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Android 8.1 now shows how fast public Wi-Fi networks are before you connect

wi-fi settings android
wi-fi settings android (Image credit: Android Central)

Google has enabled a new feature in Android 8.1 Oreo that lets you see how fast a public Wi-Fi network is before you connect to it. Previously, all you could see was the signal strength indicator, so you had to manually connect to a network to gauge its speed. With the speed labels now in place, you can now get that information without having to connect to a public Wi-Fi network.

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If you're on a phone running Android 8.1, you should be able to see the speed of public Wi-Fi networks in your vicinity along with their signal strength. The labels are broken down into four categories, as noted below:

  • Slow: If you can use Wi-Fi calling, you can make phone calls and send texts (0 - 1 Mbps)
  • OK: You can read webpages, use social media, and stream music (1 Mbps - 5 Mbps)
  • Fast: You can stream most videos (5 Mbps - 20 Mbps)
  • Very Fast: You can stream very high-quality videos (20 Mbps+)

The feature certainly comes in handy as it takes the guesswork out of connecting to public networks. That said, it doesn't work with Wi-Fi networks that are protected by a password. If you don't want to use the feature, you can turn it off by heading to Settings -> Network & Internet -> Wi-Fi -> Wi-Fi preferences -> Advanced -> Network rating provider -> None.

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

8 Comments
  • Very cool, excited to see it work.
  • How does it work then? Does your phone connect to each network without your blessing and run a speed test?
  • Of course not. Speed is publicly viewable in a public network. That's why it won't work for secure networks.
  • It states not possible on networks with a password however some networks are totally open and allow you to connect directly but others are "open" but then send you to a log in page.
    Does it work with the open log in page networks or is speed hidden behind the log in sequence?
    Not clear from the article if traditional password protected networks or open log in style are also unable to determine speed.
  • i believe you should be able to see the rating for those types of networks. i haven't confirmed, but from what i understand, that data isn't trapped behind the portal but is a characteristic of the network itself.
  • Have a Unlocked Nexus 5X with 8.1.0 DP2 BETA, with November 2017 patch, feature is grayed out in WiFi preference, do I have to get 8.1 public release? Am I getting 8.1 public someday?
  • Great -- In one is Pixel user...Doubtful anyone will ever see version Oreo 8.1....
  • Not really sure what you're saying but I have 8.1 on my original Pixel XL.