, the category of channels with the lowest amount of interference are the UNII- 2 and UNII – 2 Extended Range categories. These channels are numbered 52-140.
So if you’re looking to avoid interference at all costs, you might want to consider these channels.
It is important to remember that you need two things, a Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and a Transmit Power Control (TPC).
Without these features on your device, you cannot use the above category of channels. Just to remember, the UNII-1 category of channels does not require a Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and a Transmit Power Control (TPC).
2. Interference From Other Devices Using The WiFi Connection
I explained how other devices could cause interference, this is also something along that same line.
This type of interference is actually directly from devices sharing the same WiFi connection as you. Devices using the UNII-1 category of channels are not really capable of providing much interference; they’re not powerful enough.
This leads us to the fact that if users want to avoid interference from other users on the same WiFi connection, using any of the channels from the UNII-1 category might be your best shot at avoiding strong interference.
Amount Of Channel Traffic
Choosing the best channel for WiFi 5ghz is sometimes art and sometimes guesswork but more of the former. If you can read the signs, then you should be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat (choose a really strong channel).
Normally if you find out a channel doesn’t have a lot of users on it, you would think that it’s a viable option for you because of the absence of users on it.
This is factually right but can sometimes be wrong if other factors are in play. For instance, there might be strong interference on a relatively free channel and weak interference on a busy channel.
The best choice would be to go for the busy channel because you won’t get much done when there’s strong interference.
Another tip about channel traffic is liaising with people with whom you share the connection.
If all of you can agree on the specific channel in (usually) UNII-1 category of channels to use, you might be able to work out a plan on how to avoid keeping channels less busy by sharing channels equally.
This will eliminate your busy channel issue and remain free of strong interference. Alternatively, if you’re not in a situation where you can reach out, try out the least crowded channels until you get something that will work fast for you.
What Part Of The World You’re From
This is very important because there are laws governing the use of these categories of channels, especially the improved 5ghz.
The general category allowed almost around the world is UNII-1 while the use of UNII-3 and UNII-2 channels and its (UNII-2) advanced types are sometimes restricted according to the part of the world you reside in.
Remember when I said UNII-3 channels were the most susceptible to interference? That’s because the devices that use this channel are really strong.
Users of UNII-3 channels range from industrial machines to medical lab equipment uses, if you’re going to use this category of channels anywhere in the world, you better be prepared for the likelihood of major interference.
At the time of our research on Best Channel For WiFi 5ghz, we found a video about “That’s How Wi-Fi Works” which is worth watching.
How do I choose a 5GHz channel?
To choose the best 5Ghz channel, you need to look at the list of available ones. For this, log in to your router and check out the list in front of you.
Well, there are basically four bands available at 5GHz frequency, and each has a set of channels. Once you log in to your router, you can choose the one that suits you the best.
How many channels do 5GHz have?
5GHz wifi frequency has around four bands with 24 channels altogether. However, not all of them might be available for you to choose from. These are properly distributed under the four bands and do not overlap.
Does changing the Wi-Fi channel affect speed?
Yes, the Wifi channel is responsible for the proper coverage and speed of your Wifi. Selecting the right channel and even changing them shows great results.
For the 2.4Ghz band, you only get three non-overlapping channels that are easier to select, while the 5Ghz band has 24 non-overlapping channels so you can select anything available from the list.
How can I tell what channel my Wi-Fi is on?
To determine the channel your Wifi is currently using, you can log in to your router and check out everything you need to know. Simply open the login page by entering the IP address for your router and enter the details.
Then you can navigate to the wireless settings and choose the frequency band you are using, i.e., 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Then you can see the Wifi channel under the Channel option.
Which channel width is best for WiFi?
Well, it is believed that the higher the width, the better it will be. However, higher width will eventually interfere with other channels it comes in proximity with.
Hence, the best channel width you can choose for a 5GHz band is 40MHz. Similarly, for the 2.4GHz band, you can choose 20MHz.
Is 20 or 40 MHz better?
40MHz is much better than 20MHz since it has more throughput than the latter. However, the larger the width is the chances of overlapping increase in the same manner. But since the 5GHz band hardly has any overlapping channels, the best way to go is for 40MHz.
I didn’t necessarily pick any specific channel because there isn’t one. The question “The best channel for WiFi 5ghz?” does not have a direct or specific answer.
You can only follow the tips explained above and come to the right decision. Chances are, you might need to use these tips often because interference and busy channels change with the inflow and outflow of people on the channels.
You might find the perfect channel today and notice it has slowed down tomorrow. Continue using the tips above to figure out the best channel available whenever you notice the current channel speed becoming really slow.
Have you switched from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz? Which category and which channels do you recommend for other users?
We would love to hear from you about the questions asked. Please use the comment section below to reach out to us. I hope this article helped you in knowing the best channel for WiFi 5ghz. Thanks for reading.