Open Wi-Fi hotspots are no less than a boon when our cellular data is sluggish. However, all the public Wi-Fi is created differently. Google has added a new feature in Android 8.1 that will tell you how fast the nearby Wi-Fi is. Though, you will not get accurate speed analytics but you will be told whether the network is slow, fast, lightning fast etc.
You may not have this feature in your phone yet. The feature is yet under development and has been rolled out only to Android 8.1 devices. So, it is in Pixels, Nexuses and a few Android One phones. Those phones that have got the Oreo update are yet running on Android 8.0. Google did not roll out the feature to all the devices right away to all Android 8.1 devices; some devices had the feature several weeks ago. Now, the feature is available on all the Android 8.1 devices.
Speed labels are available in the Wi-Fi networks menu under your settings,the same place where you go to connect to a new Wi-Fi network. You will get a short indication whether the Wi-Fi is slow, OK, fast or very fast. Do not think that these indications are vague. Google uses the data to find the range in which Wi-Fi’s speed will fall, slow is 0 to 1Mbps, OK is 1-5Mbps, fast is 5-20Mbps and very fast stands for anything above 20Mbps. The feature might look similar to Google’s built-in secure Wi-Fi auto-connect feature, it identifies stable networks and automatically connects you to them through Google’s VPN.
These labels will help you save your precious time and frustration of connecting to a network that might not just work out for you. Slow networks would work like a charm if you only have to send some texts. If you are intending to stream HD videos, then you better hook to a faster network. Here’s a thing though, you will see the labels next to those Wi-Fi which are open networks i.e. no passwords required and no sign-in pages needed.
For privacy reasons or other reasons, you can disable the feature as well. All you need to do is head over to Wi-Fi settings, under Wi-Fi preferences go to Advanced and then Network rating provider. Here, you can turn it off. Google is the only available option, so change it to “None” for removing the labels. You absolutely need to do nothing if you are happy with those labels.