NetSpot - Optimize your wireless network

If your wireless network is not functioning optimally, there are two things that you can immediately check: have you set the 'best' channel and is there really no better place for your wireless router? NetSpot can assist you in both cases: this tool not only maps the wireless networks in your area, you can also use it to carry out a real 'site survey'.

NetSpot

Language

English

OS

Windows 7/8/10

Website

www.netspotapp.com 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Clear
  • Very handy heat map
  • Negatives
  • No mobile app

NetSpot has been available for OS X and macOS Sierra for some time, but a Windows version was recently added, with similar capabilities. The program has two operating modes: 'discover' and 'survey'. With the first you list all wireless networks in your area in detail, the second visualizes the range of your wireless network. Also read: 8 Alternatives to ES File Explorer.

discover

NetSpot's discover mode is perhaps the least spectacular (also because you'll find this feature in other free Wi-Fi analyzers). You get a real-time overview of all wireless networks that NetSpot detects in that location. The program lists almost all important data of the networks found: (B)SSID, signal strength (both in a graph and in dBM values), the weakest, strongest and average signal strength measured, the WiFi band (2, 4 or 5 GHz), the channel and the channel width, the security (eg Open, WEP, WPA2 Personal) and the network mode (eg 802.11n).

If you click on a network, you also get a historical overview of the measured signal strengths and the WiFi frequencies of that network. This information can be useful to set the optimal channel for your own network, especially in the 2.4 GHz band, that channel is preferably as far away as possible from that of neighboring networks (typical channels are 1, 6 and 11).

Survey

NetSpot can also perform a site survey. For example, you load the floor plan of your office or house with garden and you walk around with your laptop with NetSpot, while always indicating exactly where you are on that floor plan. Afterwards, NetSpot draws a so-called heat map from your floor plan, with a color range that indicates how strong the signal of the selected network is at each point. Based on this information, you can undoubtedly determine a better location for your wireless router or extender(s).

Conclusion

NetSpot is one of the better free WiFi analysis tools, thanks to its detailed information and a site survey module that immediately shows you via a heatmap where the weak or dead zones are in your network range.

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