Testing WiFi strength

Testing your WiFi strength doesn’t have to be hard! In fact, there are many free options for testing your WiFi strength on any of your devices. We recommend testing the strength of your WiFi in different areas of your home, as the signal can fluctuate from room to room. It’s important to know what kind of WiFi strength your home has to give your Basement Defender unit the best chance of success.

You can simply walk through your home holding each device to see where the signal increases or decreases (based on the number of bars that appear). This will give you a good idea about where in your space your WiFi signal is the strongest, and approximately how far you can travel away from your router before your connection takes a dive.

For a more comprehensive, specific look at your WiFi signal strength, you’ll want to use an app to test the strength of your WiFi connection. To check the strength of your WiFi, the first thing to do is look at the device having issues. Whether it’s using an iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac, or Windows PC, you should have a WiFi connection indicator. Usually, four or five curved lines make up the WiFi symbol, and the more that are filled, the stronger the connection.

If you checked a phone, consider testing a tablet or other device as well. Compare internet performance on both devices and see what they display for WiFi strength. If you have similar results with both, you have an excellent baseline to use. Pay attention to when your WiFi bars increase and decrease.

Testing your WiFi Strength on your Phone

Any mobile device that connects to the internet has a section in the settings that shows the strength of the WiFi networks in range. For example, on an iPhone, open the Settings app and go to WiFi to see the WiFi strength of the network you’re on and the signal strength of any network that’s in range.

A similar method can be used on an Android phone or tablet. Look under Settings, WiFi, or Network menu. Another option is to download a free app that shows the WiFi strength. There are several free options to choose from for Android and Apple devices.

If You Have An iPhone:

A good free option is Airport Utility, which is made by Apple.

  • Install the AirPort Utility from the App Store
  • Open the Settings app and scroll down until you see Airport Utility
  • Tap on it, then tap Wi-Fi Scanner to enable the feature.
  • Launch the AirPort Utility
  • You should see a blue Wi-Fi scan option at the top-right.
  • Tap Scan to see all the Wi-Fi networks in range of your iPhone.
  • Continuous scan is the default, so the values will change over time.
    • You can adjust the Scan Duration slider so the results update for only the period you set.
  • Make sure your phone is connected to the right Wi-Fi network.
  • Open the app. The signal strength is displayed at the top, which will change as you move around with your phone.

RSSI Values Related To Testing Your WiFi Strength:

-30 to -50: Excellent

-51 to -60: Good

-60 to -70: Fiar

-71 to -85: Poor, better with a WiFi extender

>-86: Unreliable, needs a WiFi extender

If you are in looking for a reliable WiFi extender, check out our article on choosing a WiFi extender here.

Testing your WiFi Strength on your Computer

If You Use Mac:

You don’t need to download any program or app if you want to measure the connected network. Hold the option key and click on the Wi-Fi symbol. On a Mac, the WiFi indicator is still located in the menu bar’s upper-right corner of the screen. You’ll need to hold down the option key to see the dBm measure in the RSSI entry field. One bar is the poorest connection, and three is the best.

If You Use Windows:

Microsoft Windows and other operating systems contain a built-in utility to monitor wireless network connections. This is the quickest and easiest way to measure WiFi strength.

In newer versions of Windows, select the network icon on the taskbar to see the wireless network you’re connected to. Five bars indicate the signal strength of the connection—one bar is the poorest connection, and five is the best.

In Windows, go to Network and Internet, and then Network and Sharing Center. Select the blue WiFi link to see the signal strength.