Can I choose wifi by SSID *and* channel number?

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by wubbzy, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. wubbzy macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    I'm at a university where there are multiple wireless routers near where I sit, they all have the same SSID, but use different channels (1 through 7). My Mac often connects to the router on a channel with poor signal-to-noise ratio. Is there a way to tell OSX to connect to an SSID on a specific channel?

  2. mastermind6192 macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2010
    Channel Info

    You can view what channel your network is using via holding option and clicking on the wifi icon in the menu bar. To select the best channel you might want to use the Wifi Scanner feature first. Option click wifi icon again-wireless diagniostics-enter admin password in menu bar-window-utilies- A new window appears select Wifi Scan along the top of new window.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You can use "iStumbler" to view all the active channels in your area.

    It will indicate signal strength for the routers nearby.

    Then... just connect to the one with the strongest signal...
  4. wubbzy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2008
    Thanks you two for your responses.

    Yes, I can identify which channels have better signal. The problem is that the channels all have the ***SAME*** ssid. As far as I can tell, the OSX wifi interface lets you choose a wireless router ONLY by ssid, not by channel. So if I tell my Mac to connect to "University Wifi", it often connects to the one on a channel with poor signal. I want to be able to tell my Mac to connect to "University Wifi" on Channel 1. Is there a way?
  5. gc916 macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2012
    If you hold the "option" key and click on the Wireless icon on your Mac, as mastermind6192 suggested, you will see the details of the network you are currently connected to. In addition, if you float your cursor over the other networks listed, a box will appear that provides details of each network, including the channel. You can then select the network you prefer.
  6. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    This is true, but it appears to be limited to one instance of an SSID in the Wireless icon on the menu bar. I have several Apple routers throughout my house, all with the same SSID set to extend the networks (primary and guest networks are configured), yet the SSID only shows once in the Wireless applet.

    I use an app called WiFi Explorer which lists all of the networks in my location - mine (primary and guest) by router - including 2.4 and 5 ghz, as well as neighbors, etc. Is lists my setup as having 16 separate devices (4 devices, each with 2 bands and both primary and guest networks), yet only two (the primary and guest networks) SSIDs show up when I click (or option-click) on the wireless app icon in the menu bar.
  7. wlossw macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2012
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Your wifi radio will pick the radio on the router with the best connection parameters automatically in This configuration. This "best connection" on a single ssid regardless of channel, is a core feature of wifi...

    At least according to my understanding of folks more intelligent than I.

    And there is no way to pick between two channels with the same ssid... If you need to do this rename one network...
  8. gc916 macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2012
    I wasn't aware of that limitation. Thanks for the info.

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