3
\$\begingroup\$

If Windows says my signal strength is poor, is my bit-rate lower than if Windows says the signal strength is excellent? I have poor signal strength and I have:

1) raised my access point to clear obstacles 2) Made sure the transmitting and receiver antennas are vertical so polarization is optimized

I suppose my next step is buying a longer antenna with higher dbi or dbd. I could also find the access point manual and see if the antenna is somewhat directional and orient to my receiving antenna.

But if poor signal strength does not affect my bit rate, I should probably be ok.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ A longer antenna is not necessarily better, on contrary. An antenna must be tuned to the frequency used and the the directions it radiates into. And yes, WiFi does reduce bitrate when the connection quality drops. \$\endgroup\$ – jippie Dec 20 '12 at 21:14
4
\$\begingroup\$

Yes. The 802.11 Medium Access Control, which is in charge of deciding on the data rate between two WiFi devices (which use IEEE 802.11), scales the data rate between the devices depending on a lot of things. One of them is signal strength. This correlation isn't necessarily linear, but it can be. Some packets are transmitted at 1Mbps while data is typically at the max speed. When the signal is not stable, it's common for the data rate to vary quickly. For more information see 802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide, Second Edition

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

Poor signal strength can result in bit errors, causing more retransmissions. It is more correct to say the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) is what matters.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.