WiFi Analyzer

A WiFi analyzer isn’t some high-tech gadget used by cunning cybercriminals to detect and exploit vulnerable wireless networks, although you would be hard-pressed to find a cybercriminal who hasn’t used a WiFi analyzer at least a couple of times in their life. Instead, a WiFi analyzer is a useful software application that can tell you many things about your wireless network and the networks around you, helping you optimize your WiFi for best performance.

What Is WiFi Analysis?

Any modern home isn’t modern without a wireless router. But with at least one wireless router in nearly every home, the WiFi radio spectrum can get cluttered pretty easily.

Most wireless routers use the 2.4 GHz radio band to transmit data. This radio band is divided into multiple channels, which are like the lines on the highway. In North America, the 2.4 GHz radio band is divided into exactly 11 channels, with channels 1, 6, and 11 being the only channels that don’t overlap with other channels.

In theory, 11 channels should be more than enough even for densely populated urban areas, but, in reality, people seldom change the default configuration of their wireless router, which results in a situation where too many wireless routers transmit data on the same channel.

WiFi analysis performed using a wireless network analyzer can reveal which WiFi channels are used the least and provide plenty other information necessary for comprehensive WiFi optimization. WiFi analysis isn’t hard to do, provided you use a good WiFi analyzer app, and its benefits are plentiful.

What Is the Best WiFi Analyzer App?

Choosing the right WiFi analyzer app is essential for hassle-free WiFi analysis. Today, there’s no shortage of WiFi analyzer apps, both free and paid. A good wireless analyzer app should be able to do several things.

To start with, it should quickly detect all nearby wireless networks and gather enough information about them. At the very least, the app should be able to retrieve network names, also known as Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs), security settings, and signal strength data.

Some of the more feature-packed WiFi analyzers also come with heatmapping functionality, which allows you to capture signal strength data on a map to reveal areas of signal weakness and possible high interference.

Best WiFi analyzer apps are not just packed with useful features, but they are also exceptionally easy to use even by people who have little to no previous experience with WiFi analysis.

One WiFi analyzer app that meets all of the above-mentioned criteria is NetSpot. This professional app for wireless site surveys, WiFi analysis, and troubleshooting on macOS and Windows is loved by seasoned network administrators and home users alike.

NetSpot runs on any Mac computer with macOS 10.10 or newer and any Windows computer with Windows 7, 8, or 10. Unlike most other WiFi analyzer apps, NetSpot supports two distinct wireless analysis modes: Discover and Survey.

The Discover Mode is great for taking quick snapshots of nearby wireless networks. When in this mode, NetSpot instantly detects all wireless networks near you, including your own wireless network, and allows you to check their security settings, signal strength, the channel and band they broadcast on, and much more.

Best WiFi Analyzer app
When in the Survey Mode, NetSpot allows you to outline your real-life wireless network data on a map, clearly showing where your signal is the weakest and where it is the strongest. NetSpot’s heatmapping functionality supports multi-level projects with different areas, floors, and so on, and it even makes it possible to create any number of snapshots within each zone to quickly compare various wireless configurations with one another.

NetSpot is available for free from its official website, and full licenses start at just $49 for home users.

How to Perform WiFi Analysis Using a WiFi Analyzer App?

NetSpot’s Discover Mode is so easy to use that it doesn’t need any explanation. Simply activate it using the toggle located in the top bar and watch as NetSpot creates a snapshot of all WiFi activity around you. NetSpot will then continue to analyze surrounding areas in real-time.

If you would like to pause the real-time analysis, you can do so using the Pause button in the bottom-left corner. Close to the Pause button is the Scan interval drop-down menu, which lets you adjust the interval between each scan.

The Discover Mode gives you all the information you need to avoid problems with interference and channel overload. But if you would also like to optimize the placement of your home router, you should switch to the Survey Mode and create a signal heatmap of your area.

Start NetSpot and click on the Survey button. Click on “Start new survey” and give your survey a name. NetSpot gives you a choice between loading an existing map from your computer or drawing a new map from scratch. Select which network, or networks, you would like to scan and then follow the instructions to take your first measurement. Continue scanning until you have covered the entire area and click the Stop Scan button when you are done.

Use wireless analyzer to perform WiFi analysis
If there’s something that’s not completely clear to you, we encourage you to visit NetSpot’s help page, where you can learn more about using this professional wireless analyzer to perform WiFi analysis. The help page also lists all the features that are available to PRO users. If you perform WiFi analysis on a regular basis, NetSpot PRO can save you a lot of time, energy, and even money.

As you can see, WiFi analysis isn’t nearly as daunting as it would be if it wasn’t for modern WiFi analyzer apps such as NetSpot. With them, WiFi analysis is a piece of cake and something that every owner of a wireless router should do to avoid slowdowns and connection drops.

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WiFi Analyzer

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NetSpot is an easy-to-use wireless network detector for in-depth surveying of WiFi networks around you.
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Runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10)
with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.