Everything runs on Wi-Fi. Every so often you may find that your Mac’s Wi-Fi is running slow or doesn’t have the performance it usually has. This can be a problem, particularly if you are on a laptop and move around the house. To get around this there is a wireless diagnostics app within your Mac that you can use to determine the performance of your wireless connection. It allows you to see the signal to noise ratio, as well as the strength of the signal. This then allows you to make a decision to see if you need to improve it or it is your imagination.
This wireless diagnostics feature is hidden, although it is easy to get to. Within the menu bar hold the Alt key and click on the wireless menu bar icon. At the bottom of the list you will notice there is a new menu item called “Open Wireless Diagnostics”.
When the app pops open enter you password then ignore the popup splash screen. From the menu bar again go to Window > Utilities. This is a very useful pane that contains a lot of information. Select the Performance tab on the right.
Increase the size of the window from the bottom corner and allow the app to run while you use your Wi-Fi. It will then begin to collect information.
The signal to noise ratio at the top is a good indicator of how well your connection is running. You need a good signal, in green, and a low amount of noise. If you move around the house and notice the noise if going up it is a sign of interference. You also want a strong signal, if the green line drops this can be a sign of the signal not being strong enough and not reaching your wireless access point.
By monitoring the graph you should be able to notice if you have any drops in performance and where you are. If you notice the green or blue line rising and dropping rather sporadically it may be a sign that you have a lot of problems and may need to replace some hardware.