Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Test Your WiFi Speeds With WiFi SweetSpots

You've probably noticed that your WiFi speeds vary a lot, depending on where you are in your home.

There are many factors that can affect your speed, including WiFi router placement, the construction materials of your home, and pollution from neighboring WiFi routers or appliances.

In some cases you might want to know what areas receive better signal speeds than others, this can be exceptionally helpful for determining where to put a streaming tv/video box (like Amazon FireTV), or a gaming console.

There is a simple and free app that will measure the WiFi speeds you are getting in any location using your smartphone, it's called WiFi SweetSpots by Assisa Inc.

The app is easy to use and can provide information quickly.
You can get WiFi Sweetspots for Android here or iPhone here. This handy app will start measuring the speed between your phone and your WiFi router.

WiFi SweetSpots does not test your internet speed, which is fine because if your WiFi speed to your router is good, your internet speeds should be good.  (If your speeds from the router to the internet are a problem you need to call your internet provider.)

In this case we are interested in how fast can your phone send/receive data to the router, as that should predict how good your overall WiFi experience will be.

The app will give you the current speed every second, or provide you an average for as long as you hold down the "Record" button. Recorded averages are automatically logged with names like "Spot 1", "Spot 2", etc.

This can be really useful for walking to different locations and determining the connection quality in those areas.

If you find that the signal is generally poor throughout most of your home, or in a location where you need a fast connection it may be time to consider upgrading to a new WiFi router, or embracing a home WiFi mesh solution like Luma.

Using the app I was able to check the speed in all the bedrooms and can rest easy knowing that while one child will have a faster connection than her siblings, all of them have decent speeds, at least by today's standards.

Overall WiFi SweetSpots is a great free tool that you don't have to be a techie to use. It can help you relocate your WiFi devices for a more optimal experience, or indicate it may be time to upgrade without a lot of arcane techno-speak.

I get a lot of people asking me what they can do to improve their home WiFi, and I'll be adding WiFi SweetSpots to the list of things I suggest they check.

Happy surfing!

-The Home Geek


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