Checking Wi-Fi Signal Strength in Linux Using Terminal: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to troubleshooting your Wi-Fi connection or optimizing your network performance, one of the most important metrics to keep an eye on is your signal strength. While many desktop environments in Linux provide built-in tools for monitoring Wi-Fi signals, using the terminal to check signal strength can be a faster and more efficient method. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to check Wi-Fi signal strength using the terminal in Linux. Whether you are a seasoned Linux user or a beginner, this guide is essential for anyone looking to improve their Wi-Fi network performance.

How to Check Wi-Fi Signal Strength using Terminal in Linux

Multiple command line tools are available to check Wi-Fi signal strength in Linux. These tools vary in information type; some display only signal strength values, while others offer more detailed information. In this guide, we will introduce three user-friendly tools widely available in most Linux distributions, making it easy for you to monitor your Wi-Fi signal strength effectively. However, remember that different Linux distributions may have varying default tools or require additional installation steps for the ones mentioned in this guide.

1. How to Use iwconfig

In Linux, you can check the Wi-Fi signal strength using the command line tool called “iwconfig.” Here are the steps:

  1. Open a terminal window on your Linux system.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter:iwconfig
  3. Look for the wireless interface you want to check the signal strength. It is usually listed as “wlan0” or “wlp3s0.”
  4. Under the interface, look for the “Signal level” or “Signal quality” field. The value in this field represents the signal strength in decibels (dBm).
  5. You can also use the following command to get a more detailed view of the wireless interface’s status:iwconfig wlan0Replace “wlan0” with the name of your wireless interface.
  6. Look for the “Link Quality” field in the output. This value represents the signal quality as a percentage.
  7. The higher the signal level and link quality values, the better the Wi-Fi signal strength.
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Note: The signal strength value will vary depending on factors such as the distance between the device and the Wi-Fi router, obstacles, and interference from other devices.

2. How to use a command-line tool “Wavemon

Another way to check Wi-Fi signal strength using the terminal in Linux is to use a command-line tool called Wavemon. Here are the steps:

  1. Open a terminal window on your Linux system.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter to install Wavemon:
sudo apt-get install wavemon

This command will install Wavemon on Ubuntu-based Linux systems. If you are using a different Linux distribution, you can search for the appropriate installation command.

3. Once Wavemon is installed, type the following command and press Enter to start it:

sudo wavemon

4. Wavemon will display a real-time view of your Wi-Fi signal strength and quality.

5. Look for the “Signal” field in the Wavemon display. This field represents the signal strength in dBm.

6. Look for the “Noise” field in the Wavemon display. This field represents the background noise level in dBm.

7. Look for the “SNR” field in the Wavemon display. This field represents the signal-to-noise ratio in dB.

8. The higher the signal strength value and SNR value and the lower the noise level, the better the Wi-Fi signal strength.

Note: Wavemon provides a more detailed view of Wi-Fi signal strength than the iwconfig command. However, it requires installation and may not be available on all Linux systems.

3. How to Use nmcli:

nmcli is a command-line tool that allows you to manage network connections on Linux systems. Here are some basic nmcli commands and their usage:

  1. To display a list of available network connections, type the following command and press Enter:
nmcli connection show
  1. To display information about a specific network connection, type the following command and press Enter:
nmcli connection show <connection-name>

Replace <connection-name> with the network connection name you want to view.

  1. To create a new network connection, type the following command and press Enter:
nmcli connection add con-name <connection-name> ifname <interface-name> type <connection-type> [options]

Replace <connection-name> with the name you want to give the new connection, <interface-name> with the name of the network interface, and <connection-type> with the type of connection you want to create (such as “ethernet” or “wifi”). You can also add additional options as needed.

  1. To modify an existing network connection, type the following command and press Enter:
nmcli connection modify <connection-name> [options]

Replace <connection-name> with the network connection name you want to modify. You can also add additional options to make changes to the connection.

  1. To delete an existing network connection, type the following command and press Enter:
nmcli connection delete <connection-name>

Replace <connection-name> with the network connection name you want to delete.

  1. To connect to a network, type the following command and press Enter:
nmcli connection up <connection-name>

Replace <connection-name> with the name of the network connection you want to connect to.

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These basic nmcli commands can help you manage your network connections on Linux systems. You can use nmcli –help to view a list of all available options and commands.

Using this command, you can quickly check the signal strength of your WiFi network without the need for additional tools or software.

Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we have explored different methods to check Wi-Fi signal strength using the Terminal in Linux. We have discussed various command-line tools, such as Wavemon, iwconfig, and nmcli, which can be used to monitor and measure the Wi-Fi signal strength of wireless network devices. We have also provided step-by-step instructions to install and use these tools to help you troubleshoot any issues related to wireless networks. With these tools and techniques, you can easily monitor the strength of your Wi-Fi signal and identify areas with poor signal strength, which will help you optimize your network performance and improve your overall browsing experience.

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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