The signal coming from your home WiFi router is influenced by interference, obstructions, the router’s performance, and several other factors, which affect its range. Even though your router is advertised to have a certain range, you can’t expect the range to be the same in every direction.
This presents a problem: How can you know where’s the best place to install your router if the signal distribution isn’t even? The answer is simple: You use a WiFi analyzer tool such as NetSpot.
NetSpot, and other WiFi analyzer apps detect all available WiFi networks in your area, providing you with detailed information about each of them. You can see which channels the networks operate on, how strong their signals are, which WiFi encryption methods they use, and so on.
What’s more, some of the most capable Windows WiFi analyzer apps even let you create accurate WiFi signal strength heat maps, which indicate areas of weak WiFi signal strength, helping you determine the best place for your WiFi router.
We firmly believe that the best WiFi analyzer Windows app should be easy to use, come with all the features you need to optimize the performance of your WiFi, satisfy the needs of enterprise customers, and be actively developed by a team of experienced developers dedicated to creating the best WiFi analyzer tool possible.
The former lets you take quick snapshots of all WiFi networks in your area, while the latter lets you create detailed WiFi strength heat maps. NetSpot has received raving reviews from influential tech websites as well as regular users, who all praise its simplicity combined with powerful features.
NetSpot lets you build a heatmap of your wireless network so you can find out where your Wi-Fi signal is strong and the areas where it's weak. MATT ELLIOTT • CNET
InSSIDer from MetaGeek is an established WiFi analyzer tool for the Windows operating system. InSSIDer is available in three different editions: inSSIDer Office, inSSIDer Office + Wi-Spy Mini, and inSSIDer Office + Wi-Spy DBx. The most affordable editions, inSSIDer Office, doesn’t support 2.4 GHz spectrum analysis, can’t measure 2.4 GHz channel utilization, doesn't support 5GHz spectrum analysis, and can't measure 5GHz channel utilization.
All of these features are only available in the most expensive edition, inSSIDer Office + Wi-Spy DBx. These limitations aside, InSSIDer can quickly and accurately measure WiFi signal strength, help you pick the best channel for your home WiFi network, and track the strength of received signals in dBm over time, among other things.
Wifi Analyzer is a Windows 10 app available on Microsoft Store. This simple Windows WiFi analyzer tool is aimed solely at home users, and the basic version is ad-free. The Pro version adds live-tile support, beeper for signal strength, the ability to connect to WiFi networks directly from the app, filters, the ability to disable screen timeout and lock screen rotation, and the option to change signal strength borders.
The good news is that none of these features are essential, so most users can stick with the free version. The one thing WiFi analyzer does great is showing which channels the WiFi networks in your area operate on. If you see that your WiFi network overlaps with several other networks, it’s best to switch to a less busy channel to avoid interference.
Vistumber stands apart from many other WiFi analyzers thanks to its support for GPS and live Google Earth tracking. When Vistumber finds a WiFi network, it plots it on a map, showing its exact location as well as other information, such as encryption, strength, name, and so on.
It’s intended for wardriving, the act of searching for WiFi wireless networks by a person in a moving vehicle, using a laptop or smartphone. Of course, you can also use to identify WiFi network in your home or neighborhood. Unfortunately, the outdated user interface makes the application quite difficult to use.
Wireshark is a free and open source packet analyzer intended for troubleshooting and analysis of a variety of different communications protocols, including WiFi. Its main strengths are the scope of its features and thriving open source community.
But unless you’re a seasoned IT expert, don’t expect to know how to use it to analyze your home WiFi right out of the box; there are entire training courses dedicated to helping pros use Wireshark.
To put it simple, you need a WiFi analyzer app (e.g. NetSpot) to make your WiFi network connection perfect. Or as close to perfection as it gets. You want to be able to walk into every corner of your apartment, house, or office building and never experience any issues with WiFi. A high-quality WiFi analyzer tool will help you find the best spot for your router and access points so you can obtain a wireless coverage your network deserves.
Read more: What is WiFi analyzer and how to perform a WiFi analysis using one.
WiFi analyzer apps are able to detect all surrounding WiFi networks and list the various details for these networks. Use NetSpot Windows WiFi analyzer to get an accurate WiFi signal strength heat map, where you can see the areas of weak WiFi signal. With the visual heatmapping you'll be able to place your router in the most beneficial spot.
The best WiFi analyzer Windows app should be user-friendly, offer a selection of useful features, be versatile enough for home and professional use, and offer great tech support and consistent updates. Here are our top choices:
Looking for a WiFi analyzer app for other operating systems? Check out our picks of the best Android WiFi analyzer apps.
NetSpot creates detailed WiFi strength heat maps and is the only professional Windows WiFi analyzer that will suit both the professional network administrators as well as the beginners. NetSpot boasts a self-explanatory and neat user interface. It has received multiple rave reviews from tech websites as well as its direct users all thanks to its simplicity combined with an inspiring functionality.