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Time: November 22nd, 2023
What is RSSI in Wi-Fi ? How can you measure the strength of the Wi-Fi signal? And why does it matter for your Wi-Fi performance and experience? In this article, we will explain what RSSI is, how it is measured, and how it affects your Wi-Fi quality.
If you've used Wi-Fi at home or work, you might have noticed that the strength of the signal can vary depending on your location. Sometimes you may encounter issues like connections interrupted audio or video quality or dropped calls. These problems are often linked to how your device receives the Wi-Fi signal from the router or access point .
What is RSSI in Wi-Fi?
Well, RSSI stands for Received Signal Strength Indicator . It's a measurement that tells us how effectively our device can pick up the signal from the Wi-Fi router or access point . RSSI is measured in decibels (dB) which is a scale used to compare power ratios. Typically expressed as numbers (50 dBm or 70 dBm) an RSSI closer to zero signifies better signal strength .
How do we measure RSSI?
The measurement is taken by our Wi-enabled devices like laptops, smartphones, or tablets when they receive signals, from the router or access point . The device comes with a built-in network card that can detect the strength of the Wi-Fi signal. It then provides the user with information, about the signal strength either through a representation like a signal bar icon or through values as displayed in network monitoring tools. However, it's important to note that there is no method for measuring or reporting these signal strength values across devices, manufacturers, or Wi-Fi standards. Each device may use its scale, range, or algorithm to calculate these values. For instance, one device might use a scale from 0 to 255 while another might use a scale from 0 to 100. Additionally, some devices may report these values in increments of 5 dB while others may use increments of 1 dB. Therefore, it's not possible to compare values between different devices and they should only be used as relative indicators of signal strength within the same device.
Why is RSSI important?
RSSI is significant because it directly impacts the quality and performance of your Wi-Fi connection. A stronger signal translates to a faster connection whereas a weaker signal means you' ll experience less reliability and slower speeds. Moreover, a weak signal can also lead to issues, like interference, noise disruptions, packet loss, or even disconnections.
The strength of the Wi-Fi signal, known as RSSI can impact your device's battery life . If the signal is weak, it may require power to maintain a connection. That's why it's important to optimize your value for the Wi-Fi experience. In cases, an RSSI value of 67 dBm or higher is considered good, for activities like web browsing, streaming, or voice calls. On the other hand, an RSSI value of 70 dBm or lower is considered poor. This can lead to issues. It's worth noting that an RSSI value of 30 dBm or higher is excellent but not usually ideal in real-world scenarios as it might indicate that the device is too close to the router or access point which can cause saturation or overheating.
How you can improve your RSSI:
1. Adjust your device's position about the router / access point . Moving closer (or farther away) can impact the signal strength .
2. Avoid obstructions, like walls, doors, furniture, and metal objects that tend to block or reflect Wi-Fi signals.
3. Make sure there is a line of sight , between your device and the router or access point .
4. Reduce interference from devices that use the frequency band as your Wi-Fi network, such as cordless phones, microwaves, Bluetooth speakers, or other Wi-Fi networks. You can switch to a channel. Consider using the 5 GHz frequency band instead of 2.4 GHz if it is available.
5. Adjust the position or orientation of your router or access points antenna. It is recommended to point it toward your device and place the router/ access point in an elevated location.
6. If your router , access point , or network card are outdated or incompatible with standards consider upgrading them to devices that support the Wi-Fi standards like 802.11ac or 802.11ax for better performance and faster speeds.
In conclusion
keep in mind that RSSI ( Received Signal Strength Indication) affects both the quality and performance of your Wi-Fi connection, as well as your device's battery life . To enhance your Wi-Fi experience and ensure a reliable connection it's important to grasp the concept of RSw it is measured, and why it matters.

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