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To check the wireless signal strength

  A hand with a white smartphone over which no Wi-Fi symbols float.
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If your Internet is slow or websites are not loading, the problem may be with your Wi-Fi connection. Maybe you are too far from the source or thick walls block the signal. To check your Wi-Fi signal strength:

Why Wi-Fi signal strength matters

A stronger Wi-Fi signal means a more reliable connection. This will allow you to get the most out of available internet speeds. The Wi-Fi signal strength depends on several factors, such as: How far away you are from the router, whether it's a 2.4 GHz or a 5 GHz connection, and even the materials of the walls around you. The closer you are to the router, the better. While 2.4 GHz connections continue to transmit, interference problems may occur. Thicker walls made of denser materials (like concrete) block a Wi-Fi signal. A weaker signal, on the other hand, leads to slower speeds, dropouts, and (in some cases) complete separation.

Not every connection problem is due to a weak signal strength. If the Internet seems slow on your tablet or phone, restart your router if you have access to it. If the problem persists, the next step is to check if Wi-Fi is the problem. Try to use the Internet with a device that is connected via Ethernet. If you still have problems, the network is the problem. If the Ethernet connection is okay and a router reset did not help, it's time to check the signal strength.

Easily Checking Wi-Fi Signal Strength

 The top bar of an Android screen has a Wi-Fi icon, battery life, and other notifications.

To check the strength of your Wi-Fi, you must first look at the device that has encountered problems. Whether using iOS, Android, Mac, or Windows, there should be a Wi-Fi connection indicator. As a rule, four or five curved lines form the WLAN symbol. The more filled, the stronger the connection.

Each phone, tablet, and laptop is different and may indicate a different Wi-Fi strength. However, it is worthwhile to consult a second or even third device. If you've checked a phone, you can also test a tablet. Compare the Internet performance on both devices and check what information is displayed for the Wi-Fi strength. If you achieve similar results using both methods, you have an excellent starting point.

If you find that your Wi-Fi connection is weak at one point, you'll need to walk around and watch the Wi-Fi -Fi bar on your smartphone or tablet. Keep track of how far away you are from the router and how many walls are between it and you.

Be aware of when the Wi-Fi bars increase and decrease. It is a rudimentary test, but in most cases it is sufficient.

The more advanced (and more accurate) method for checking Wi-Fi strength

 The access point dialog shows a Wi-Fi network with -40 dBM connection.

Viewing bars in a symbol only says so much. If you want to know more about the power of your Wi-Fi, you need to use an app or program (such as the AirPort Utility app or Wi-Fi Analyzer) to measure the decibel relative to a milliwatt (dBm). [19659006] You can measure a Wi-Fi signal in several ways. The most accurate measurement is milliwatts (mW), but the most difficult to read is the number of decimal places (0.0001 mW). RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) is another option, but is inconsistently and at different scales by Wi-Fi providers. Decibels relative to milliwatts (dBm) avoids these issues, and many manufacturers convert RSSI to dBm anyway, so we cover that measurement.

First, dBm measurements are displayed in negative numbers. The scale ranges from -30 to -90. If you see -30, you have a "perfect connection" and probably stand next to the wireless router. However, if you detect a Wi-Fi signal at -90, the service is so weak that you probably can not connect to it. An excellent connection is -50 dBm, while -60 dBm is probably sufficient to process streaming, voice calls and everything else.

To measure Wi-Fi signal strength on your phone or tablet, you can use the Airport Utility app for iPhone and iPad or Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android. Both are easy to use and show results for all wireless networks in your area.

For iPhone users, you need to go to the Airport Utility app to access the device settings and turn on the Wi-Fi scanner. Just go to your iPhone or iPad settings (not the app's settings), tap Airport Utility in the list of settings, and then turn the Wi-Fi scanner on. Now return to the Airport Utility app and start a scan. You see dBM measurements as RSSI.

Wi-Fi Analyzer is one step easier for Android users. Open the app and search for the found networks. Each entry lists the strength in dBm.

 Android Wi-Fi Analyzer and iOS Airport Utilities display the strength of the Wi-Fi signal

Windows 10 does not have a built-in method for displaying precise strength signals, though the command netsh wlan show interface indicates the signal strength in percent.

In the past we have recommended NirSoft's WifiInfoView to check Wi-Fi channels for Wi-Fi strength. The program is free, easy to use and requires no installation. Just unpack and double-click on the EXE file. As with Mac and iOS, you will find dBM measurements under the RSSI entry.

 WifiInfoView window with Wi-Fi scan results.

On Mac, you do not need to download a program or app if you want to measure the connected network. Hold down the Option key and click on the Wi-Fi icon. You will see dBM measurements in the RSSI entry.

 Submenu MacOS Wi-Fi with RSSI entry in dBM.

Improving Wi-Fi Signal Strength

Once you know how If your network is strong, you have a better idea of ​​how to improve it. For example, if you can reach the edges of your home and still see a 60 dBm signal (or most bars), problems you have are not related to Wi-Fi strength. Look for glitches, consider switching channels, or upgrade to a router that supports 5 GHz if your current router does not have time to consider the age of your router and its placement , Either your walls are very thick and dense, or your router is old and unable to transmit very far. If you have plaster walls, you should bring the router as close to the center of the house as possible.

If your router is older, you may need to upgrade. Pick one that supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi signals. The 5 GHz signal is not enough up to 2.4 GHz, but offers more options for bypassing interference problems.

If you have a large home, consider a mesh router. They are an easy way to boost Wi-Fi signal throughout your home and offer great features like automatic firmware updates and guest networks. However, most users probably do not need a mesh network, and there are cheaper routers that also offer firmware updates and guest networks.

If you are not sure if you need a mesh router, you should consider creating a wireless heatmap of your home. Heatmaps are an excellent way to determine where your Wi-Fi is strongest and weakest with easy-to-understand graphics. You'll sketch the layout of your home and then walk around while the program measures the Wi-Fi strength. Then, colors will appear in your map to give you a general idea of ​​the Wi-Fi signal strength. If you are in the middle of your home and the heatmap shows weak signals everywhere, it might be time for a mesh router.

Unfortunately, there is no single solution for increasing the Wi-Fi value. Fi signal in every house. However, if you try any of these methods, you'll get the most accurate information to make an informed decision on what to do next.

RELATED: How to Get a Better Wireless Signal and Reduce Wireless Network Interference

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