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Thread: Newbie Questions/help!

  1. #1

    Default Newbie Questions/help!

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to this forum, and new to inSSIDer. I have downloaded and installed the app, and have it running rite now.

    I just need to know what I do with the information it is given me, and how to benefit from it?

    I was recommended to download inSSIDer by a forum member in the gaming community, to help get better wireless connection for my PS3, but now I have the information infront of me I am rather confused

    Hopefully it is not to much trouble to explain, and I thank you in advance for your time and help, I appreciate it.


  2. #2


    Insidder will show you how strong your wifi signal is (at the point where you run insidder) and how many other wifi networks are on that same channel (or near that channel).

    Looking at 801.11b/g wifi, which is in the 2.4Ghz space. There are 11 (in most places) wifi channels. due to overlaping in channel usage, the three common non-overlapping channels will be 1 6 and 11.

    So if you look at insider and it shows 2 APs, yours and next doors, on channl 1, then move yours to 6 or 11.
    If you look and it shows 3 APs yours and 2 others where yours and one other is on channel 1 and the other one is on 6, then move yours to channel 11.

    so the idea is to place your wifi on a channel with the least chance of getting interferance from another AP. try to put a 5 channel gap between them (eg: 6-1 -5, 11-6 = 5) So if your on 4 and next door is on 4, then 4+5=9 (so move to at least 9)

    Note: If you cant get a channel as above all to your self, you are better putting your AP on the exact some channel as a differnt AP, but with the weakest signal level (first and hope both you and them are too far apeart to cause any problems).

    This same channel, but weakest signal my still have packets getting though (not weak enough), in this case pick the one with the strongest signal. The reason I say this is if your AP/Wifi Device can hear the other WiFi traffic, then they will play together to give the best performance to all. If they can "hear" your traffic (or you can hear them) but the packets are currupted (off channel/to low siganl) then it will be seen as noise and not play together very well, thus lower performance.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3


    Thank You very much, that makes sense to me.

    Looking at the results, it's showing I am on channel 10 and the only one. Other channels being used by neighbours are 1,5,6,8,11,12.

    One AP is using two channels 1+5.

    What is RSSI and Max Rate? and I assume I should just leave my settings as they are then, yes?

    My RSSI is -60 and my Max Rate is 54.

    Many thanks.


  4. #4


    Sounds like there is a lot of over lapping channels.
    How many APs on channel 1 ? How strong are those signals?
    RSSI is a sort of signal strength "Received Signal Strength Indicator". Different devices report this in different ways. So you can use it to see the difference in signal strength relative to the other APs. But it may not be that relevant to compare it to the results using a different wifi card. I try to stay away from saying things like "-60" is good or bad. What I would say is if YOU see -60 in one location, then move to a different location and it says -40, then the 2nd location is better.

    So when looking at all the APs in your list, you can see strong ones and weak ones relative to each other at your location.

    If there was a signal of say -90 on channel 1 and you are getting -40 (on your ap), I would move to channel 1.
    If there was a signal of -70 or stronger (closer to 0) the I would look at the other channels.
    if you see aps on 1 5 6 8 11 12, lets look at the seperation
    1 has a 4 Channel Gap to 5 (5 channels is ideal, so a good gap)
    5 has a 1 channel Gap to 6 (not good)
    6 has a 1 channel Gap to 5 (not good)
    8 has a 2 channel Gap to 6 (not good)
    11 has a 1 channel Gap to 12 (not good)
    So channel 1 is the best, based on channel allocation... But remember to look at how strong the signal is.

    MAX Rate is based on what is in the beacon sent out from the AP.
    Your AP would report many speeds, eg: 1Mbps, 2Mbps.... 11Mbps .... 54Mbps.
    Your device and AP will agree on the speed that will give you the most reliable link. So while you could work at 54Mbps, you may get too many errors, so you could drop down to 11Mbps and have no errors, thus the 54Mbps is the BEST speed you could connect at, not the actual Speed you have connected at nor the actual data throughput.

    BTW, when working out the best channel remember that its a two way thing. So check the remote signal strengths at each end (ie: At location of your WIFI AP AND at the location of your remote wifi device). The reason for this is you AP may be closer to the remote device, thus could get a stronger signal.

  5. #5


    Ok thank you for explaining that, it really helped.

    There are 3 APs using channel 1, is this a bad thing that could cause problems?

    The highest RSSI in my list is -90 the lowest is -50. Which is best?

    Also, i see alot of Max Rates for APs saying 130(N) and 270(N) what would this mean compared to my 54? are they better?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6


    If there are three APs on channel 1, is there a channel with less APs on it ?
    RSSI is negative, thus -90 is a lower signal strength the -50, so -50 is the better of the two values.

    130/270N is faster. Most of the time N will be in the 5Ghz band. 54Mbps is less then 130/270 so your AP is slower, but to get better then 54Mbps, you will most likly need to get a new AP that supports 802.11N in the 5Ghz band (and ensure you wifi cards and devices can use N as well).

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    but to get better then 54Mbps, you will most likly need to get a new AP that supports 802.11N in the 5Ghz band (and ensure you wifi cards and devices can use N as well).
    The caveat to that though is that, if dennis's relatively poor RSSI is due to intervening walls between himself and the AP, then going to 5Ghz may in fact make that worse. 5Ghz isn't exactly famous for it's penetration ability.

    For myself I happily run 300Mbps N in the 2.4Ghz band. I'm lucky in living in a suburban house with my wifi enabled neighbours beyond arm's reach though.

  8. #8


    Good call CJ_Man.
    300Mbps in the 2.4Ghz will use about half the channel space from memory, that is only 2 300Mbps N channels can fit in the 2.4Ghz.


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