NetSpot for iOS – User Manual

Get to know the first truly mobile NetSpot — an iOS version!

NetSpot for iOS is installed onyour phone or tablet, using which you can easily discover WiFi networks around you and analyze and compare their parameters.

Data refresh frequency

NetSpot collects the following parameters for each network it polls:

  • Network Name (e.g. TP-LINK_BCFF)
  • MAC Address (e.g. F0:79:69:EA:98:27)
  • Signal (e.g. -61 dBm)
  • Band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz)
  • Channel (1-144)
  • Security protocol

The collected data is refreshed every 5-10 seconds.

! NetSpot can operate in both horizontal and vertical screen orientations.

When performing a wireless scanning you can use the following options:

  • Click Stop in the top-right corner of the app to stop the process. Click Play to resume.
  • Click the “Filter” button in the top-right corner of the app to use such filters as name, signal level, security protocol, and band for filtering the networks.
  • Click the Reset button in the top-right corner of the app to reset all filters. To close the window with applied filters, click the Close (✖️) button.

Find available networks and compare them

NetSpot for iOS has two modes: Networks and Comparison.

Networks

In Networks mode NetSpot will list all found wireless networks and show these parameters for them:

  • Network Name (e.g. TP-LINK_BCFF)
  • MAC Address (e.g. F0:79:69:EA:98:27)
  • Band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz)
  • Signal (e.g. -61 dBm)
  • Channel (1-144)
  • Security protocol

In front of the name of every found wireless network, you’ll see a color indication of its signal strength.

iOS Discover mode

This data is refreshed every 5-10 seconds and this is what it means:

Red – weak signal

Orange – poor signal

Yellow – average signal

Light-green – good signal

Green – strong signal

At the bottom of the screen, you can see which of these networks you are connected to and its signal strength.

Important!

In the list of networks there will be those that are currently active as well as those no longer actively detected:

ACTIVE networks are those NetSpot can collect and refresh the data about;

LOST are considered those networks NetSpot couldn’t collect any data about since the last scan. Such networks display additional “last seen X min ago” information.

Comparison

The Comparison mode allows applying various filters in order to compare networks by such parameters as frequency band, signal level, security protocol. NetSpot will also show information on which channels a network broadcasts and whether there is a channel overlap. 

Comparison mode is accessible via a left swipe or the corresponding tab in the app.

Adding a network to the comparison graph

  • Go to Comparison mode and choose the networks you want to compare by ticking off their boxes.
  • The color of the checkbox will be the color of the network in the graph.

The graph is regularly refreshed every 5-10 seconds.

Types of graphs

  • Signal Strength (Timeline)

Compare the signal strength of the discovered wireless networks.

Signal Strength - NetSpot for iOS
  • Channel overlap 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz

On this graph, you will be able to see which channels WiFi networks broadcast on and whether there is a channel overlap.

Channel overlap - NetSpot for iOS

Important. On a graph for both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands, the networks operating on these bands will be shown. If some of the selected networks operate on different bands, they will be depicted on different graphs.

  • Why there is a difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz graphs

WiFi networks operating on different frequency bands do not overlap, hence different graphs. The 5 GHz frequency offers more channels than the 2.4 GHz one.

Swipe left to see the next graph, and swipe right to go back. 

Filters

While in the “Comparison” tab you can apply various filters to WiFi networks you are analyzing.

filters for WiFi networks - NetSpot for iOS

Filter by signal strength

To use the signal strength filter, tap the circle icon in the top-right part of the app and select the color-coded levels you want to be displayed. You can select several signal strength levels at a time.

Filter by signal strength - NetSpot for iOS

By default, all networks with any signal strength level are listed. When you disable one of the levels, the colored icon will turn gray. Tap on it to enable it again.

Disable one of the signal level filters - NetSpot for iOS

Filter by security protocol

The following parameters are available for filtering:

  • ☑️ None
  • ☑️ WPS
  • ☑️ WEP
  • ☑️ WPA
  • ☑️ WPA2
Filter by security protocol and frequency band - NetSpot for iOS

Filter by frequency band

To apply the frequency band filter choose on the following parameters:

  • ☑️ 2.4 GHz
  • ☑️ 5 GHz

Filter by name

At the top part of the app window, you can see the search box. Type in the name to see how many networks have this value in their names.

Important. Filters can be combined together any way you like.

Also important. You can minimize/maximize comparison graphs by simply tapping on them or swiping down or up.

Filter by name - NetSpot for iOS


FAQ:

Q: What devices are supported by NetSpot for iOS?
Any mobile iPhone, iPad or iPod touch device with iOS 11.0 or later is supported.

Q: Do I need any additional hardware with NetSpot for iOS?
Yes, you need to connect WiPry 2500x from Oscium to your iOS device to start scanning surrounding WiFi networks.

Q: How much does NetSpot for iOS cost?
NetSpot for iOS is completely free. You can download it from the App Store.

Q: What area does NetSpot cover?
The covered area will usually depend on the device you are using. An estimate is around 492 ft (150 m) outdoors and 164 ft (50 m) for indoor areas.

Q: What’s the difference between the mobile and desktop versions?
Obviously with the mobile version you can stay more mobile and collect data without having too much weight on your hands. Note that NetSpot for iOS works only with WiPry 2500x from Oscium. 

The desktop version of NetSpot offers the following options (not available in iOS version yet):

  • Survey mode;
  • Measuring noise levels;
  • Identifying the WiFi standard (g, n, ac, etc.);
  • Exporting survey results into CSV.

Q: When will you add Survey mode?
We are working on implementing it asap. Follow us on Twitter to stay tuned.

Q: Is my information safe with NetSpot?
The data you collect with NetSpot is never used or saved by us in any way. We highly respect your privacy and do our best to protect it.

Q: Do you happen to have NetSpot for Android?
Yes, we do! NetSpot for Android can be downloaded from Google Play. For more information about it, please check here.

updated: July 16, 2020 author: Alex
Have more questions? Submit a request.