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dBm wireless signal strength

📅 2017-Jul-23 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 📚 Archive

dBm signal strength of my wifi connection
dBm signal strength of my wifi connection

You usually check the signal strength of your wireless connection on your phone or laptop by looking at how many bars or waves are highlighted in the GUI. This is a good approximation to know if your signal is weak or strong. However, if you need to measure the strength of your connection, for example at different locations in your home, then you need to know the actual metric.

$ iwconfig
wlp4s0    IEEE 802.11  ESSID:"my_wifi_network"  
          Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.427 GHz  Access Point: xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx   
          Bit Rate=65 Mb/s   Tx-Power=22 dBm   
          Retry short limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr:off
          Power Management:on
          Link Quality=42/70  Signal level=-68 dBm  
          Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0
          Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:96   Missed beacon:0

You can move around your laptop to different locations in your home and note the dBm values there. This can be useful if you want to decide on the optimal placement of your wifi router or if you are planning to get a wifi extender for your home.