Insertion Loss Calculator

This tool calculates the Insertion Loss in dB (deciBels).

Enter the input power and output power. Use the drop down menu to select the units – either Watt or dBm.




Insertion Loss (dB) = 10*Log10(Pin/Pout)

When Pin is greater than Pout, Insertion loss is a positive number.

When Pout is greater than Pin, loss is a negative number. This implies that the system increases the input signal level – ie. there’s gain.

Example Calculation

If the input power level is 10 Watt and output is 5 Watt, the insertion loss is 3 dB.

If the input voltage level is 20 dBm and output voltage level is 6 dBm, the insertion loss is 14 dB.


What is Insertion Loss?

Insertion Loss refers to the reduction or loss in the strength of a signal as it travels through a medium. It is an important concept when it comes to understanding the behavior of signals in various systems, including wireless networking, radio systems and wireline or cabled transmission.

This loss is typically measured in decibels (dB).

What is the impact of insertion loss?

In communication networks, it leads to the deterioration of signal quality as it travels through cables, wireless and other media. This can result in data loss or errors in transmission, affecting the overall performance of the network. Therefore, understanding and managing loss is essential for maintaining a reliable network infrastructure.

Attenuation in Cables

Attenuation in cables is measured using instruments like Network Analyzers or Spectrum Analyzers to quantify the extent of signal loss over a given length of cable.

This measurement helps in assessing the quality of the transmission and identifying areas where signal amplification or improvement is necessary. Cable attenuation depends on frequency and cable material and its construction.

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Attenuation in Wireless Systems

This occurs when electromagnetic signals experience a reduction in strength due to the interaction with the surrounding environment. It is particularly relevant in wireless communication systems such as Wi-Fi, 4G and 5G and the design of such systems requires careful consideration of the attenuation due to various factors.

Attenuation affects signals differently based on their wavelength or frequency. Understanding these effects is important in designing and implementing communication systems that can effectively manage signal attenuation across a range of wavelengths and frequencies.

???? Try our Antenna Range Calculator to understand the effects of operating frequency on distance

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