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  • Writer's pictureTony Fortunato

Good Old Auto Wifi Channels

There are some things I just ‘do’ when working on specific tasks.

I remember presenting to a bunch of consultants and they wondered if I had a list of ‘the common things’ that I do when I’m troubleshooting, baselining, installing, etc. Unfortunately there are so many variables, that is a very difficult to capture in a list. I must admit after that very good question, I found myself paying attention to my methodology and general workflow.

A good example would be when I work with wireless networks. I try to determine if the channel values are automatically determined or manually entered. In some cases, the client says “it doesn’t matter since we have a wireless controller that determines the settings”. I counter that basic wireless design principles still apply regardless how the wireless access point is configured.

Lets take a simple example or two wireless access points that are both set for auto channel selection about 3 feet from each other. What are the chances that one access point is channel 1 and the other is 6 or 11?

I have done this testing for years and received some interesting feedback. One person claimed that auto channel selection only works well if one access point is actively transmitting when the other one powers up. I have yet to prove that this is true, but always willing to listen to feedback.

Back to this example. In the video you will see what channels both access points use, how I determined it using some free software from ( and if the change took effect.

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