Exactly what is wifi signal strength telling you

I don’t get this one. I install a cam at my in-laws house. Go inside, upstairs about 20 feet from cam outside, check signal strength under device info and it reads 87%. All well and good.
Get up, walk downstairs, check signal strength under device info and get 33%.
What gives? No other variables but my location changed. Isn’t signal strength supposed to be at the cam itself, not based on where I am?

Based on my experience it will only tell you if it’s getting a signal or not. I’ve had 2 cams mounted side by side vary by 25%.
I just checked my 2 cams mounted in a window. One shows 70%, one shows 95%. They are about 4 inches apart.

Just a thought but this discrepancy might be caused by the cameras being on different channels. The default channel of my router is set channel 8 which overlaps channel to channel 7 and 9. So my cameras could be on the other channels and still be communicating but potentially not as effectively.

Good thoughts both, but why would the same cam show such a variation when it stays still and I move?

WiFi is black magic. I have a very expensive WiFi connected weather station. It’s mounted on a 15 foot tall plastic pole in the ground and the router is in my living room about 21 feet away. It logs the WiFi signal strength every second. It varies from 0 to about 97% all during the day and night.

WiFi is subject to dozens of potential environmental factors as well as other WiFi devices etc. Some devices use a moving average to “smooth” the changes in signal strength. This is true of most cell phones for instance. But devices that do not average the signal will show widely varying signal strength.

As the the fellow says, “YMMV take it with a lump of salt.”

1 Like

Ahh…I get it! Black Magic!
Thanks for the input. I kind of figured from my own observations it was something like that. Puzzles me tho how one cam can connect like a flash at low reported signal strength and the next will grind at 90+ %.
Vodoo could be the answer ??
I also have a pan cam mounted 5 feet from an extender which will show varying signal strengths all over the spectrum while other devices much further away are consistent.

Back when I used to do site surveys for proposed WiFi rollouts I was always amazed by what would or would not interfere. We had a very mysterious case where WiFi signal strength would drop to the low single digits in one particular area of an office building. Could not for the life of us figure it out. Then one day it was fine, for the whole day. Dropped again next day. That weekend it was fine all weekend, come Monday about 8:30 am dropped right back.

Turns out the guy that worked in that office had an early insulin pump. The telemetry from the pump ate WiFi for lunch. The weekend and that one day it worked fine corresponded to the days he was not in the office. You just never know.

I knew that darned smart electric toothbrush would cause problems!
That jives with my experiences. Drive yourself nuts trying to establish a consistent signal.
Thanks.