Decibel in Computer Networking

dBs are key to measuring Wi-Fi strength

A decibel 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 other radio electronics, including cellphones.

A Wi-Fi router
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What Are Decibels in Wi-Fi?

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

In general, Wi-Fi equipment with a relatively larger dBm value can send or receive wireless network traffic across greater distances. However, larger dBm values also indicate that the Wi-Fi device requires more power to operate, which translates to decreased battery life on mobile devices.