What Is A Good Signal
A perfect signal is -30 dBm. Likely, you do not have a perfect signal, but that is OK. Any signal between -67 to -30 dBm will let you perform most online activities.
Here is what the scale looks like and what each signal strength measurement means:
-30 dBm: This is the maximum signal strength. If you have this measurement, you are likely standing right next to the access point.
-50 dBm: This is considered an excellent signal strength.
-60 dBm: This is a good signal strength.
-67 dBm: This is a reliable signal strength. This is the minimum for any online services that require a reliable connection and Wi-Fi signal strength.
-70 dBm: This is not a strong signal strength. You may be able to check your email.
-80 dBm: This is an unreliable signal strength. You may be able to connect to your network, but you will not support most online activity.
-90 dBm: This is a bad signal strength. You are not likely to connect to internet at this level.
Ideally, you are looking to fall in the -60 dBm to -50 dBm range . A signal strength at -67 dBm will work for a while, but this is the minimum strength you will want before your connection starts to suffer.
If you are getting a bad signal, it could be due to obstacles like thick walls or your router being too far out of reach. But if that isnt the case, checking your signal to see the strength level is a good place to start in diagnosing the problem.
Minimize Attenuation And Remove Obstacles
This is where we start getting into the strategic planning and technical side of optimizing your WiFi signal strength.
Your entire environment has a serious impact on how your WiFi signal behaves. Here’s where we need to learn about attenuation.
Attenuation is the reduction in power of a signal through open air or as it tries to move through materials metal, concrete, wood, soil, foliage, etc.. With indoor WiFi, the materials that block WiFi signals are the largest attenuators.
Here’s a graph of common materials and the amount of attenuation it creates for your WiFi signal and weakening it’s strength:
Image Source: Digi
When trying to optimize your wireless network, consider relocating furniture or moving that access point away from that hallway with reinforced concrete.
Pro Tip: Attenuation is not to be confused with interference. Interference is the obstruction of the signal by drowning it out with stronger signals in the same spectrum or disrupting it via other means EMI or RFI .
Why Wifi Signal Strength Matters
Receiving a stronger WiFi signal means you can connect more reliably to the internet. Different activities require more bandwidth to work at their best:
- Low throughput activities include: Surfing the web and sending small emails
- Medium throughput activities include: Voice calls, interacting with a smart speaker and streaming low resolution YouTube videos
- High throughput activities include: Uploading big work files, downloading games, video conference calls and watching 4K TV shows and movies
If you are experiencing slow connection or connection dropouts it might not necessarily be due to poor WiFi signal strength. Connect the device to the internet using ethernet and if the problem continues its a problem with your internet supply. If the ethernet connection is fine and you have rebooted your router, then your problem involves your WiFi signal strength.
Recommended Reading: How Does Xfinity Wifi Work
What Is A Good Signal Strength
A bad WiFi connection are some things weve all had the displeasure of experiencing. Maybe it had been during a public space, sort of a cafe, or maybe in your house. You desperately close up and on your router to hope that the WiFi strength will return to normal but to no avail.
You may plan to check your WiFi signal strength. But, on the other hand, realize youve got no idea what this suggests.
So, lets break this down:
- -30 dBm: the utmost strength of any WiFi signal is typically found next to the access point or router.
- -50 dBm: this is often still excellent signal strength: youre probably still very on the brink of the access point.
- -60 dBm: The signal strength remains good. You will not have significant issues browsing the web.
- -67 dBm: A reliable signal strength, but the minimum required to use most online services. In other words, this is often the rock bottom setting of WiFi signal strength.
- -70 dBm: ditch watching a video, but you would possibly be ready to check your inbox.
- -80dBm: While youll still hook up with the network, you almost certainly wont be ready to do anything. This is often an unreliable signal, and its likely to chop out halfway through you using it.
- -90dBm: youve got insufficient signal strength and are unlikely to be ready to hook up with the web in the least.
- Anywhere between -60 dBm and -50 dBm may be a perfectly decent WiFi signal strength. If you manage to seek out -30 dBm signal strength, then youre even better off!
How Can I Get Better Wifi Signal In My House
Top 15 Ways to Boost Your WiFi Select a Good Place for Your Router. Keep Your Router Updated. Get a Stronger Antenna. Cut Off WiFi Leeches. Buy a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender. Switch to a Different WiFi Channel. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients. Use the Latest WiFi Technologies.
You May Like: How To Connect Vizio Tv To Wifi
The Issue With Wifi Signals
WiFi signals keep us connected to the online things we love the most. You dont give them a second thought when the device your using is working smoothly, but as soon as things begin to slow down, your blood begins to boil.This slowing down effect usually comes from poor WiFi signal strength, which can be affected in a number of ways, the most common being:
- Too many devices using the signal
- Devices being too far away or blocked from the router
- Broadband speed to the premises is not fast enough
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:
- 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
Also Check: How To Remove Devices From Wifi Router
How To Measure Your Wi
The performance of a Wi-Fi wireless network connection depends on the radio signal strength. On the path between the wireless access point and a connected device, the signal strength in each direction determines the data rate available on that link.
Use the following methods to determine the signal strength of your Wi-Fi connection and find ways to improve the Wi-Fi range of your connected devices. Different tools may show different results. These variations are caused by differences in how the utilities collect samples and the timing used to report an overall rating.
