TierneyMJ/Shutterstock.comIf your internet seems slow or web pages won’t load, the problem could be your Wi-Fi connection. You might be too far away from the source or have thick walls that block the signal. Here are some ways to determine your exact Wi-Fi signal strength. Why Wi-Fi Signal Strength is Important
The Easy Way to Check Wi-Fi Signal Strength
The more advanced (and precise) method to check Wi-Fi strength
How to Increase Wi-Fi Signal Strength
Why Wi-Fi Signal Strength is Important. A stronger Wi-Fi signal will mean a more reliable connection. This allows you to make the most of the internet speeds available to your location. The closer you are to your router, the better. Although 2.4ghz connections broadcast farther, they may have interference issues. Wi-Fi signals will be blocked by thicker walls made of dense materials like concrete. A weaker signal can lead to slower speeds, dropouts and sometimes total disconnection. If your internet speed is slow on your phone or computer, you can try restarting it if you have access. Use ethernet to access the internet. If the problems persist, it is likely that the network is the problem. If your ethernet connection is stable and you have not tried a router reset, it is time to check your Wi-Fi signal strength. A Wi-Fi connection indicator is required for all devices, including iPhones, iPads, Androids, Macs, Windows PCs, and Macs. Usually, four or five curved lines make up the Wi-Fi symbol, and the more that are filled, the stronger the connection.Advertisement
Every phone, tablet and laptop is unique and may have a different Wi Fi strength. It’s worth checking out a second or third device. You can also test a tablet if you have a smartphone. Compare the internet performance of both devices to see how they compare in terms of Wi-Fi strength. If you get similar results on both devices, you can use that baseline as a guide. You should keep track of how far away you are from the router and how many walls are between you and it. Pay attention to when your Wi Fi bars decrease or increase. This is a basic check, but it should be sufficient for most cases. The More Advanced and Precise Method to Check Wi Fi Strength. Looking at bars in a symbol can only tell you so much. There are many ways to measure Wi-Fi signal strength. Milliwatts (mW) is the most precise measurement, but it’s also the most difficult to read due to the large number of decimal places (0.0001mW). The Received Signal Strength Indicator is another option. However, Wi-Fi vendors treat it inconsistently and with different scales. These problems are avoided by using decibels relative to milliwatts (dBm). Many manufacturers convert RSSI into dBm, so we’ll cover that measurement. The scale ranges from -30 to 90. If you see -30 you have a “perfect connection” and most likely are standing right next to the Wi Fi router. If you see a Wi-Fi signal at -90, it is likely that the service is too weak to connect to that network. Advertisement
The Airport Utility App for iPhone or iPad can measure Wi-Fi signal strength. Both apps are simple to use and will show you results for all wireless networks in your area. Go to your iPhone’s or iPad Settings app, then tap Airport Utility. Next, toggle on “WiFi Scanner.” Finally, open the Airport Utility app to start a scan. Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android users will show you the RSSI and dBm measurements. Open the app and search for networks. Each entry will show the strength in dBm. Windows 10 and 11 do not have a built-in way of viewing exact signal strength. However, the netsh-wlan command generates a Wi Fi History or WLAN Report in Windows 10. In the past, we recommend NirSoft’s WifiInfoView to inspect Wi Fi channels and also checks Wi-Fi strength. The program is easy to use and doesn’t require installation. Double-click the EXE file after unzipping it. You can find the dBm measurements under the RSSI entry on Macs and iPhones. Click on the Wi-Fi symbol by holding down the option key. The RSSI entry will show you the dBm measurements. If you can reach the perimeter of your home with a 60 dBm signal (or all of the bars), then the problem is not Wi-Fi-strength-related. If interference is a problem, you can change channels or upgrade to a router with 5 GHz (or 6Ghz) support. If you find that you are losing signal very quickly, it’s time for you to look at the age and placement of your router. Your walls may be very thick or dense and your router may not be able to broadcast far. If you have plaster walls, it is worth moving your router closer to the center of your home. Look for one that supports both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signals when you do this. Although the 5 GHz signal isn’t as strong as the 2.4 GHz, it can be used to bypass interference issues. They can be used to increase the Wi-Fi signal in your home and offer other great features like automatic firmware updates or guest networks. Although most people don’t require a mesh network, there are cheaper routers that offer guest networks and firmware updates. Heatmaps are an easy way to see where your wireless is weakest and strongest. The program will draw a sketch of your home and then take measurements of Wi-Fi strength. The program colors your map to give you an overview of Wi-Fi signal strength. If you’re at the center of your home and the heatmap shows weak signals everywhere, it might be time for a mesh router.Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for boosting the Wi-Fi signal in every home. You can try all of these methods to get the best results.