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RSSI reading comparisons


Hello, when looking at the RSSI readings for clients in Smartzone I notice they appear a lot worse than when actually on site using a tool such as INSSIDER to show RSSI levels.

For example, the Smartzone client RSSI level might show -75dbM, however when using INSSIDER on the local laptop the RSSI is much better at -60dbM.

My question is how reliable/accurate are the SmartZone RSSI levels shown for clients ?

What could be causing these differences ?


Not applicable

Hi @philip_francis_3lh2kfry55kua,

The RSSI value presented in SZ is the value reported by Clients to AP at any given distance. Try moving the spectrum analyzer (Inssider) close to AP in question and check if the RSSI value approximates. We can't expect the same value, as the client reported RSSI value would differ from Vendor to Vendor. 

You could run below command from AP CLI for current RSS Value.

get station <WLAN_ID> info



View solution in original post


Valued Contributor II

I agree with Jamie, SZ reported value is client signal level received by AP.

It's also completely normal that communication is non-symmetric. Typically, client has less Tx power, much worse antenna, which results in lower RSSI on AP side (which is compensated by better sensitivity and better antenna). In the same time, AP has more power (it usually uses full power), has much better antenna  -- which compensates worse client antenna and lower client sensitivity and provides higher speeds for download, as usually is needed.   


Thanks guys. 

Up until now we have been using the Smartzone GUI RSSI values as a guide as to whether signal in the offices was good or not.
Now, based on this information, it seems we can only use these readings as a very rough estimate of how good the signal strength is between client and AP.

New Contributor III

Yeah , there is no mechanism for the AP to know what SNR the client heard  a frame at. Only way to get that info is from the clients themselves unfortunately.

When i look at a wireless issue I usually look at the reading on the AP/SZ  coupled with the reading on the client , so you are getting both sides. As Eizen mentioned, it is not symmetric.

What I usually find in my environments is that the return SNR (AP hearing what the client is transmitting) is worse than what the client hears the AP transmitting at.

the result is  you get higher data rate (mcs rate) from the AP transmitting to the client, than you do from the client->AP. This is usually because the AP is transmitting at a much higher TX power and in my environment, I typically have relatively weak clients i.e low RX sensitivity/ antenna gain (mobile phones, IoT type devices etc)

However this is going to be dependant on your environment, configured TX power, client devices etc.

Personally I try and match the TX power of the APs to the TX power of my weakest clients (in my case its usually things like Amazon Echo's) so I can at least attempt to get a roughly similar TX rate in both directions. is a good resource for client capabilities