How to Test Wi-Fi Signal Strength and Ways to Improve it

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Households are swamped with Wi-Fi enabled devices. From smartphones, tablets, and laptops to smart home devices and gaming consoles, the list is further increasing. With the ever-increasing reliance on these devices, users are all about ensuring a strong internet Wi-Fi connection.

The reasons for lagging and weak Wi-Fi signals can be many. Without determining the health of your current Wi-Fi signals, you can’t do much to improve them. For instance, if you have subscribed to the Cox Gigablast package, only a speed test can enlighten you whether you are getting the advertised speeds.

Let’s know how to determine your Wi-Fi signal strength and ways to improve it.

Why Does Signal Strength Matter?

The stronger the Wi-Fi signals, the more reliable the internet connection is. The Wi-Fi signal strength is dependent on various different factors. Some of them are as follows:

  • The distance of your devices from the router.
  • The frequency of your internet connection. Whether it is 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
  • The obstructions, furniture, or walls near the router causing interference.
  • Nearby electronics working on the same frequency.

All these factors contribute to blocking and interfering with Wi-Fi signals. The result could be lagging speeds, dropouts, fluctuations, and even total disconnection. Sometimes, routers can be the culprits too. Therefore, you can identify it by using an Ethernet cable.

What Exactly is Considered Good Signal Strength?

In order to run a Wi-Fi speed test, you need to first understand what those numbers really mean. Otherwise, it wouldn’t mean anything to you. Simply put, you need to understand the meaning of good and bad signal strength according to those test results.

The measuring of signal strength is done in decibel milliwatts or dBm. This figure is always represented as a negative value. That’s because this figure shows the noise of the signal on a scale of 0 to 100. Louder signal or more noise means a value closer to zero.

Wi-Fi Signal Strength According to the Scale

90 dBm

This value indicates extremely poor signal strength. Connecting to the Wi-Fi will be highly unlikely, let alone use it.

80 dBm

This value indicates unreliable signal strength. You may be connected to the Wi-Fi but you won’t be able to run your online activities smoothly.

70 dBm

70 dBm is identified as weak strength. It is only suitable for light online tasks such as web browsing the web and sending and receiving emails.

67 dBm

This value is identified as a reliable strength. It is also the minimum strength to support online activities like HD video streaming.

60 dBm

60 dBm is quite a good strength. It is suitable for all kinds of online activities and tasks.

50 dBm

This is excellent signal strength. It is highly unlikely that you experience any connection issues such as fluctuations, drops, or disconnects.

30 dBm

30 dBm is the optimal and maximum possible strength. It is hard to get this value in most cases, you need to be close to the access point to enjoy this strength.

Apps and Sites to Take a Wi-Fi Signal Strength Test

You don’t need to be a networking wizard to take this test. It is simple and easy. You can leverage a good number of powerful tools and user-friendly apps to run these tests. they will allow you to get to the root of your internet signal problems.

In addition to the analysis of your signal strength, apps like NetSpot allow you to troubleshoot your Wi-Fi, create Wi-Fi heatmaps. Most of these apps are easy to use and need a few clicks to discover your signal strength. Moreover, make sure you move to various areas of your house to identify where and why you are receiving poor signals.

Moreover, this process highlights the areas of weak signal, signal leakages, and areas with high interference noise.

Improving the Strength of Your Wi-Fi Signals

Now that you have run the test, it’s time to make some changes to the combat the low-strength issues. Try the following hacks to boost your Wi-Fi signal strength. Implementing them will help you achieve better speed and signals.

Optimal Placement of the Router

Moving your router to a centralized spot will help to boost its signals. An average Wi-Fi router covers a range of 150 feet. But the obstacles and inhibiting things block the signals from covering that range. Therefore, placing your router at an optimal, central location will allow it to achieve maximum coverage.

Maintain a Distance between the Router and Other Electronics

Place your router away from electronics like microwaves. They work on the same frequency and can cause interference. This can also cause weak signals.

Invest in a Signal Booster

If you have a basement or an upper portion, it is wise to invest in a signal booster to achieve maximum signal strength. Moreover, consider changing your Wi-Fi password as well. Sometimes free riders in the neighborhood have hacked your Wi-Fi password. They eat up your bandwidth, resulting in speed lags. I encountered this issue and upon contacting customer support, they advised me to change Wi-Fi password Cox. I did it and it solved the problem for me.