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What Is A Good WiFi Signal Strength?

Working with a turtle-paced internet connection is a very frustrating experience. It hampers your creativity, lowers your productivity, and ruins your mood in no time. The slow internet speed might be due to the weather, an inefficient WiFi booster setup, etc. However, the problem is most likely due to inadequate WiFi signal strength. 

A good WiFi signal strength almost a necessity these days. Without it, wireless internet users might not be able to experience online content at a decent speed. If you want a completely wireless connection system at your home or work, you should be focusing on distributing good WiFi signal strength all over the area. 

What Is Signal Strength? 

We all see the term “signal quality” in almost all WiFi-related subjects. But what is signal quality? Is it essential for wireless connections? 

There’s a reason why wired connections still exist in the era of wireless internet. And that reason is reliability.  Wired connections are faster and more stable in most cases compared to wireless internet. On the other hand, wireless networks need to have a reliable WiFi network connection for good performance. 

You can measure the reliability of a wireless network by its signal strength. Stronger signals provide a more reliable speed when surfing the internet and doing online activities. It doesn’t matter whether you use a phone, a PC, or any other wireless devices available. 

How Do You Measure Signal Strength? 

There are a few ways to measure a WiFi’s signal strength, and the easiest one is by checking the WiFi signal indicator. WiFi-connected devices usually have a signal strength indicator (radio waves curved upwards). This symbol is located at the top of your screen (on phones) or the right corner of your taskbar (on computers). 

The upward curves act like a “bar,” in which it changes appearance based on the signal strength. When the bar is full or near full, this means that your WiFi signal strength is strong. This is usually the case when the router or a WiFi extender like PH0R 4 is next to your device or near it. 

When the signal weakens, the WiFi signal strength indicator decreases. One or two curves usually disappear if you move far enough from the router. If it reaches its lower curve, you’re in a location with feeble signal strength. At this point, you might still be able to connect to the internet, but it’s going to be a suboptimal experience. 

If you’re looking for a simple way to set up your router or range extenders, using the indicator is enough for the job. Move around the targeted area with your WiFi-connected device and keep track of the changes in the indicator. You will be able to determine the dead WiFi spots if your signal bars decrease or disappear. 

The Tech-savvy Way Of Measuring WiFi Signal Strength

A more accurate signal strength measuring device is needed if you’re setting up a more complicated network system. This is usually the case in larger areas like libraries or office space. You can easily accomplish this with your phone or other mobile devices that can connect to WiFi. 

First, download tools called WiFi signal strength meters. These apps go with different names (such as WiFi scanners or WiFi analyzers.) Open the app and move around the targeted area. Accurate information regarding your current WiFi connection is usually displayed on the screen. 

WiFi signal quality is technically measured by decibels per milliwatt of (dBm). Signal strength meters usually display three information: the accurate WiFi strength (in dBm), the current channel and band is used, the SSID (or the WiFi connection name), and the approximate distance from your router. With this in mind, it’s time to answer what is good WiFi signal strength is. 

What Is A Good WiFi Signal Strength? 

In practice, what signal strength is good will depend on the activity that you do online. Typically, gaming and content streaming requires the best signal strength possible due to their nature. But for light browsing and using social media sites, a weaker but reliable signal might be enough. 

  • -30 dBm – is the maximum signal strength. The router or access point is next to you in the same room as you. This also means that there are fewer or no physical obstructions that hamper the WiFi signal. 
  • -50 dBm – good signal strength and works best for casual internet users. You can pretty much do everything you want online with your device, even if you’re a bit far from the router. 
  • -60 dBm to -67 dBm – still reliable, but not suitable for viewing large contents online (such as HD videos or playing games.) Surfing and non-HD video streaming are still quite doable but spotty.
  • -70 dBm – once your signal strength drops to this level, you can only do light browsing. This means browsing text-heavy sites, checking emails, or using social media apps’ “lite” options. 
  • -80 dBm to -90 dBm – weak signal strength. You might as well close your device and sleep instead.

If you want to do a mix of online activities without compromising comfort, your best bet is at -50 dBm to -60 dBm. At this strength level, you can do a bit of everything without connection hiccups. Dropping to a lower range, you might notice some connection problems. 

How To Improve Your WiFi Signal? 

A lot of factors can cause slow internet problems. Before trying to discard your router, you might want to check your plan with your ISP. According to Consumer Reports, you need at least 25 Mbps to stream Netflix at 4K. If you have a slow internet plan, even the best routers won’t help in your case. 

The next thing to do is to make sure you have a good router placement. Most experts recommend setting up the router at the very center of your home to get even distribution. If this doesn’t help, place your router in a spot where it can distribute signals on key locations instead(such as living rooms and bedrooms.)

If you’re just buying a router, make sure that it supports both 2.4GHz and 5Ghz frequencies. This is very handy if you want to change your configuration. 2.4GHz signal can reach further dead spaces, but a 5GHz signal is better if you have a lot of physical interference. You might also want to consider a mesh router if your home or working area is quite spacious.

April 18, 2021


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