What is WiFi Signal Strength?
Your router transfers data to connected devices through signals when you use a WiFi connection. And, your device should receive good signal strength to use the network without any issue.
Otherwise, you might fail to connect to the internet or face a slow connection. So, the WiFi signal strength is an important factor in the internet performance on your device.
You must ensure a strong signal on your device for the best experience with your WiFi. And, you might need to take various steps to do that.
Let us look at ‘What is WiFi signal strength?’ and other useful information regarding that.
How does a WiFi Signal Strength work?
As you probably know, your client devices (mobile and computer) show you the signal strength of the WiFi. And, that information is more important than it might seem to you. After all, it indicates how stable and reliable a WiFi network is. The higher the signal strength, the faster and better the connection is.
So, you need a strong WiFi signal for all types of online activity. Apart from that, you also need one to communicate with other devices in the network. You can check the WiFi icon on your device to know the signal strength.
But, it does not accurately represent the signal strength. You can check the signal strength measurement on your device to find its exact strength.
How is WiFi Signal Strength Measured & What is the Ideal WiFi Signal Strength?
Decibels per milliwatt (dBm) is the most common unit that is used to measure WiFi signal strength. There are other units as well, such as milliwatts (mW) or Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI). Also, you will find the value of the signal strength given in negative numbers.
So, what is the best signal strength for your WiFi network? If you are wondering, it is -30 dBm, which is the highest strength. Routers can usually provide a signal strength between -30 to -90 dBm. And, you can divide them into various levels other than good and bad.
Use the following scale to determine how strong your WiFi signals are:
- -30 dBm: This is the highest signal strength you can get from your router.
- -50 dBm: This signal strength is excellent and offers you a fast and reliable connection.
- -60 dBm: Your device receives a good signal strength if you find this value.
- -67 dBm: This signal strength is not good or excellent but simply reliable.
- -70 dBm: You might start facing internet problems if your device receives this signal strength.
- -80 dBm: This signal strength is unreliable for most online activities but you can still connect to the network.
- -90 dBm: This is the lowest signal strength that your device can receive. You cannot connect to a network with this signal strength.
How to find the WiFi Signal Strength on Your Device?
You might need to check your WiFi signal strength on your device quite often. And, you can do that quite easily in a few simple steps.
All you need to do is connect your device to the WiFi network first. Then, proceed with the following methods depending on the type of your device:
On Your Computer
Are you using a Mac device to connect to your WiFi? Then, click on the WiFi icon at the top-right corner and press the Alt-Option button. This will open a new window with various information about your WiFi network. Check the value next to ‘RSSI’ given in dBm units. This would be your WiFi network’s signal strength. Use the aforementioned scale to make sure you are receiving a strong signal.
On Windows devices, you cannot find the signal strength value using system tools. The number of bars in the WiFi icon is the only information that your Windows system offers you. But, you can check the signal strength on your PC using various third-party apps.
On Your Mobile Device
Both iOS and Android devices do not show the value of the WiFi signal strength. And, you would have to know the signal strength using the bars in the WiFi icon. Alternatively, you can also download a third-party app to know the signal strength. There are various viable options you will find for both Android and iOS devices.
How to ensure an Optimal WiFi Signal Strength?
As we have seen, a good WiFi signal strength is essential for most online activities. So, you would want to ensure you receive an excellent WiFi signal. And, here are some steps that can help you achieve that:
Find an Optimal Location for the Router
This is the most important step you must take while setting up a router. You must try to place the device as close to the center of your home or office as possible. And, that should ensure a uniform signal strength in all areas of the building. If it does not, then you can consider setting up a WiFi access point or extender.
Try to Use the 5 GHz Band Most of the Time
Interferences from other networks can weaken your WiFi signal strength. And, you can fix that by using the 5 GHz band which is less vulnerable to interference. So, you must choose it over the 2.4 GHz band whenever possible. This simple step can help you significantly improve your WiFi signal strength.
Keep the Router’s Firmware Up-to-date
The firmware is a crucial part of your router that affects the performance. And, it requires regular updates to maintain the best performance on your router. You might face a wide range of issues due to outdated router firmware including weak signal strength. So, you must install a firmware update for your router as soon as possible after it is available.
You should improve your WiFi signal strength as much as possible if it is not the maximum. After all, many of your online activities might require a good WiFi signal strength. However, high signal strength is not enough to ensure good performance. You might also have to consider changing your router or internet plan.