eBooks, Guides, & Reports • 9 MIN READ

WiFi Strength Test: How To Manage the Strength of Your WiFi Signal

IR Team

Written by IR Team


In today's modern workplace, the ability to work from anywhere allows us diversity and flexibility in the way we get the job done.

With seamless communication and collaboration at the helm of remote and hybrid working culture, good Wi-Fi signal strength and fast internet speed is an absolute priority.

If your employees' home office, or the place they work from most, doesn't have reliable internet connection and fast internet speed, it places a strain on their ability to work efficiently, causing downtime, and ultimately, loss of productivity.

Today's internet is faster than ever, enabling workers to collaborate with team members and clients in real time through streaming video calls, and to upload and download massive files. However, many global nations don't have the type of powerful internet connections needed to support multiple connected devices and networks.

Fastest broadband internet speeds

Image source: World population review

In this article, we'll discuss the importance of connected networks being able to measure and manage the Wi-Fi connection, and performance they have, how to pinpoint exactly where Wi-Fi is underperforming and how to fix it, with a digital experience management solution.

Wi-Fi signal strength vs internet speeds

Internet speed and WiFi signal strength are not exactly the same. Signal strength is about how strong the connection is. Internet speeds are about how fast the internet can run, meaning your upload speed and your download speed.

For all remote workers, no matter where they're working from, reliable Wi-Fi strength is essential to ensure optimum connectivity. Insufficient signal strength can play havoc with Wi-Fi networks and disrupt productivity and workflows within a home network, as well as in the office.

When Wi-Fi signal strength is below par, it can lead to packet loss, latency, jitter, interference and connections dropping out altogether.

Universal Wi-Fi indicator symbols

Universal Wi-Fi indicator symbols

The significance of upload speeds and download speeds

Different internet speeds are necessary for different uses. Both download speeds and upload speeds are relative to what your requirements are, and they refer to the direction in which data is traveling and how fast its getting there. There are also variations between what an acceptable upload and download speed is.

Download speed measures how fast information is transferred, for example, it affects how long it takes to download large files, while upload speed can affect the way you appear on a video call. So faster upload speeds are essential for streaming video and clearer calls, as well as things like online gaming.

Download vs Upload Speed

Image source: AllConnect

What is an internet speed test?

An internet speed test measures the connection speed and quality of internet-connected devices in megabits per second (Mbps).

By running multiple consecutive tests, including an internet speed test, a comprehensive remote experience management solution like IR's RemoteInsight can reveal different aspects of your internet connection, such as ping (latency), download speed, and upload speed.

What is a Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)?

RSSI is a measurement of device capabilities - or how well a connected device can pick up a signal from an access point or router. RSSI is a useful value for determining if there is sufficient signal to get a good wireless connection.

The importance of monitoring network performance metrics

Network performance metrics are quantitative measurements used to evaluate and monitor the performance and reliability of a computer network. and are vital to identify whether problems are occurring between application issues or data transmission issues.

A remote experience management solution, makes it easier to resolve potential problems by connecting to the relevant teams, and involves two main metrics known as round-trip time (RTT) and server response time (SRT).

  1. Round-trip time: The transmission time a data packet takes to reach its destination and the time it takes to acknowledge the packet has been received.

  2. Server response time: Server response time is the amount of time required to complete a request and respond to it. 

Types of internet speed metrics for remote working

The Federal Communications Commission has declared that an acceptable internet speed is a connection that provides downloads of at least 100 Mbps and uploads of at least 20 Mbps.

Text or voice communication doesn't require much bandwidth, but video streams are made up of constantly changing images requiring a significant amount of data transmission in real time, and consequently, faster internet speed for a consistently smooth, clear connection.

If your internet speed is insufficient, video streaming may encounter a range of problems like buffering, loading failures or stuttering playback, all of which can disrupt your productivity flow and cause widespread frustration.

For more in-depth information about network troubleshooting, read our comprehensive guide

Measuring Wi-Fi signal strength

Wi-Fi strength and radio signal strength are dependent on each other. On the path between the wireless access point, and a connected device, the data rate available on that link is determined by signal strength in each direction.

Many operating systems, including Microsoft Windows have built-in monitoring capabilities for wireless network connections, and this is the quickest and easiest way to measure Wifi signal strength.

General tips to check Wi-Fi signal strength

Problems with Wifi signal strength within your network can significantly hinder productivity, and in a remote work setting, it can affect an entire team's daily output.

There are a few general steps to take that may help troubleshoot why your Wi-Fi signal is weak, and help you generally improve Wi-fi signal.

Reduce the number of devices using up bandwidth

Low Wifi signal strength issues could be a result of the applications and devices using your bandwidth, such as video calling, streaming HD videos, using cloud applications, file sharing, and even malware.

Additionally, if several devices are consuming a large amount of bandwidth, they can slow other devices, and make it appear that signal strength is poor. You can reduce and manage the number of devices using internet bandwidth using Quality of Service (QoS) methods.

Find out more about QoS and how to fix network congestion in our guide

Reset your router often

Resetting your router can help if you're experiencing degraded Wi-Fi signal strength. If this does help with connectivity issues, and if your router supports it, you may be able to install third-party firmware like DD-WRT to schedule a router reset regularly each day.

Check your frequency

Check configuration through your network's administrator interface. If you have a dual-band router, throughput may be better by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band. 

How IR RemoteInsight can help

RemoteInsight is a remote digital experience management solution, available as part of the IR Collaborate suite of performance management solutions.

When a remote user reports technical issues, such as Wi-Fi connection problems, or internet speed issues, the greatest difficulty is being able to pinpoint exactly where, and why it's happening.

RemoteInsight collects all the information needed to remotely diagnose a problem with a user's home network. This includes system tests, network tests, remote wireless signal strength tests and much more. RemoteInsight then compiles the results and sends notifications that the data is ready to be analyzed, with all the information required to diagnose the problem.

IR RemoteInsight

RemoteInsight is a tool that no enterprise organization with hybrid workplace models can afford to be without. It provides organizations with unparalleled ear-to-ear visibility, and adds another layer of detail to the Collaborate solution suite to help our customers navigate the evolving challenges of the hybrid workplace.

To find out more about how RemoteInsight can deliver deep remote user insights, help solve problems from anywhere, and create a great experience for every user, contact our team today.

Topics: Communications Performance management Proactive troubleshooting eBooks, Guides & Reports Collaborate Digital Workplace User experience

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