Measuring Signal Strength: RSSI and dbm

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Measuring Signal Strength: RSSI and dbm

Hi community,


From my research, there are 2 ways to measure signal strength:

  1. RSSI - Received Signal Strength Indicator (usually 0-60 or 0-255,...).
  2. dBm - Decibels in relation to a milliwatt (usually -30 to -100).

Different vendor goes with different way to measure signal strength collected by their APs. I think Meraki APs uses RSSI since I saw positive signal strength values in our data.


I saw a document [*] which shows conversion (from RSSI to dBm) for Cisco device as follows:

  • 0 = -113
  • 1 = -112
  • 2 = -111
  • 3 = -110
  • 4 = -109
  • ...
  • 92 = -13
  • 93 = -12
  • 94 = -10
  • 95 = -10
  • 96 = -10
  • 97 = -10
  • 98 = -10
  • 99 = -10
  • 100 = -10

The above conversion applied when range of RSSI is from 0 - 100.


My question are:

  1. Does anyone know if the above conversion table is correct (I understand it cannot be 100% accurate)? Is there any other way to convert RSSI to dBm?
  2. If Meraki is using RSSI, what is the range of value? Is it 0-100?


Thank you,



[*] source:


Kind of a big deal

Note this special "Meraki" formula:

RSSI - 95 = signal strength in dBm

It's hard to find, but buried deep in this document:

Building a reputation

For a bit more information, take a look at this thread:


Key point is that Meraki often shows SNR rather than RSSI.

Thanks Hody for the link.

Yes, but from their API, they instead reported the RSSI:

I'm trying to figure out if that reported RSSI considered the noise floor yet..

Thanks Philip for the information.

The formula "RSSI - 95 = signal strength in dBm": After applying it to have some number in dBm - do you know if that value considered the noise floor yet?

The one with consideration of noise-floor (Signal-to-Noise Ratio or SNR) seems to be the one exposed to user (not API developer):
Kind of a big deal

I don't know.

Thanks, 95 stuck in my mind as something familiar.

-95dBm is the starting point for the RX-SOP slider in an RF Profile.  I'm guessing -95dBm is also Meraki's min receive sensitivity.

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