Struggling to get a strong or reliable WiFi signal? Learn how to check your WiFi signal strength with a precise test on iPhones, Android devices, Windows 10 or 11 computers, and Macs.
First off, take a glance at your WiFi indicator symbol — those bars are the initial strength test. More bars mean stronger signals, while error messages might be a sign of trouble.
Here’s another thing with internet 'speed' and 'signal strength' — they aren’t the same. Speed is about how fast your internet can run, like how quickly you can download.
Signal strength is about how strong the connection is, like how many bars you get on your phone or in a specific room. We’ll cover how to test and boost signal strength in our guide.
For a precise reading of your WiFi strength, you need to check the "decibels relative to a milliwatt" or dBm. The scale goes from -30 (strong) to -90 (weak), so -50 to -60 dBm is the sweet spot for reliable broadband.
Want to make weak signal a thing of the past? Learn more about Mesh WiFi and how it works.
Signal strength can mess with your work and home life. When the signal is weak, brace yourself for disappointing moments. Poor WiFi signal strength leads to these common issues:
Concrete walls can block WiFi signals. If you’re far away from the router, the signal may get weak too. Learn more about what blocks WiFi signals.
And don't forget about other gadgets hogging the signal and causing a jam!
A strong signal will give you the smoothest experience. Otherwise, you might be joining the 8 in 10 Brits who experience WiFi rage.
Now that we’ve cleared up why WiFi signal strength matters, let’s review how to check it.
To check WiFi signal strength on your iPhone, you’ll need an app that can scan WiFi signals, like the AirPort Utility app. To test your signal, do the following:
Check the dBm for a precise reading. Remember, -50 to -60 dBm is a good strength. If the iPhone is still giving you an unreliable connection, it might be another issue.
First things first, head to the Google Play Store and grab a WiFi scanning app, like WiFi Analyzer or an alternative, if you prefer — install it, then use the following steps to test your signal strength:
Make a note of your reading for an accurate gauge of signal strength. The lower the dBm goes, the stronger the signal–and the higher it goes the weaker the signal.
On a Windows computer, you’ll need to grab an application to scan your WiFi, like the free inSSIDer app. Install it and then use the following steps to find your WiFi signal reading:
For the tech wizards out there, we’ve got a slightly more advanced way to check your WiFi signal strength for Windows 10 or 11 users too.
Open ‘Command prompt’ and type “netsh wlan show interfaces”, you’ll see a signal strength % and many other details–great if you want a quick test with no downloads.
For the Mac maestros out there, good news — your device already has all it needs to check WiFi signal strength. Your Mac’s WiFi signal bar symbol can show you details about your WiFi without installing anything:
You’ll have all you need in a few clicks on a Mac computer and make a note of your dBm to confirm the WiFi’s signal strength.
It’s not much help just confirming your signal strength is bad! Try the following tips for an extra WiFi boost:
The above tips can help enhance dBm readings, so try them out and re-test the WiFi signal strength on your device to see what works best.
Here are some quick answers to common questions that come up when you check your WiFi signal strength:
What does mW mean?
mW means milliwatts — it's a unit of power for measuring WiFi signal strength.
What does RSSI mean?
RSSI stands for Received Signal Strength Indicator — it's a value that shows your WiFi signal's strength.
What does dBm mean?
dBm is a signal strength measurement, which gives you a more precise way of saying how strong or weak your WiFi is.
How do I check my WiFi signal strength for free?
You can check your WiFi strength for free by using your device's built-in signal indicators or advanced network settings.
Is there an app to test WiFi signal strength?
Checking the signal strength and trying to boost your WiFi signal can help performance, but it’s meaningless without a fast internet speed.
Our unbeatable Premium WiFi service guarantee allows for reliable connections throughout the home for smooth internet surfing and less frustration. Your WiFi will be at your side wherever you roam throughout your home, which offers London’s highest speeds as part of our 1Gpbs and 3Gpbs service packages. Put us to the test.