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How to Perform a WiFi Signal Strength Test

How to Perform a WiFi Signal Strength Test

If you’re on a device, whether it be a laptop, desktop, smartphone or other device, you know that WiFi allows you the freedom to roam around your space. A WiFi checker can help you test your WiFi signal.

But I didn’t know how to test my WiFi speed or strength beyond looking at the bars on my phone.

Today, I am going to show you how to test Internet speed, and more importantly, your actual WiFi signal strength.

Perform a WiFi Signal Strength Test

The stronger your signal, the better the connection you’ll have. Weak connections are going to interrupt your streaming and Internet browsing. You can and should conduct an Internet check and a network test to have a better understanding of your current WiFi standing.

A lot of variables can impact strength:

Start by opening your device and checking the WiFi icon. The icon will show the number of bars you have as a signal of strength. There will typically be four to five curved bars used to indicate the strength of your WiFi.
Walk throughout your space and pay attention to the signal icon and respective strength.

And if your signal is weak, you may want to consider a WiFi repeater to increase signal strength. I have used a repeater myself after I tested my WiFi and found it to be weak in several areas of my home.

I wanted to dig deeper than the simple connection and strength icon on my device to see what my dBm was rated at. If you want to check dBm, you’ll be testing with a higher accuracy, but you will need software or an app to help.

Test WiFi Strength and dBm

You’ll find apps and different software to properly analyze your WiFi. One tool I recommend is:

  • WiFi Analyzer, which is available for Windows and Android

When you download and open the tool, you’ll be able to see your signal strength as well as your overall speeds. This will allow you to understand how strong your signal is in different parts of your home or office.

If your signal strength is between –50dB and –80dB, you can consider this signal to be great to decent quality.

Now that you know your signal strength, you can take steps to improve your signal strength using these tips:

  • Try placing a router in the middle of the room so that the signal will extend further into your home.
  • Update your router often so that it has the latest firmware and can run optimally.
  • Purchase a new router with antennas that will be able to extend your connection strength further.
  • Switch to a different WiFi channel so that you experience less interference from other devices that may be connected on this channel. If you live in an apartment or in a major metropolitan area, this simple change may make a huge difference in your connection strength and speeds.
  • If your neighbors or others are connected to your device, make sure to change your WiFi password.

After I decided to test my connection and didn’t experience an improvement using the tips above, I decided to purchase the RangeXTD. I encourage you to read my RangeXTD review.

How to Check WiFi Speed

If you want to test your network speed, an Internet connection speed test is your only option. I test my Internet speed often so that I know if my modem is going bad, or my router is acting up. A lot of the problem is that the ISP may have fluctuating speeds.

If you have an ISP yourself, you’ll note that there are times when your speed seems to go up and down, which may cause buffering on Netflix or websites to load slowly.

You can use the tool we previously discussed to conduct your own Internet speed test, or you can use a variety of different tools online, such as:

  • Speedtest.net
  • Fast.com

You may want to consider going to your ISP’s website and seeing if they have their own speed test available. A lot of the top Internet providers have a speed test so that you can test your speed on their servers.

Oftentimes, using a third-party speed test will provide a better understanding of your connection speed than using your ISP’s testing avenues.

Speed and signal strength are connected. If you have a weak signal, your speed will decline. It is good to start with trying to increase your signal strength before you do anything drastic, such as purchasing a new router or modem to help increase your speeds.

You could use many of the same tips that we recommended above to increase your signal strength for increasing your WiFi speeds.

If you purchased an extender or a booster, followed the tips above and have had no success, it may be time to call your ISP. There are times when the ISP may be able to help you with your connection issues.

I have had one ISP that had continual problems with the modem and speeds would go down to abysmal levels. Once I replaced the modem, the speeds went back to normal. None of the tips that I recommended would have been able to fix this issue aside from actually purchasing new hardware to increase my speeds and signal strength.

Modems can be fickle because they can last for years, or they can last just a few months. The same goes for routers.

New technology will be able to provide the best WiFi signal strength and speeds. Sometimes, all it takes is an upgrade to a single piece of hardware and you’ll be able to enjoy a much better Internet connection. Antennas have become very popular as well as boosters and extenders that can broadcast your signal further and increase speed dramatically.

I do recommend that you conduct several tests throughout the day and take the average of your tests to better understand your signal strength and speed. There may be times when there is too much congestion or too many people using the same Internet provider at the same time that will impact your speeds.

August 10, 2020


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