Lions, Tigers and Neighbor’s WiFi!

These days you find wi-fi networks every where. This is good. And it’s bad. It’s great having the convenience of wi-fi at coffee shops, restaurants, hotels etc. But it’s a pain when all your neighbors have wi-fi networks that keep interfering with each other.

I recently discovered a handy free utility for the Mac called iStumbler.  It lists visible wireless networks in your area and provides lots of useful information such protocol, signal strength, frequency, MAC address etc. But probably the most useful information (if you like me, are having problems with wi-fi network interfering with each other) is the channel that each wi-fi network is using. It’s amazing how many of my neighbor’s routers are using the same channel (which is probably the default setting they came with). I read somewhere that two wireless networks using the same channel share the bandwidth, which halves each others bandwidth. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’ve got 4 neighbors using the same channel, so their Internet connections must be really slow and certainly not anywhere close to what their probably paying for with Comcast.

Anyway, I just found a free channel that wasn’t being used by anyone, restarted my router and I’m now getting double the download speed (around 10Mbs). Not bad for an old G router.