Best Wifi Signal Strength

Posted By admin On 17/01/22
  1. Why Measure WiFi Strength?When Setting Up A WiFi Network, Your Main Goal Would Be To Achieve An Even Connection In Every Corner Of Your Space. Physical Obstacles, Like Walls...
  2. Best Wifi Signal Strength App
  3. Best Wifi Signal Strength App For Iphone
  4. See Full List On Metageek.com
  5. Good Wifi Signal Strength

Wireless internet is everywhere these days and you could have several WiFi capable devices connected to your own wireless network. Because of that it’s important the WiFi router is placed in the best available location to give the longest range and strongest signal to as many devices as possible. If the router is placed in a poor location the signal could be weak, intermittent or cause constant dropouts.

Wi-Fi signal strength depends on a variety of factors, such as how far you are from the router, whether it’s a 2.4 or 5ghz connection, and even the materials of the walls around you. The closer you are to the router, the better. While 2.4ghz connections broadcast further, they might have interference issues. There is only one active network on channel 1, and its signal strength is very low. If you are deciding which channel would be the best for a new access point, channel 1 has the fewest amount of networks and there aren’t any partially overlapping networks. In this example, the best. Jun 08, 2018 This is why you need a WiFi analyzer so you know where signal strength is the strongest, use heat maps to identify weak areas, and find out which channels the signal is operating on. WiFi Analyser for Windows. Whether you are using Windows 7, 8 or 10, this article will help you use the best analyzer to find the most optimum position to install.

There are many factors that can affect the quality and strength of a WiFi network connection. These include walls, floors, ceilings, electrical appliances, anything emitting radiation or electromagnetism, and of course distance to the router. Windows and most bundled WiFi software allows you to see how good the current wireless signal is. To get a better idea how the signal is behaving and whether it gets affected by other factors it’s a good idea to monitor the signal strength over a period of time.

Watching how your WiFi signal behaves over several minutes or even hours could help identify if the current location for it is ideal or causing problems. Here we list 5 free tools that show a graph for your wireless signal so you can watch it over a period of time to see how it behaves.

1. NetSpot

NetSpot is a free wireless network signal analysis and troubleshooting tool available for both Mac and Windows computers. In addition to a standard WiFi discovery and monitoring section it also has a site survey feature that allows for the relative network signal strengths to be plotted onto a map of your building or local area.

The program starts in Discover mode which shows available wireless networks along with some general statistics. Double click on the target network to open the details window. This has a Signal tab which shows a graph of the signal strength over a period of time, the last 5, 30, or 60 minutes can be shown in the window at once. Also available is a Tabular Data window that shows the same data as the graph but in text form.

The frequency of the signal strength scanning can be either left at the default of 5 seconds or changed to 10, 30 or 60 seconds. Do be aware that NetSpot crashed for us on first run but appeared to work fine after a system reboot.

Download NetSpot

2. inSSIDer

The sad thing about inSSIDer is it stopped being free and became a shareware application from version 3 onwards. Luckily version 2 remains free and open source although it’s not had any updates since 2012 and compiled versions with the free source code are a bit hard to find.

Wifi

After installing and running the program click the Time Graph tab to see the signal strength graphs for all found wireless networks. Uncheck those you don’t want to appear in the graph display to be left with the signals to be monitored. The display shows signal strength over a period of 5 minutes and any selected SSID will be shown in bold. Although you cannot view the signal for more than the 5 minutes you can right click on the graph and copy an image of it to the clipboard for a snapshot record. This can in turn be pasted into a paint program.

Download inSSIDer 2.1

3. Homedale

Homedale has a big advantage over the other tools here because it’s the only one that is completely portable, which many people prefer. The program is well laid out and easy to use. Besides the signal graphs you can also get your location at the click of a button from a mapping service such as Google.

Monitoring a wireless network is a simple case of going into the Access Points tab and double clicking on the access point. Its icon will turn red to signify it has been selected and you will be shown the current signal strength graph. The graph itself refreshes every 2 seconds by default and shows about 20 minutes worth of signal history. The refresh rate can be changed from the Options tab to 1, 5, 10, 30 or 60 seconds. Right click to save the current graph as an image or start logging the history data to a text file.

Homedale also supports a few command line switches so you can launch it to start monitoring and logging a specified network automatically. Use /? in a Command Prompt to get a list of arguments that can be used. For example the following will create a log.txt and add a signal strength entry every 3 seconds for the SSID Raymondcc_WiFi.

