If your home wireless internet connection (WLAN) seems to be dragging, you might be able to speed things up by switching the factory set channel on the router.

To find the best setting, install WLAN scanner software on your computer. That will tell you which neighbours are using which of the 13 available channels on any WLAN router, advises German computer magazine c't.

It's best to find a channel that's relatively isolated - i.e. with no-one using any channel within two numbers of your choice - with only weak signals operating nearby.

Once you've found the right channel, it has to be set into the router's menu or the WLAN base station, a job usually best done via the computer's browser. Routers typically aren't capable of automatically finding the optimal channel, since they can only evaluate signal strength right at the device's location.

If there is a lot of disruption due to router signals crossing one another and changing channels doesn’t help, there is also the possibility of switching from the 2.4 gigahertz channel to the 5 gigahertz channel in the router's menu.

That will mean a signal that doesn't carry as far. But it might be the only way to get enough signal strength for intensive downloads, such as streaming movies, if there are a lot of disruptions in your signal.

At the very least, it's worth it to experiment with the setting of your router's antennae. C't notes that just turning and resetting those can sometimes boost data transmission rates.

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