Wireless routers can broadcast on several different channels, similar to the way radio stations use different channels. In the United States and Canada, the three main channels are 1, 6, and 11. There are more channels on the router, but they “overlap.” Similar to how you’ll hear interference on one radio station while another is perfectly clear, sometimes one wireless channel is clearer than others. You don’t need to change your computer’s configuration, because it automatically detects the router’s new channel.
In order for a wireless device to connect to a wireless network, it must know the network name, or SSID (service set identifier). If you plug your wireless router or access point in and leave the default SSID, it won’t take long for an attacker to determine what the SSID is.
To change your channel and SSID:
- Connect the computer to one of the four LAN ports on the router.
- Open a web browser on the computer.
- In the address bar of the web browser, type http://192.168.2.1 and press Enter on your keyboard.
- Click Login in the upper right-hand corner of the page. The router does not ship with a password, so just click Submit.
- Click on “Channel and SSID” in the left-hand column under the Wireless heading.
- The router may be set to auto for the channel selection. This means that the first time the router is powered on, it will automatically select the channel that has the least amount of interference. As surrounding networks are added, the initial channel may become crowded. Use the drop-down list and select a new channel for your router.
Note: Channels 1, 6, or 11 are the best selections.
- After setting the channel, select the SSID box by clicking in it.
- Type a name that is familiar to you. This is the name of the wireless signal on which your router will broadcast.
- Once these changes have been made, click the “Apply Changes” button toward the bottom of the screen.