Using inSSIDer 2.0 to find a free wireless channel
Wireless routers use WiFi technology to allow devices to connect wirelessley across a network. Their are several channels that a wireless router can broadcast on and finding a less congested or free channel can help to resolve lots of problems such as slow internet and computers losing connection.
inSSIDer is a free piece of Windows software that uses your computers WiFi card to analyse wireless networks around you showing information such as signal strength, network SSID and the channels the network is broadcasting on.
You can download inSSIDer for free from http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
follow the instillation instructions and once its installed run the program from the shortcut on your desktop.
You should see a Window similar to the image below; with wireless networks in a list in the top pane and a graph in the bottom pane.
The list of networks at the top shows the physical MAC address, SSID (network name), RSSI (signal strength), vendor, type of encryption & the data rate that the network is running at.
The image above shows several networks broadcasting on a range of channels, in this case we are troubleshooting the red network, looking at the graph it is overlapping with the green network so changing the broadcast channel to channel 1 or 2 could help to improve signal strength.
The graph above shows signal strength over time, you can see that the red network was fluctuating, once we changed the channel on the router the signal strength remained constant.
Another use of the time graph can be to troubleshoot interference from devices such as cordless phones, microwaves & baby monitors. try moving your router around ensuring it is away from any sources of interference.