Check Wi-Fi Suck Before You Arrive

Although we live in quarantine and no one goes anywhere – at least no one should go anywhere – you may still need to leave your home from time to time. Whether it is causing you internet connection problems at home or just wanting to get away from your family, the last thing you need to do is get out of quarantine to visit a place with terrible internet.

Solution? An app like Lag , which is currently in beta testing for iOS 14 users. Yes, it does require you to jump through a few hoops to view crowdsourced Wi-Fi speeds at various locations across the country, but this is will prove to be an invaluable tool if it becomes popular.

To get started, you need to visit the Lag website (helpfully named lag.app ) in Safari in iOS 14 . Once you have done this, you will see a link to sign up for the beta version of the TestFlight application.

Tap it and then make sure you have TestFlight installed on the next screen if it is not already installed on your phone. Once you’ve done that, click on the “Start Testing” link to get the beta version for your iPhone.

If this is your first time using TestFlight, you will have to click on a few prompts. Lag might not seem to start loading, but if you go back to Safari and tap the link again, Testflight should load along with the app:

Click “Accept” and “Install” to install it on your device and launch the application as usual.

Lag is a bit spartan right now as all you can do with it is look up addresses or contribute your own Wi-Fi speeds to its growing database. My guess is that the app will come with a usable map upon launch – almost a prerequisite to making it useful.

Nothing is easier than specifying the speed of your Wi-Fi, although I warn you that if you do this at home, your physical address will become known to the whole world. (This will also be meaningless data, as I doubt you would let random people access your Wi-Fi.) This app is best used when you are away from home, enjoying free Wi-Fi from businesses and other public places where you visit often. You will let other people know about the strength of the connection, and hopefully over time, you can test the Wi-Fi quality of the location before you get there.

However, if Lag doesn’t grow , there are alternatives: Speedcheck comes to mind , as does Hotelwifitest , WiFi Map (although I believe it’s more for finding public Wi-Fi than checking its speed) and Wifi Finder . If you visit the same places over and over, you can just take notes on which ones are good for work and which ones are unlikely to allow you to watch YouTube. (Sites like fast.com and speedtest.net can help you too.)

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