When I tried to read my e-mail from the lounge this morning it didn’t work because our MacBook Pro couldn’t connect to our wireless network. I went upstairs to check the access point which was working fine. After I reentered the password the wireless connection started to work again.
Because I was still wondering what went wrong I started iStumbler my favourite wireless network monitoring tool for Mac OS X. Within seconds I knew what caused the problem: three other access point in the neighbourhood were broadcasting on the same channel as ours. I had checked the wireless channels when we moved in. But because the wireless reception of our old PowerBook G4 is not very good it didn’t pick up any of the other networks. I decided to reconfigure the access point to use a free channel. Picking the new channel was somewhat difficult because there were two further wireless networks nearby which used different channels.
But it seems that I didn’t do a bad job because my wireless network is working stable again. I wonder how long that will last. One of the owners of other access points which are still fighting over a single channel could also change the configuration. I considered to buy an 802.11n capable access point and use the 5 GHz band as a long term solution. But I realized hat our Nintendo Wii doesn’t support 802.11n unfortunately. So I hope for the best until I get stuck in the next traffic jam in the lounge.