Mac Os X: Find Out Wireless WI-Fi Connection Speed Rate

Posted on in Categories , , last updated July 29, 2013

How do I see my current WI-FI (Wifi) connection speed in Apple Mac OS X?

WI-FI allows an electronic device such as Apple laptop, ipad, iPhone and other iDevices to exchange data or connect to the internet wirelessly using radio waves. You can see the current WI-FI speed using any one of the following tools in Mac OS X:

  1. Network Utility.
  2. System Information.
  3. Wireless Network Preferences Menu Bar Icon Shortcut.
  4. airport Command Line Utility.

Method #1: Checking the wireless connection speed using network utility

First, click on Spotlight and type “network utility“. OR press command + space-bar and type “network utility“.

Fig.01: Finding network utility
Fig.01: Finding network utility

Make sure you select network utility. Select Info tab and choose Wi-fi (en0 or en1) on the drop-down options. Please note that the Link Speed is your wireless connection speed. In this example, my connection speed is set to 450 Mbit/s (Mega bits per seconds).

Fig.02: Finding the current wireless connection speed using network utility. The WI-FI speed will be displayed as the Link Speed.
Fig.02: Finding the current wireless connection speed using network utility. The WI-FI speed will be displayed as the Link Speed.

Method #2: Checking the wireless connection speed using system information

Click on Spotlight and tye “system information“. OR press cmd+space-bar and then type “system information“. Finally, choose Network and select Wi-Fi. The WI-FI connection information will be displayed on the right.

Fig.03: Finding My Mac Mini's WI-FI speed using system information. Please note that you may need to scroll down the right side to see all info.
Fig.03: Finding My Mac Mini’s WI-FI speed using system information. Please note that you may need to scroll down the right side to see all info.

Method #3: Finding wireless status using option key

  1. First, hold down the Option key.
  2. Next, Click on Wireless icon (Airport icon) and you will see information as follows:
Fig.04: Finding extended information about your wi-fi connection
Fig.04: Finding extended information about your wi-fi connection

Method #4: Command line utility

Open a terminal. Type the following command:

/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I

Sample outputs:

     agrCtlRSSI: -62
     agrExtRSSI: 0
    agrCtlNoise: -86
    agrExtNoise: 0
          state: running
        op mode: station 
     lastTxRate: 150
        maxRate: 450
lastAssocStatus: 0
    802.11 auth: open
      link auth: wpa2-psk
          BSSID: 50:46:5d:d2:36:8c
           SSID: very5_G
            MCS: 7
        channel: 161,-1

I strongly recommend that you use network utility for ease of use.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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