Wireless Channels Make a Difference in an Apartment Building

I finally bought a new wireless router, a Linksys Wireless-G router (WRT54G). Without adding my wireless in to the mix, my laptop could see something like 6 or 8 other wireless networks within range. About 3 of were open access and I’d been hijacking them to get internet access until I got my own connection set up. The funny part was once I plugged my access point in (with WEP key of course), I wasn’t able to sustain a connection on my own laptop, a whole 5 feet away. After fiddling with some of the settings, I changed the channel from the default of 6 to 8, and bam — no hiccups. I’m guessing that all the other people in the building had the default settings on their routers (my last router, a D-Link, was also 6), causing a whole lot of collisions between the networks/SSIDs. Changing mine to 8 from 6 didn’t even require me to change any configs on my two laptops, they both just picked it up.