Talking about 'good signal strength' may have become part of everyday language, but what constitutes a good Wi-Fi signal, really? Do you know what it takes to be able to use demanding services like Netflix and videoconferencing over Wi-Fi?

Signal strength is measured in dBm or decibel milliwatts, which, somewhat confusingly, is expressed only in negative values (with a minus sign in front).

Check wifi network strength online

A third factor affecting your WiFi signal strength in your home could very well be the number of devices consuming bandwidth on your network. You may be in an area in your house that typically has a great WiFi signal, but all of a sudden, you begin to experience intermittent speeds. Various devices use some or other wireless technology to connect with other devices. However, all wireless technology has some kind of limitation when it comes to the range and signal strength. From time to time, you might have faced several Wi-Fi issues. Low Wi-Fi signal strength usually happens after you update or reinstall your Windows 10. Understanding Signal Strength. WiFi signal strength is tricky. The most accurate way to express it is with milliwatts (mW), but you end up with tons of decimal places due to WiFi's super-low transmit power, making it difficult to read. For example, -40 dBm is 0.0001 mW, and the zeros just get more intense the more the signal strength drops. Based on the Wi-Fi signal, you can troubleshoot network issues. If your signal strength is consistently below 60%, the Wi-Fi has gotten sluggish and you should consider changing the router.

WiFi Signal Strength Meter - Network Monitor & WiFi Monitor is a simple tool that allows you to view your current WiFi signal strength. WiFi Signal Strength Meter - Network Monitor & WiFi Monitor.

So what are the good and acceptable dBm values for wireless internet?

Here is what the Wi-Fi signal strength values mean

Wifi network strength app

How to measure the received signal strength

Wifi Network Strength

To measure signal strength at a given location and time, you can use a Wi-Fi scanner. You can read more about this in our article How to find good Wi-Fi channels and bad neighbors.

Wifi Network Strength Android

The measurement you are looking for is RSSI, which is short for received signal strength indicator.

If you are running Mac OS X, you can also measure the received signal strength directly without installing anything: Hold down the Altkey and click the Wi-Fi icon in the top menu, and details of communication with the wireless access point will appear under the name of the active Wi-Fi network.

If you would like to map out the signal for an entire home, we recommend using a heat mapper to create a heat map of good and bad coverage zones. See also: Map your wireless network with a heat mapper.

Poor signal strength? Remove obstacles

Have you done your testing and concluded that the signal strength is insufficient? First of all:

Don't be tempted to try to amplify the transmit strength from your router / access point. You may sabotage both yourself and your neighbors in the process, and you risk breaking the law along the way. Read more about this in Don't. Boost. Your Wi-Fi Signal.

Of course, the performance and capacity of the wireless network depends on more than the signal emitted from the access point, but the most important thing you can do for the signal is:

Network

Wifi Network Strength App

  • Move the router or other access point high up and in front of any obstacles. Preferably high up on the wall.
  • Place your devices and access points with as much of a clear line of sight between them as possible.

Get further advice on what you can do yourself to improve your home Wi-Fi in: Better Wi-Fi at Home: 18 Free Tips.

Article by Jan Pedro Tumusok and Jorunn D. Newth

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