How to Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength on an iPhone or Android
If you notice your internet connection becoming slow, the culprit is likely a weak Wi-Fi signal. The strength of your Wi-Fi connection mostly depends on the distance between you and the router or the hotspot device. The farther you are from the router, the weaker your Wi-Fi signal is and vice versa. It’s important to know how to check your exact Wi-Fi signal strength to determine if that’s the culprit behind slower internet connections.
How to Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength on an iPhone
A more straightforward way of checking your Wi-Fi connection is by looking at the number of filled lines in the Wi-Fi symbol. In most devices, you can find this symbol at the top or bottom-right corner of the screen. The more lines that are filled, the stronger your Wi-Fi signal. If some lines are grayed out, then your Wi-Fi signal is weak.
How to Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength on an iPhone in dBm
Decibels per milliwatt, also known as dBm, is a standard unit for measuring the signal strength of a Wi-Fi signal. The dBm scale ranges from -30 dBm to -90 bBm. The ideal signal strength should be -30 dBm but don’t worry if your Wi-Fi signal is not that strong. Anything between -67 dBm and -30 dBm should serve you well enough.
Here’s a breakdown of the dBm scale ranges and what they mean for your Wi-Fi signal strength.
- -90 dBm – This is the weakest Wi-Fi signal strength. With this value, you won’t even be able to connect to the Wi-Fi network.
- -80 dBm – This signal strength is highly unreliable. You might be able to connect to the network, but you won’t be able to access any internet services.
- -70 dBm – This signal strength only supports very low-connection internet activities such as opening emails.
- -67 dBm – This is a reliable signal. You can perform all activities that require an internet connection.
- -50 dBm – This is a stronger signal, and you’ll have faster internet speeds. You’re unlikely to face any buffering and lags, and your download and upload speeds should be quite fast.
- -30 dBm – This is the strongest Wi-Fi signal. If your Wi-Fi signal is this strong, you’re likely very close to the access point.
Now that you understand the dBm scale, you’ll need to install a third-party app to help you check your Wi-Fi signal strength. For iPhone users, we highly recommend the AirPort Utility app. Here’s how to use the app to determine the signal strength of your Wi-Fi.
- Go to the App Store and download and install the AirPort Utility App.
- Open “Settings” and expand the “AirPort Utility” dropdown menu.
- Turn on the “Wi-Fi Scanner” toggle switch.
- Launch the AirPort Utility App and tap on “Wi-Fi Scan” in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Tap on “Scan” and select the Wi-Fi network you want to view.
- Note the dBm value listed under the “RSSI” value. That’s your Wi-Fi signal strength.
- Tap “Done” to exit the app.
How to Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength on an Android
To accurately measure your Wi-Fi signal strength on an Android device, you can use an app called Wi-Fi Analyzer. Here’s how to use the app to measure the signal strength of your Wi-Fi.
- Go to the Play Store and download and install Wi-Fi Analyzer.
- Double-check that you’re connected to the Wi-Fi whose signal strength you want to check and launch the app.
- Scroll down to the name of the Wi-Fi you’re connected to and take note of the dBm value.
- Refer to the dBm scale range we discussed above to determine the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.
- If you want a visual graph, click the three horizontal lines in the top-right corner of the screen and select “Channel graph.”
- Take note of the dBm value of your Wi-Fi network.
How do I increase the signal strength of my Wi-Fi?
There are a few ways to increase the signal strength of your Wi-Fi. Here are some of them.
• Move closer to the hotspot point or the access area
• Use a Wi-Fi extender or repeater
• Reduce the number of devices connected to a single Wi-Fi network
• Go for routers that support the 5 GHz Wi-Fi speed
• Double-check that other objects are not obstructing your router
• Move the router away from devices that emit electromagnetic waves, such as the microwave, because they can cause interference to its signal
How do you check the Wi-Fi signal strength on a Mac?
Besides the typical Wi-Fi bars, Mac indicates your Wi-Fi signal strength in dBm. Here’s how to check your Wi-Fi signal strength if you’re using a Mac.
1. Open your computer and ensure you’re connected to the internet.
2. Press and hold the option button and click the Wi-Fi icon.
3. You should see the dBm value listed in the RSSI field.
How do I check my Wi-Fi signal strength on a Windows PC?
There are many ways to check your Wi-Fi strength signal on a Windows PC. A more accurate method is the command line. Here’s how to go about the process.
Open your windows computer and search for “Command prompt.”
1. From the options, click “Open.”
2. Press the “Yes” button to allow the app to make changes to your computer.
3. Once the terminal is open, type in “
netsh wlan show interfaces” and press the “Enter” key.
4. The percentage indicated for “signal” is the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. If the value is above 80%, then your Wi-Fi strength signal is excellent.
If you just want a rough idea of how strong your Wi-Fi signal is, follow these steps instead.
1. Open your Windows computer and click the small arrow facing upwards.
2. Take note of the number of bars filled up on the Wi-Fi symbol.
Understand How Strong Your Wi-Fi Is
Knowing your Wi-Fi signal’s strength will help you determine if it is the culprit behind slow internet connections. Doing so is pretty straightforward. Simply look at the Wi-Fi symbol and check if some lines are grayed out. If they are, it means your Wi-Fi signal is weak.
The above method can only tell you so much. A more accurate method is to find an app that measures your signal strength in dBm. A good option is the AirPort Utility app for iPhone users and Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android devices.
What third-party apps have you used to check your Wi-Fi signal strength? What was the experience like using them? Please let us know in the comments section below.