Apple TV 4: Fix WiFi Problems

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Lower channels run at lower frequencies. They are slower but can penetrate walls more effectively. Higher channels operate at higher frequencies. They are faster but can be blocked by physical barriers. I tend to use high channels on the 2.4 GHz band and low channels on the 5 GHz band. Your results may be different based on architecture, device placement and the local population of wireless devices.

Test the connection speed using the Speedtest app on your Apple TV. Repeat the process of changing channels until you find an ideal one.

After a lot of experimentation, the best settings that work for me are:
– dual band network (no distinct 5 GHz network name)
– 5 GHz channel: 36
– 2.4 GHz channel: 11

With these settings, I consistently get 5 “bars” of WiFi signal on my Apple TV. I live in a building with 50 units and other residential buildings nearby. There’s a lot of interference. These settings seem to work best.

It’s important not to over think band and channel configuration. There’s only so much bandwidth your Apple TV needs. If you are getting over 5 Mbps, it should be sufficient for streaming HD video. Since Apple TV does not support 4K video, it’s not necessary to have an extremely fast connection. In fact, service providers are often the bottleneck.

I recently upgraded my Internet service and get much faster speeds. Downloading apps and resource bundles is still very slow. Sometimes streaming media is jerky, especially during peak hours. When I run Speedtest, I may be getting over 20 Mbps speeds. The jerky video and slow app downloads are due to overwhelming demands on the content provider’s servers. There’s nothing I can do about it. I can only hope these services get better at capacity planning and scale up their infrastructure to meet peak demand.

Is Someone Stealing Your WiFi?

WiFi security has improved over the years, but it’s still possible for someone to steal your bandwidth. Hackers have the ability to sniff out and decrypt WiFi passwords. Sometimes they can just use a brute force dictionary attack to guess the password. Carless WiFi owners will often use obvious passwords or the defaults provided by the vendor. Even if your network is secured with the best encryption and strongest password, it’s still a good idea to check for intruders.

WiFi Guard is a free Apple TV (tvOS) app that provides information about devices connected to your WiFi network. Simply install the app from the App Store and launch it to view connected devices. Use the Touchpad to select and click on devices for more information. If you see a device that isn’t yours, chances are someone is stealing your WiFi. This will result in slower connection speed. If this is the case, change the WiFi password on your router and consider upgrading the security, if possible. It’s a good idea to run this test periodically, just in case the freeloader continues to steal your WiFi password. (continue…)

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