Homedale -s Raymondcc_WiFi -l log.txt -r 3000

Download Homedale

Best Wifi Signal Strength

4. Acrylic Wi-Fi Home

The Home version of Acrylic Wi-Fi is free for personal use and has enough to show a signal strength graph for monitoring or troubleshooting. One useful feature missing and only available in the paid Pro version is the ability to alter the timeline of the signal strength graph from the default of 5 minutes to 1, 3 or 10 minutes.

On install and launch click Options (3 horizontal lines) and choose Advanced Mode to make the graph full width and remove the useless Pro only network quality pane. To remove a wireless network from the graph click on the color block to the left of its name in the SSID list. The graph is colored into good and not so good strengths, highlighting an SSID will bold it for easier viewing, Microsoft .NET 4.5 is required which will need to have been installed on Windows 7 or Vista. Visual C++ 2012 Redistributables are also required.

Download Acrylic Wi-Fi Home

5. Vistumbler

This tool has a few quite advanced options such as GPS support, live Google Earth tracking and a number of experimental features. More standard functions include getting WiFi signal strength and information as well as the ability to audibly speak out the signal strength to you.

You don’t really have to do much to get the strength information after installation, simply click Scan APs and click on Graph 1 or Graph 2. Then click on a wireless network in the list to populate the graphs. The first is a simple line that measure signal strength over a few minutes. The second is a bar graph (pictured above) which shows the signal strength history for around 11 minutes. Changing the Refresh loop in Settings > Misc Settings to another value from the default of 1000ms (1 second) will lengthen or shorten the graph history time.

Download Vistumbler

We did also look at Xirrus WiFi Inspector and NetSurveyor although both don’t log wireless signals for very long. Xirrus also requires you to fill in an online form to get the download link from the website.

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Gianni3 weeks ago

Very intresting benchmark. Actually I’m looking for a tool able to create a wifi signal level map to be overlayed to the office planimetry to verify whether there are shadow cones. Example: You walk around the office and detect the signal level of a given SSID at various points and then aggregate them to create a coverage graph. Is a dream? :)

Reply

Tried netspot inssider and homedale. It seems that homedale is the only one who will log signal stregth for long period of times (indefinitely?) in the log file.

Go to access points and double click your router
go to access point graph right click and ask to log, you need to specify a file name

The log file is very simple and has the format yy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss: .
you can select the whole text, past it to, say, google sheets and write in an empty cell the formula =min(b:b), it’ll show the min power value of the log file

Reply
kcl9 years ago

Homedale create a file named oui.txt inside its residing folder which is very annoying.
Every time you close the program you have to delete this file manually, it consumes
about 2M of disk space.

Reply

Thanks looks well done and there are some other nice utilities at the site.

Reply
Lawwe9 years ago

Thaks for good Proggy

Reply

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If you’re using the 5GHz band on your dual-band or a tri-band router and are still facing networking interference or facing slow internet speed issues, then you should consider switching to a different channel. However, the tough question is finding out the right wireless channel for your needs.

Since you’re here, you’re looking forward to finding the best WiFi channel for 5GHz band, well, there’s no one answer and the best might change depending on the network environment around you. So, does that mean living with slow internet? Well, no, you just need to find out the 5GHz channel that’s not crowded around you. But, how?

If you’re here just to find out the recommended channels then you can jump to that section of this post, but continue reading this if you’re interested in learning about different 5GHz channels and want to figure out the right channel based on your needs.

Contents

  • The 5 GHz Channels & Bands
  • How to Find RSSI and Noise on Mac, Windows, Android?

The 5 GHz Channels & Bands

There are a total 25 predefined 5 GHz channels, they start from 36, 40, 44, 48 and go on until 149, 153, 157, 161 and 165. All of these wireless channels are not just used by routers, some of them are also used by the scientific industry and military stations for internal communication.

The channels are further segregated into different bands and each band serves a different purpose. These bands are known as UNII-1, UNII-2, UNII-3, and UNII-4. UNII stands for Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure.

Let’s see what the purpose of each of these bands is:

UNII-1 [For Home, Office, Business Area]

The first 4 wireless channels, that is, 36, 40, 44 and 48 are known as UNII-1 channels and they are generally used for domestic purposes.

They are the lowest available channels at 5 GHz frequency band and the majority of your home devices run on them. This is also why there’s very high interference, but unless your router supports DFC/TPC, you’ll end up using this band.

UNII-2 [Routers with DFC and TPC]

This band consists of 4 channels as well – 52, 56, 60 and 64. They cannot be used by just about any device. Your router must have the DFS and TPC enabled to use the channels from this band.

DFS stands for Dynamic Frequency Selection and TOC stands for Transmit Power Control. DFS allows the router to automatically select the best channel without creating any overlap with the weather and military stations or any radars.

