While WiFi used to be a “nice to have”, it has become a necessity in the modern world. We depend on our wireless networks to drive our home entertainment systems, play games with friends, to run our home security, to run our businesses, and much more. We’ve become so reliant on this always-available and super-fast WiFi that when we encounter poor signal, it can become extremely frustrating.
A few decades ago, we grumbled in annoyance while we waited for a photo to load on a webpage, but ultimately we knew that’s just how it worked. We accepted it. Today? Not so much. We have high expectations for our network, and we demand good WiFi signal strength. We want to use the internet seamlessly on different devices all at the same time. We want to do data-heavy activities like streaming videos, and we want it to just work. When it doesn’t work, it means there’s a problem that needs to be addressed with e WiFi signal strength test.
NetSpot is a great tool for testing WiFi signal strength. It helps users get to the bottom of these wireless network issues and gives you the information you need to find a solution. NetSpot is the best app to increase WiFi signal strength.
How To Test WiFi Signal Strength
To perform a WiFi signal strength test with NetSpot, follow these instructions:
- Download the app to your Windows or macOS device. It’s preferable to use the laptop because the portability makes conducting a wireless site survey easy.
- Open the NetSpot app and locate the Discover/Survey slider.
- Position the slider on the Discover mode.
The Discover Mode will display all critical information about the WiFi networks in your area, including your own. You will be able to see the WiFi signal strength, security settings, channels in use, and more. The information is compiled in real-time, so you always have the most up to date snapshot of your network. You can customize this mode further to meet your needs. For example, you can change the scan interval so that NetSpot will scan the area every 5, 10, 30, or 60 seconds. You can add more columns to your interface if you want a more in-depth look at your network. If you just want to work with a static snapshot, you can also pause the scan to capture the information at any time.
What Is Good WiFi Signal Strength?
If you want to increase your WiFi signal strength, then you need to understand what good signal strength is. You need to establish where you are right now and where you want to get to after you have made your WiFi optimizations.
There are actually different ways to capture and read WiFi signal strength, and they all have their pros and cons. Strictly speaking, the most accurate way of representing signal strength is with milliwatts (mW). However, representing signal strength this way requires using lots of decimal places which can make it confusing to read. Another common way of representing WiFi is using Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI), however, since it isn’t standardized, different readers will use different measurements and this can also be confusing. For these reasons, most WiFi signal strength test apps will use dBm (decibels to milliwatt). dBm uses a scale of -30 to -100.
Perfect signal strength would be -30 dBm, although you would be very unlikely to achieve this value unless you were a few feet in front of the router. A very good signal would be -67 dBm. At -70 dBm, you should be able to browse the internet and use email, but video streaming would be difficult. As the values get lower, the signal drops until it is unusable for most internet activities.
How To Increase WiFi Signal Strength
Below are some ways you can increase your WiFi signal strength and give your network the performance boost it needs.
- Conduct a WiFi signal strength test and conduct a wireless site survey to find the WiFi weak or dead spots in your building.
- Ensure your router is in an optimal place – Some materials such as water can block signals. WiFi also struggles to reach areas of the building that are the furthest away from the router, so placing your router in a central location is recommended.
- Eliminate interference – Household devices such as microwave ovens, Walkie-Talkies, and baby monitors can interference.
- Consider investing in a stronger antenna than the one that came with your router.
- Ensure that your network is secure and that it’s not being used by others in the local area.
- Ensure your router is up to date and has all the necessary patches installed.
- Optimize and control the WiFi channels.