Lifewire / Bailey Mariner
Network bandwidth isn’t the same as signal strength. Network bandwidth is the speed you get from your ISP. Signal strength determines the functionality of the hardware connected to the Wi-Fi and the range that an access point has throughout an area.
Look At The Signal Strength
You should also look at the signal strength of each network. If there are other wireless networks on the same channel, try selecting a channel where the other wireless network’s signal is 20 dBm weaker than your wireless signal is.
In practice, this will be virtually impossible to achieve everywhere in an apartment or a house if you only have a single access point . But if you have multiple access points, they can be placed to cover different areas.
More about wireless signal strength can be read here: Wi-Fi Signal Strength: What Is a Good Signal And How Do You Measure It?
Don’t Miss: Does Pokemon Go Need Wifi
Why Measure Wifi Strength And What Wifi Signal Strength Meter Apps Do
When you set up a wireless network, the coverage is seldom even. Various obstacles, such as furniture and walls, weaken the signal as it passes through them, and so does interference caused by other wireless networks nearby. WiFi signal also gets progressively weaker the farther away it travels from the source .
Only when you have a reasonably strong signal can you enjoy , lag-free Skype conversations, and web browsing without constant waiting for pages to load. To have a strong signal everywhere you need, its critical to choose an optimal place for the router and configure it in a way that will give the best results.
But selecting a good place for a router and configuring its settings is impossible without access to the right information. Namely, a visual map of the routers wireless coverage and information about other WiFi networks in the area.
WiFi signal strength meter apps detect and analyze wireless networks, displaying information about their configuration and security, and some can also visualize the signal strength of wireless networks as convenient heatmaps, helping you decide where it would be best to place your router.
Sharing The Same Wifi Channel With Neighboring Wifi Networks
Sharing an equivalent channel with nearby devices leads to low connection speeds, interference, and disconnection. Unfortunately, its not uncommon for channels to be shared amongst your neighbors . This is often one of the foremost common reasons for poor connectivity and maybe rectified via the utilization of a top-quality WiFi analyzer.
Using a WiFi analyzer can help improve your user experience, speed up browsing, and eliminate the effort to guess what factors are impeding your connection quality while troubleshooting. After all, its almost impossible to optimize your network if you lack the tools to be ready to see whats happening.
You May Like: How To Send Text Messages Over Wifi
Here Are Some Guidelines For Assessing Your Signal Strength:
- -30 dBm. This is the maximum signal strength you could achieve, and it probably means you are within a couple feet of the Wi-Fi router.
- -50 dBm. Anything from -30 dBm to -50 dBm is excellent and is often about as high as you can get.
- -67 dBm. This is the lowest value that will deliver acceptable results for most online services.
- -80 dBm. This is the lowest possible value that will make a connection between the router and computer, but it’s too weak to be useful for any online service.
How To Test Your Wifi Signal Strength
In order to determine your WiFi signal strength, your best course of action is to use a WiFi signal strength app like NetSpot. Installing this excellent WiFi analyzer on a laptop or mobile device will allow you to test the strength of the WiFi signal throughout your coverage area. Heres how to do it.
In Windows, you can find your current signal strength from the Command Prompt. This is what you need to do:
- Open the Start menu, type CMD, and hit Enter.
- Enter the following command and hit Enter: netsh wlan show interfaces.
- Look for the Signal line. The percentage indicates your signal strength.
You can, of course, simply click on the WiFi indicator icon to see the approximate strength of your WiFi, but we dont recommend you rely on this information too much.
Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting
- Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting
You May Like: How Much Is 30gb Of Wifi
Space To Play Around On The 5 Ghz Band
As always, we recommend: Use the 5 GHz network as much as possible, assuming you have a router / access point and devices that support it.
The picture below shows that there is currently plenty of space and free channels on the 5 GHz network. Here it is far less important in most cases, totally unnecessary to control the channel.
Article by Jan Pedro Tumusok and Jorunn D. Newth
Update Your Software Drivers Firmware
Check if your WiFi router needs an update. Hardware manufactures are always improving or fixing their products. The difficulty or ease of applying an upgrade depends on your manufacturer. When they have an update, they will post it on their website. Check occasionally to make sure your router is running the latest version.
If you have a pre-2009 WiFi, its time to buy a new one. You will see an immediate improvement in your WiFi signal strength. Your router has served you well. Its time to let go.
Its a good practice to keep all devices on your WiFi network updated to their latest software versions. An older version or driver on your network can negatively impact the WiFi signal strength.
Read Also: How To Setup Google Fiber Wifi
How Can I Improve My Signal Strength
How to boost signal strength of your iPhone/Android smartphone
- Remove any type of cover, case or hand blocking the antenna of the smartphone.
- Remove obstructions between your smartphone and the cell tower.
- Conserve your cellphone battery.
- Check your SIM card for any damage or dust.
- Switch back to 2G or 3G network.
How Can I Improve My Dbm Signal Strength
How to boost signal strength of your smartphone Remove any type of cover, case or hand blocking the antenna of the smartphone. Remove obstructions between your smartphone and the cell tower. Conserve your cellphone battery. Check your SIM card for any damage or dust. Switch back to 2G or 3G network.
Don’t Miss: What Is A Good Mbps Speed For Wifi