Mapping the WiFi signals of the network can be a challenge. Using a desktop it too cumbersome. A laptop can work, but wandering around with a bulky laptop can get tiring. Much easier to use a tablet or a phone. Start the signal discovery in one spot, move to the next, and repeat the process until we’re done.
The problem becomes just which app to use. There’s plenty of them on the market for Android devices, ranging from highly technical tools to simple programs that are little better than the “Find Network” option in the Settings menu.
If we want to get an accurate representation of the WiFi networks in our location, we don’t want to waste time with something that either requires a PhD in Computer Science to use, or waste money on an WiFi app for Android that does little more than show available networks.
The best kind of WiFi apps are the ones that can do the following:
This is more than just “What WiFi networks can my Android device detect”, but includes powerful data collection tools. Based on those qualifications, here’s the list of the best Android WiFi apps available. Rather than bury the lead, we’ll start with our favorites and work our way down:
Let's take a closer look at all of them.
A great addition to the NetSpot family (macOS and Windows versions are popular and highly effective solutions on the market), the free Android app that is evolving fast. NetSpot for Android offers the Discover Mode that allows users to simply walk through their building with their tablet or phone scanning the WiFi networks available, then displays how they measure up.
In the resulting charts, one can see a comparison of such network parameters as signal strength, band, channel, the MAC address of the router, and other related information. Graphs of signal level for each network over time show how each network signal grows or falls in strength depending on where and when the measurement was taken.
The Survey mode allows you to deeply scan and map out your WiFi network with all the parameters essential to proper coverage. For a complete wireless survey, you need your Android device with the free NetSpot on board. You will only need a registered (paid version) NetSpot app on your desktop if building the heatmap visualizations.
Another essential feature so useful in any wireless network analysis is the Internet speed test — also available for free in NetSpot for Android.
SpeedTest has been used by people around the world for years to find the difference between what one’s ISP’s claims and what the actual speed is.
This free WiFi app for Android measures the speed of uploads and downloads between the Android device, showing the user the real speed of their Internet connections. It gives a fast results on speed transfers.
Wifi Analyzer is another free Android application that can show the signal strength of the WiFi network.
It works by showing what signals are overlapping the others, so cross frequency issues can be resolved. WiFi works in either a 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz band, but there are “channels” within that range. If two networks are sharing the same channel, it can be more difficult to communicate. By understanding this, network administrators can arrange their networks to avoid interference.
Android WiFi Manager is less a network detection tool, and more a network switching tool. As we move from building to building, from the home to the coffee shop, we’ll encounter other networks of varying strengths.
Perhaps the WiFi for one network is strong in one building, but our Android device is still trying to connect to it when we’re in range of a better, stronger network in another location. Android WiFi Manager lets users switch from one network to the other without having to go all the way down into the Android settings to change networks.
If you’re looking for a WiFi app for Android available as a free download for phones that can quickly show the WiFi networks in range, this free WiFi app can help you get there.
It has a listing of free WiFi networks and can provide directions on how to get there. If you need to connect to the Internet and don’t know where to go, this might be the good option to pursue.
It has a funny name, but Fing is an Android tool that is useful in another way: it doesn’t detect WiFi networks, but detects devices that are using yours.
If you find network speeds slowing down or odd machines detected on your network, it might be hackers or leeches using your WiFi without your knowledge or permission. Fing can help find those rogue machines on the WiFi network so you can shut them out and protect your systems from attackers.
It’s a simple name. It has a simple task: Measures the strength of the WiFi signal for a specific network. We can go from room to room and place to place, and it will show the strength of the network in that location.
Is not complicated, but it works. Use this as a WiFi booster for Android to help find the weak zones and put more WiFi devices there.
Like the free WiFi app for Android Fing, WiFi Inspector is less about the WiFi itself, but about devices using the WiFi network. Not only WiFi devices, but any device connected to the WiFi network can be detected, including Ethernet devices. If it’s on the same network segment being services as the WiFi network, then the WiFi Inspector app will find them and give a report on what they are.
This is useful for finding rogue machines on the network, or if there’s a device but we can’t figure out what it’s network address is, WiFi Inspector might be the trick to help us find out.
This WiFi tool for Android is useful in that it not only shows the strength of the WiFi network, but also can display the strength of the cellular phone network. Elements such as the country code of the phone being used, the roaming state, and other useful cellular features are shown.
It’s not made for comparing a range of WiFi networks, but is handy for getting information on the different networks the Android phone is connected to. If for some reason the WiFi network is working all right but the cellular network isn’t working as well, this app can give some useful information to find out why.
It’s a longer name for than the other applications, but the idea is simple enough: This application measures the speed on the 3G, 4G, or WiFi network that the Android device is connected to.
It doesn’t just detect the signal strength, but also shows the direction of where the network is using the built in compass. With the mapping feature, it can show the location of the nearest public WiFi networks so you can connect to that sweet, delicious free Internet access.