Decibel In Computer Networking

dBs are key to measuring Wi-Fi strength

A Wifi Router

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A decibel (dB) is a standard unit for measuring the strength of Wi-Fi wireless radio signals. Decibels are also used as a measure for audio equipment and some other radio electronics including cell phones.

Wi-Fi radio antennas and transceivers both include decibel ratings as provided by the manufacturer. Home network equipment usually presents the rating in dBm units, where 'm' represents milliwatts of electric power.

In general, Wi-Fi equipment with a relatively larger dBm value is capable of sending or receiving wireless network traffic across greater distances. However, larger dBm values also indicate the WiFi device requires more power to operate, which translates to decreased battery life on mobile systems.