UNII-3 [For Industrial, Scientific, Medical Devices]

Also known as the UNII upper range, this band features channels 149, 153, 157, 161. This band is also known as the ISM range because it overlaps with the frequencies that are specifically designated for Industrial, Scientific, and Medical purposes.

This is because these are all higher channels, which means that they will have a wider bandwidth and better communication. Besides, DFS and TPC are needed to enable your device to use them.

UNII-4 [For Military Stations and Sensitive Communication]

This is the highest region and it is also known as DSRC or ITS. DSRC stands for Dedicated Short Range Communications and the 165 is the lowest channel which is a part of this band.

It is used for military stations and any type of sensitive communication. It is not recommended to use this channel, even if you have a device that supports it.

The Best 5GHz Channels For WiFi at Home, Office, Business Place

The recommended 5GHz channels for home usage are UNII-1 (36 40 44 and 48) and you can go farther up and select the higher ones if your router has DFS and TPC.

Note: Higher channels are recommended because you will find less interference.

One more thing that you should keep in mind is that the regular smart devices as well as the smart home appliances also use the UNII-1 channel for communication.

Therefore, you might experience some interference between your router and these devices. The only solution for this is to make sure that your router is placed far from any smart devices like smart home appliances and smart bulbs.

Another issue worth keeping in mind is congestion. Since it is clear that the UNII-1 band is highly suitable for WiFi, almost all the devices at your home will be connected to the internet via this band. This may lead to congestion because of which there might be a drop-in the WiFi performance.

To handle this, you can use various types of WiFi analyzer apps on the internet. These apps check for channel congestion in your vicinity and the best channel for you. This way you can get the best performance out of your wireless connection.

These apps can also show you how many devices are on a particular channel and they’ll also give you a rating for every one of them, so you can pick the best one for you. Which brings me to my next point, how to find which one is suitable for you?

How to Find the Best WiFi Channel at your Place?

When you are looking at the WiFi data for finding the best WiFi Channel there are two things that you need to consider – RSSI and Noise.

RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) is indicative of the strength of the connection between your device and your router.

Noise (Noise Floor) refers to the summation of all the unwanted signals and sources of noise within the range of your connection.

Note: Both of these values will always be negative.

Higher Value for RSSI and Lower Noise = Best Channel

For RSSI, you need to remember that you have to check the highest number, that is, the higher the value for RSSI, the better the performance.

On the other hand, the Noise value should have a low number. But for both of these numbers, you have to remember that the value is negative.

So, for instance, if Channel A has RSSI -45 and Channel B has RSSI -60, Channel A is better, because this number is higher. You can remember the thumb rule that the RSSI value should be closer to zero.

But for Noise, the reverse is true. If Channel A has Noise -95 and Channel B has -88, then A is better. Think of it like the channel having a Noise value furthest from zero is better.

Combining these values gives you the SNR, that is, the Signal to Noise Ratio. The higher this ratio, the better the WiFi connection is. You can calculate this value by subtracting the value of Noise from RSSI.

For instance, if a channel has RSSI of -39 and Noise is -86, then SNR is (-39) – (-86) = -39 +86 = 47.

Why Measure WiFi Strength?When Setting Up A WiFi Network, Your Main Goal Would Be To Achieve An Even Connection In Every Corner Of Your Space. Physical Obstacles, Like Walls...

How to Find RSSI and Noise on Mac, Windows, Android?

1. Mac

Follow the steps below to find the best WiFi channel on Mac:

  • Hold the Option or Alt Key, and at the same time, click on the WiFi connection icon at the top-right corner of your screen.
  • In the drop-down menu, select “Open Wireless Diagnostics
  • A new window will open, called “Wireless Diagnostics” (Do not click or do anything in this window.)
  • Go to the title bar and click on “Window” and Select “Scan” from the drop-down menu.
  • Now you will see a window that has an overview of all the Wireless Access Points within the range of your router.
  • You can refresh the list by clicking on “Scan Now” at the bottom right side of the window.

This window shows a complete overview of the analysis of the WiFi channels in the area as well as the best WiFi channel in the area of your router. Even though the window will have a suggestion for the best channel, it is better to make some calculations and find out on your own which channel is the best.

By now, you know that the best channel is one that has the best SNR value. For instance, if channel “A” has RSSI of -49 and Noise is -95, while Channel B has RSSI -46 and Noise is -99, Channel B is the best channel as it has an SNR of 53, whereas the Channel A has SNR of 46.

2. Windows

Unlike Mac, you will have to use an app or software to find out the best Wi-Fi channel in your area on Windows. Here are some suggested apps:

  • NetSpot – compatibility with Windows 7,8 and 10
  • Wi-Fi Analyzer – compatibility with Windows 7,8 and 10
  • Wi-Fi Commander – compatibility with Windows 10
  • Acrylic Wi-Fi – official app available on the Microsoft Store

All these apps are pretty powerful and can help you with scanning and finding the best channels in your area. Since Wi-Fi Analyzer is available on the official Windows Store, let’s take it as an example and see how you can find the best channel using this app.

