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.
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.