Did you ever face trouble connecting with Wifi at your home, office or any other place? The answer to this could be yes, and the reason is a weak signal. But, many a time that is not the case. Sure poor signal strength can play a huge role in connection drops, but multiple other factors influence your connectivity issue.
If you are someone who is responsible for planning the network of your office, company or any place in general, then it is quintessential for you to map the area and identify the influence of wireless connection to ensure smooth and uninterrupted access.
There are many conventional methods to do a wireless network survey, one being you take your smartphone and roam around to check the signal strength, but these all are not that precise. Your device would have never refreshed and what you report is highly inaccurate. To avoid all such issues, in this segment, we introduce a smart way of doing the Wireless network survey with NetSpot.
In this article, we share with you a detailed review of NetSpot and guide you on how you can check your on wifi’s coverage and take measures to expand or improve it. So let’s get started.
What is NetSpot?
NetSpot is a wifi analyzer app that helps you conduct site surveys, or troubleshoot any wifi related issues. It enables you to identify factors that influence the signal strength so you can get an idea about the exact changes that need to be done in order to improve the wireless network experience.
Getting Started with NetSpot
NetSpot app is available for macOS, Windows, Android and iOS. The advanced site survey and mapping functionality are available only for macOS and Windows. You can get started by downloading the free version from their official website.
There are many scam applications that sell malware and virus in the name of wifi surveys, we did a virus total test on NetSpot and have found it completely clean of any virus or malware. You can verify it for yourself from here.
Note: Make sure that dot net framework 4.5 or above is installed in your Windows 7/8/10 or you have macOS 10.10+ if not then it will cause compatibility issue and might not work for you as intended.
The installation procedure is relatively simple, just follow the on-screen information, and you will be good to go. It comes with a pretty clean user interface, and you don’t need to be a tech expert in order to operate the app.
You get two modes, discover and the survey mode. There’s also an option to export the data gathered by the app in CSV format. You can even set a scan-interval timer; the default is 5 seconds. Scanning can be paused as well, plus filter option it can show you the connections that you choose to analyze.
Features and Advantages of NetSpot
If you are not expert or you want a quick insight on wireless connections around you then select the discover mode. Here you will see a list of all the 802.11 discoverable networks around your device. Select any one of them which you wish to analyze. It is useful if you want to check signal strength only in a single area.
NetSpot collects all the live data and gives you different information such as channel number, signal strength, and other wifi information such as SSID, BSSID, band, vendor, transmit rate, etc.
From the Tabular Data tab, you can check the consistency of any network. Discover mode also lets you identify channel overlapping. Here, you can choose the least crowded channel to improve wireless signal delivery and performance.
Survey Mode is to map your network and identify weak signals, or troubleshoot systems and identify wifi related issues. Here you need to upload a map of the site that you want to survey. It can be any place such as home, office, or even an entire building with multiple floors. Don’t be worried if there’s no Map available; you can use the NetSpot map builder and get started right away.
After you start with a site survey, there’s an option to create multiple zones to represent different areas or floors. You pinpoint a location and scan for data in that zone, then you move to another area and repeat the same procedure till you cover all the desired spots. After that, an interactive heatmap is generated. It is used to visualize the data that you just collected.
There are about one different type of heatmaps that you can use to visualize everything according to your requirements correctly. For example, select the signal level, and it will display green, blue and purple areas in the map.
Here, blue and purple have the weakest signal reception. You can even check signal to noise ratio, and the similar colours are used to display. It will show you how noisy your surrounding is due to other devices, and noise generated by microwave, cordless phones, fluorescent lights (a defective one creates RF interference).
So all these data combined can help you come up to a concrete conclusion which is not a guess but something that is backed by data. Also, you don’t need to be expert here to troubleshoot WiFI problems, as automated troubleshooting heatmaps are there for your rescue. They provide you with an extensive recommendation to improve signal quality.
You can start mapping your networks right away with the free version of NetSpot. To unlock more features such as more zones, snapshots, data points, different heatmaps, active and passive scans, import/export options, wifi router planning, and much more, upgrade with Home, Professional or Enterprise plan as per your requirements. The base Home plan starts at $49, following the Pro plan for $149 and the Enterprise edition will cost you $499. There are o recurring charges, plus you get the lifetime deal.
NetSpot is an excellent tool for It and Network Admins, consultants, wireless service providers, and even for non-tech professionals. You can easily explore wireless environments and spot different sorts of connectivity issues. Do give it a shot and let us know about your adventures with wifi setup in the comments section below.