  • After you have downloaded and installed the app from Microsoft Store, open it.
  • You will see the current channel of each of the connections on the dashboard, written under the name of the network. On the right side of the dashboard, there are some extra filters, but you do not need to change the default settings.
  • Now click on the Analyser button on the dashboard. You will see a graph with many visuals, including information of which network is performing in the best way. Below the graph, you will see recommendations on the best channel.

But if the graph seems too complicated, you can also simply check the bottom left side of the dashboard where you will see the recommended channel. However, you do not need to rely on the readings. You can check for yourself.

As we have established before, the closer RSSI of a channel is to 0, the higher performing the channel is. So, if channel A has dBm -50 and channel B has dBm -60, Channel A is better because -50 is closer to zero than -60.

dBm refers to RSSI signal strength and basically, the closer it is to 0, the better.

3. Android

The best tool for finding the best WiFi channel on Android is WiFi analyser, the same one I mentioned above. You can download it from the Play Store. After that, follow these steps:

  • Launch the app and open and dashboard
  • Check the dBm of the available channels. You can also use the graph function to compare all the networks available visually.
  • The channel with the RSSI closest to zero is the best.

What is 5 GHz Frequency?

The two most commonly used WiFi frequency bands are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.

But before we understand what exactly WiFi frequency bands are, we need to understand how routers work. Your router is basically a network device that is used to transmit data to your devices through radio waves.

Best Wifi Signal Strength App

The router transmits radio waves in all directions and your devices connected to the Wi-Fi or the router receive this data. This is the simplest explanation of how a router works. The next concept that comes into play is bands and channels.

Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies have their own advantages and disadvantages, but the most basic thing is that the 2.4 GHz frequency comes with lower bandwidth and wider range. On the other hand, 5 GHz frequency has higher bandwidth but shorter range, which means that it has better performance than 2.4 GHz frequency but the coverage area is smaller.

In other words, a 5 GHz wireless connection is good for getting faster internet speed at a small distance, whereas the 2.4 GHz wireless connection can cover farther distances, but it might do that at a lower speed. This also means that a 5 GHz connection is not as good as the 2.4 GHz connection for penetrating walls and objects.

Now coming to the idea of channels, they are basically the width of the band at which a router releases the signals in the open space. The higher frequency a channel has, the wider is its bandwidth. You will also notice that an increase in channel frequency also leads to a massive improvement in the performance of the WiFi network.

The reason 5 GHz channel is expressed as a whole number but the other one has the dot 4 is because the 5 GHz channel covers a wide range of channels, from 5.15 GHz to 5.85 GHz. For the sake of simplicity, it has been shortened to 5 GHz. On the other hand, the 2.4 GHz channel has its entire range within the band of same frequency.

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Also, the channel is commonly designated as 5G and it became very commonly used after the 802.11a network connection version debuted. The 5 GHz band is also very commonly used in the later versions of Wi-Fi, such as, 11n, 11ac and 11ax.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WiFi Channel width important?

Every WiFi channel is allotted a segment of 20 MHz within its frequency band. The width of the channel actually dictates how much data can pass through it and at what speed the data will pass.
Wider channels always have more data allowance and at faster speeds, given that they are not impeded by interference from other devices. Moreover, there are certain frequency bands that are more commonly affected by interference, and on the basis of this, there are certain WiFi channel width settings for routers as well as access points are recommended.
So, yes, the channel width is quite an important factor.

What is the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Band?

The three differences between these two frequencies are range or coverage, bandwidth or speed, and interference.

Best Wifi Signal Strength App For Iphone

Are higher 5 GHz channels better?

In short, yes, higher 5 GHz channels will provide wider bandwidth and better communication. But since several higher 5 GHz channels are limited to military and scientific usage, you are limited to the UNII-1 channels. Of these, the best channels are the higher ones, as they have wider bandwidth.

Conclusion

See Full List On Metageek.com

A faster WiFi connection is the modern-day equivalent of Oxygen. You need it to stay alive. But to reach the full potential of your wireless connection, you need to start paying attention to the data.

Good Wifi Signal Strength

The WiFi diagnostics are life-changing and simply being able to read a few numbers and understanding how they work can massively boost your internet speed. This is especially helpful if you live in a congested area or share your Wi-Fi with other people.

So, with this information, you are equipped to never suffer from a slow connection ever again. Connect to a faster WiFi channel and live your best life. Happy surfing!