I'm trying to troubleshoot some wifi issues I'm having after I updated to Yosemite. I'm using Wireless Diagnostics to try to figure out what channel I should force my network on because I noticed events such as kernel[0]: wl0: Roamed or switched channel, reason #8, bssid ... very close in time to when my connection drops.

Network Diagnostics output

As you can see in the screenshot, I am connected to a network on channel 2 (the one in bold) but Network Diagnostics says that the current channel is 1. What is the meaning of current channel ?


“Current Channel” means “Number of Networks Using the Current Channel”. Your current channel is channel 2. Your computer found 1 network that uses channel 2.

This is made more clear in the wireless_diagnostics log created by Wireless Diagnostics. There is a section that looks similar to this:

# --- Wireless Environment
    2.4 GHz Networks            : 14
    5 GHz Networks              : 0
    Current Channel Networks    : 6
    Recommended 2.4GHz Channels : [ 3 4 5 7 8 9 10 ] 6 2 1 11 
    Recommended 5GHz Channels   : [ 36 40 44 48 149 153 157 161 165 ] 

edit: I do not have enough reputation to comment on or downvote the other respondent's answer, but it is incorrect.


Wi-Fi has multiple channels, which specify what frequency the network is communicating on. On the 2.4GHz frequency, channels 1, 6, and 11 are non-overlapping channels, and all the others overlap on these channels. (On the 5GHz frequency, the channels are spaced out to avoid overlapping). You can think of channels as an offset value from 2.4GHz.

Current channel is the Wi-Fi channel your router is advertising and the channel your computer is connecting to. You might get better performance by using either a 5GHz channel if your Wi-Fi router supports it, or one of the non-overlapping ones on the 2.4GHz.

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