Best Apps for WiFi Troubleshooting

Does WiFi troubleshooting scare you? Do you feel anxious every time you encounter a WiFi problem and don’t immediately know how to fix it? If so, then you should familiarize yourself with some of the best apps for WiFi troubleshooting that you can download from the Internet and use them to diagnose and solve common WiFi problems.

What Are the Most Common WiFi Issues?

There are certain WiFi issues that everyone who regularly connects to the Internet wirelessly will inevitably experience at some point.

Slow Connection

Paying for a fast Internet connection and not being able to reach the advertised download and upload speed is no fun. If you’re the only person connected to your home router, and you’re not too far away from it, you should be able to reach the maximum download and upload speed even during peak hours. It’s understandable that your Internet provider may rarely have issues on their end, but those should be solved promptly and never happen again.

Poor Coverage and Dead Spots

Most modern homes are full of electronic devices that connect wirelessly to the Internet as well as devices that emit strong electromagnetic interference. When you add hardwood furniture to the mix, and maybe even a brick wall or two, it becomes nearly impossible to have full bars with most wireless routers. To eliminate wireless connection problems caused by poor coverage, you need a WiFi troubleshooting app that can visualize how strong the signal is in every place in your home.

Random Connection Drops

Do you sometimes struggle to download very large files because the download process suddenly stops, interrupted by a random connection drop? Provided that you have a strong WiFi signal to begin with, this is something that shouldn’t happen at all. One very common cause of random connection drops is the use of a crowded WiFi channel. In the United States, WiFi routers are allowed to transmit on 11 channels, three of which don’t overlap with other channels (1, 6, 11). Selecting the right WiFi channel can significantly improve the stability of your wireless Internet connection, and it can also allow you to enjoy your maximum download and upload speed.

How to Fix WiFi Issues?

The good news is that you can easily fix all common WiFi connection problems by yourself. All you need is the right tool for the job, and that tool is a great WiFi troubleshooting app.

While you can’t expect any WiFi troubleshooting app to fix your WiFi issues for you, you can expect it to provide you with all the information you need to accurately identify the source of the issues so you know exactly what to do to fix them.

What are the Best WiFi Troubleshooting Apps?

There are many WiFi troubleshooting apps to choose from, but not all are equally easy to use and capable. Our favorite WiFi troubleshooting app, NetSpot, can satisfy the needs of networking professionals even though it’s also praised by people with very limited technical skills.

We also provide two alternative WiFi troubleshooting apps: one advanced WiFi network scanner and one free and open source packet analyzer. But if you’re just learning how to troubleshoot WiFi problems, you can just stick with NetSpot because it does everything you may ever want a WiFi troubleshooting app to do.

1. NetSpot

NetSpot is an all-in-one WiFi troubleshooting app for Windows and macOS. What makes NetSpot stand out the most is its modern user interface that makes the app easy to use even for inexperienced users. For quick WiFi network analysis, NetSpot offers its Discover Mode, which allows you to take a quick snapshot of all nearby WiFi networks. You can then see how strong each network’s signal is, how secure the networks around you are, which WiFi channel they broadcast on, and more.

Discover Mode NetSpot

Even though the Discover Mode alone provides enough information to help you fix most WiFi issues, NetSpot has another WiFi troubleshooting mode: the Survey Mode. Thanks to this mode, you can create a visual WiFi signal coverage map that shows you all dead zones, helping you optimized the placement of your router for maximum signal strength. Professional network administrators and regular home users alike swear by the Survey Mode as it allows them to cover large areas with a strong and stable WiFi signal.

You can download NetSpot for free from the official website and try it to see if you like it. If you then decide that you would like to keep using it even in the future, you can choose from three different editions: Home, Pro, and Enterprise.

2. inSSIDer

inSSIDer is a WiFi analysis app intended to shed light on common WiFi problems. inSSIDer conveniently displays useful information about nearby wireless network, including which WiFi channel each network runs on, how secure the networks are, and how strong their signal is.

inSSIDer is a WiFi analysis app

inSSIDer can intelligently recommend configuration optimizations based on real data, helping you fix common WiFi problems even if you don’t understand their underlying causes. Part of inSSIDer is a handy tool called Wi-Spy, which is a spectrum analyzer that allows you to see non-WiFi interference, a common source of WiFi slowdowns and connection drops.

3. Wireshark

Wireshark is a widely-used network protocol analyzer with advanced packet-sniffing capabilities. With Wireshark, you can analyze the traffic on your wireless network at the deepest level by capturing data streams as they flow across the network, decoding the packet’s raw data, and displaying the values of various fields in the packet.

Wireshark is a  network protocol analyzer

As you can probably imagine, Wireshark is overkill for most home users. However, it’s the standard across many commercial and non-profit enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions. If you would like to learn more about WiFi networks and perhaps even get a job as a network administrator, learning how to use Wireshark could open doors to many opportunities. But if you just want to fix common WiFi issues by yourself, NetSpot is a much better choice.

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NetSpot identifies 'dead' zones' where reception is poor or non-existent and lets you troubleshoot WiFi network issues.
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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.