How good of signal does my device really have?

Hello all,

So in helping someone this afternoon I was able to give them some knowledge that was quite helpful to this person and we were able to get their signal problem solved exquisitely quick.

If you’ve been here for a minute you’ve no doubt seen people when the maven or the mod team has asked how they’re signal is at the device location and they say it’s good. Usually followed by a screen capture of this, The infamous three-bar signal indicator on the device info page.

Maybe with full bars but hey give me a break here :wink:

Although that is a fair guideline it doesn’t really give you an idea of the signal strength in detail. At least not the detail us nerds need.

The person I helped this afternoon happened to be using the Wyze router pro. And unbeknownst to them if you can find the device you’re searching for in that router and I do know of some other routers that offer this as well you can actually see the decibel milliwatt measurement for that particular device at its location. That is the indicator we’re looking for when we ask the particular question about signal. That is how good the signal is after any interference and weakening of signal over distance. And that is measured in a strict number. That number correlates to a way you can actively measure locations on your property where you’re thinking about putting devices. There are apps you can use and although your phone may have a better antenna than our cameras you can get a rough idea for how good the signal actually is in any general location. So, let’s break down the app I use. Just in case anyone else on Android wants to use that particular app. Usually you’ll see them labeled in your respective app store as Wi-Fi strength or Wi-Fi analyzer or any number of things. But be aware that Wi-Fi analyzers can sometimes give you different types of info rather than strength.


I use this one because it’s extremely quick and extremely easy. And you can actually get a live number as you walk around seeing how the signal changes so you can actively measure any interference if you live in a congested area. You can watch those numbers raise or drop.

Here’s how it shows up in the app

Below that lovely 100% picture that RSSI number followed by the -36 DBM. That is the number you’re looking for. Now those numbers sadly don’t correlate to 0 through 100% for strength.

Here’s the levels you’re looking at there

It’s kind of counterintuitive but hey what are you going to do, at least you have a concrete number to go by. and keep in mind that different apps will have a slightly different scale of “excellent” and “good” and such, this particular scale above was taken was a request from Chat GTP as it is a conglomerate from a larger overall search of the net. versus just me in a good search for a scale and getting just one scale of what qualifies as good and better and best and all that :sunglasses:

Here’s one that I was just testing as I had moved it to a new location and I needed to see if the signal was good enough. Not bad at all. And this was also using the wyze router pro to gain this information.

I hope this post can serve as a reference for people and give just a little more understanding to the not so nerdy like myself.

There are so many silly variables in the world that getting good signal to a camera is a little more complex and less than straightforward but hopefully using the tools at hand if you do run into trouble either the Maven or the mod team can ask you just a little bit more specifics on your setup and get this kind of information and get to the bottom of the cause of the issue. Especially as more and more people switch to mesh networks.

I hope this is able to help many others as it did for at least one community member today.


Thank you @Bam. This is great information, but I gotta know…

How quick is this really?


I installed the app and it is one of the better apps for WiFi signal strength. I am playing with it now.


My general rule is that as long as anything has a -dBm that is between 0 to -70, then it’s fine. Anything else is just asking for a bad experience. The closer to 0, the better.

Wyze also often sets their limits at -70dBm too. For example, the Router Pro, when it does the “Optimization check” it checks to see if the 6GHz band can connect under -70dBm. If so, it will set the wireless backhaul to 6GHz, but if it is worse than -70dBm then it will set the backhaul to the 5GHz band instead.


Yes! Another good point I didn’t even think of. Being able to check the measurement for your mesh setup can make it far far more effective.

Yet another reason these numbers will come in handy. We just need to get some knowledge out to the masses and help people understand it. I’m all for the wonderful three bar picture but I just wish it had more detail :innocent:


I used a signal strength app to position precisely (exquisitely!) the remote node of my mesh setup to get the throughput and wireless backhaul between nodes poppin’. In my case, move either node by mere inches and signal and performance takes a dump. The main node is high and the remote node is low (2nd and 1st floors, respectively) and they are pretty distant from each other. Their positions are marked with pencil (faintly) on shelves and near walls where they reside in case of displacement by earthquake, housecleaning and/or curious onlooker effects. :slight_smile:


You win! :laughing::joy::laughing::innocent:

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Eighteen months?? :astonished:

@Bam should post topics more frequently!

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It’s a good one… :+1: :grin:


holy wah…threre’s no way its been that long! that is crazy! apparently its only counting since certain changes on the forums.

I shall see what I can come up with, I’ll still go for quality over quantity.


Outside the bat cave (in greater Gotham!) :wink:


I didnt know if anyone would get the reference outside of the mavens or mods lol


Move along. Nothing to see here. :eyes:




Aren’t we missing something here? It’s great to have strong reception at the camera. It means the camera is getting a good feed from the router. However, I find most signal issues are at the transmission from the device(aka camera). You need to be able to see how well the camera is reaching back to the router. The cameras and many small devices are low power thus inadequate on long distances or when there are dense obstructions. A sunken example with this, that doesn’t require a camera at all is to walk outside with your smartphone connected to your wifi. You will most likely stay “connected” to your home wifi for quite a ways, because your home wifi transmit power is high. But you won’t have good 2-way comms because the smartphone is transmitting at a lower power back to the node/base station.


My mesh router control software displays up/dn throughput at the main (and each satellite) node.

It also allows blocking (by MAC address) any device connected.

  • Block temporarily all connected devices except the camera you want to test.
  • Assign a Cam Plus subscription (or free trial) to that camera for continuous recording.
  • Set the cam at 100% detection sensitivity, without detection zones, and point it at a scene with constant motion.
  • Observe upload throughput of the main node in the router control software.
  • Move the cam to different locations and note the variation.

The upload throughput suggests the strength and quality of the signal transmitted to the router by the tested cam.

I think. :slight_smile:

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I’ve found a flaw in this already. :grinning:

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C’mon Frog. You’ve never been one for self censoring. What gives?

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I don’t know. It’s therapeutic sometimes. :slight_smile:

(Restored deleted posts 16 and 17)


FWIW: while I agree the routers bidirectional throughput is useful, it’s not a direct reflection of signal strength. Now of course we know it’s indirectly related, but, you could still have decent throughput with weak signal, I guess that depends on the sample period. We also know with motion event detection the cameras need not only good signal but also good throughput to keep up with the demands. End of the day I believe almost all issues people have with these devices is related to the transmit power of the device itself, and not their home wifi or other gremlins.

The router network management logic has an overwhelming affect on device connectivity, throughput, and bandwidth. And, unfortunately, every router manufacturer and every model has its own particular proprietary flavor of network management logic constantly ebbing and flowing a limited resource to each individual device based on network load, priority device demand, and device network protocols. Every router is built differently for a different specific purpose. Adaptive QOS, POS, Smart Connect, WiFi Fairness, Device Prioritization, and Traffic Control are all manufacturer code names for logic that can and will change the behavior of devices on the network. Add to that residential routers that are sold by companies that also offer IoT devices which are specifically programmed to prioritize their own devices over any other.

Gremlins can also not be ignored. WiFi channel conflicts, electrical and direct RF interference can reek havoc on network devices.

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