Determining your Wi-Fi signal strength (RSSI)

Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) is an estimated measurement of how well a device can hear, detect and receive signals from any wireless access point or Wi-Fi router.

An RSSI closer to 0 is stronger, and closer to –100 is weaker.

For best performance, you want your RSSI to be as high as possible. A useful rule of thumb is that if the RSSI is less than –70 dBm, you are unlikely to have good performance over Wi-Fi for bandwidth intensive tasks.

Environment

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux

Procedures

Windows

WifiInfoView is a free application for Windows which can, among other measurements, display the RSSI of all networks detected by your computer.

Installation and Use of WifiInfoView:

  1. Navigate to http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/wifi_information_view.html.
  2. Click "Download WifiInfoView" Under "Feedback" near the bottom of the page.
  3. Extract the files from the downloaded zip file.
  4. To find your RSSI, open the WifiInfoView application.
  5. The green-highlighted row is your current connection, but all networks in range of your device are displayed.

Mac

  1. Option-click the Wi-Fi menu.
  2. The RSSI for your current connection will be shown.


Optional: Compare the RSSIs for all networks in range of your device

  1. Select "Open Wireless Diagnostics...."
  2. In the menu bar at the top left corner of the screen, select "Window" and then select "Scan" from the dropdown.
  3. It should run a scan immediately, but you can click on "Scan Now Button" to re-scan.

Linux

  1. At the command line, enter the command iwconfig.
  2. In the section for your wireless adapter, find the value for "Signal level."

Remedies for a weak signal

Additional notes

Details

Article ID: 1644
Created
Wed 5/27/20 8:33 AM
Modified
Mon 10/19/20 12:17 PM