Reading wifi and internet connection speeds

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July 28, 2017 by quirkyuncle@gmail.com

Deciding where to place your wireless router to eliminate dead spots in your home network can be a challenge.




Without a measuring device, wireless network setup can be hit or miss. The ability to measure wifi signal at various locations in your home is key to attaining optimal connectivity throughout the area. There are so many elements in a building that can impact wireless performance – walls, wiring, and appliances can all have an effect. The goal is to place your router in a location that allows it to best communicate with all of your devices: laptops, tablets, cellphones, Smart TVs, etc.

It scans your network, inside and out!

For the past couple years, I’ve been looking for a wifi signal strength meter that runs on my cellphone. I’ve found plenty that will measure the speed of my internet connection, but nothing to gauge performance of my home wireless network – at least until now.

My cousin Mike recently told me about the free CloudCheck> application that he’s been using to evaluate wifi network and internet connection performance. The application is easy to use and very effective. It has been a huge help getting some of my home network issues resolved – no more dead spots! Thanks, Mike!

The CloudCheck> application provides several tools, most notable for me being the Wi-Fi Sweetspots network scanner and the Speed Test internet scanner.


CloudCheck options

Strong wifi is happy wifi!

Here is a screenshot of a Wi-Fi Sweetspots network scan done as I walked through my house. The low spot in the middle of the graph is the point where my phone transitioned between the two routers I have set up to even out my network coverage.


CloudCheck wifi

After sitting still and letting the connection stabilize, I typically get a connection speed of 60 Mbps or more on our 2.4 GHz network, anywhere in my house or yard. This indicates that my router placement is good. The 5 GHz network speeds are higher when taken within reasonable range of the router (maximizing utility of your 5 GHz wifi network is a topic for another posting). Speeds below 25 Mbps on either network border on fairly useless and require moving the router or adding an additional router to improve performance. (More on this in an upcoming posting.)

Fast internet is better internet!

Here is a screenshot of a Speed Test internet scan. It compares the Broadband internet speed being delivered by your internet service provider (ISP) and the Wi-fi speed being provided by your home network. For good performance, your wifi speed should always exceed your internet speed by a substantial margin.


CloudCheck internet speed

The internet speeds are shown for download, as indicated by the down arrow, and upload, as indicated by the up arrow. Downloads are any content that you access, such as, websites, social media, or Netflix. Uploads are any content that you send out, such as, outgoing email, postings to social media, or search requests made to Google. The download speed provided by your internet service is typically much higher than the upload speed, since most of the data being transferred is incoming.

Measuring the internet speeds you are actually getting will let you know if you are receiving, on average, the speeds you are paying for and help you figure out the best time of day to connect when downloading large files, such as software updates. You can also use the internet speed test to evaluate the performance of services such as a VPN (more on that in an upcoming posting).

Get more information and download the app now!

You can get more information about the CloudCheck application at the CloudCheck website, along with links to where you can download the application for your iOS or Anderoid device.

Related postings:

Check back soon for related postings that discuss:

  • How to optimize your home wifi network through router placement, using multiple wireless routers to blanket large areas with signal, and methods for balancing home network traffic to improve performance.

Did you find this posting useful? Did it save you time or money? If so, consider making a donation.




Updates:

  • 18 August 2017 – Added related postings with link to Maintaining online privacy.


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