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How to Create and Read an Android WiFi Heat Map

To create a detailed Android WiFi heat map, you don’t need anything else besides your Android device and a specialized Android WiFi heatmapper, such as NetSpot WiFi heatmap software.
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WiFi heat mapping is the process of recording wireless signal coverage and strength and visualizing it on an interactive map of a room, floor, or perhaps some outdoor area, just to give three examples.

Introduction to WiFi Heat Mapping on Android

There are several different reasons why WiFi heat maps are useful and well worth the time and effort they take to create:

  • Network visualization: Wireless networks can be somewhat difficult to optimize because you can’t exactly see with your own eyes where strong WiFi signal ends and weak WiFi signal begins — at least not without a WiFi heat map guiding you along the way.
  • Accurate planning: It’s easy to make a mistake when planning and deploying a WiFi network, and its consequences can greatly affect all users of the network, preventing them from achieving optimal download & upload speeds. Having a WiFi heat map at hand can go a long way in helping you design a network that meets its users’ requirements immediately after going live.
  • Educated problem-solving: Discovering causes of WiFi signal weakness, bottlenecking, and connection drops can be a time-consuming ordeal unless you can base your decision-making process on concrete data, which is exactly what a WiFi heat map can provide.

Android WiFi mapping can be performed using any modern Android device capable of running an Android WiFi heatmapper app. With the right app, you can achieve the same results as when creating a WiFi heat map on Windows or macOS.

How to Choose a WiFi Heat Map App for Android?

Most WiFi heatmap Android apps work more or less the same:

  1. Install the app on your Android device.
  2. Launch the app and either load or create a map of the area you want to survey.
  3. Move from one part of the area to the next until you’ve covered it completely.
  4. Study the created WiFi heat map to discover areas of signal weakness and other potential problems.
  5. Implement desired changes and, optionally, create a new WiFi heat map to check if you’ve successfully achieved the desired result.

But just because WiFi heat map apps for Android all work more or less the same doesn’t mean that they all deliver the same high-quality results. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best WiFi mapper for Android:

  • Pay attention to user reviews: The Google Play Store lets users publish reviews and rate apps, and we highly recommend you pay attention to them because they can tell you a lot of useful information about Android WiFi heatmappers.
  • Stick with established developers: Developing an accurate and reliable heatmapper for Android is not easy, and keeping it updated and compatible with the new versions of the mobile operating system is even more difficult. Established developers have the experience and technical knowledge to complete this difficult objective, so sticking with them is a safe bet.
  • Try before you pay: To avoid spending money on a WiFi heat mapping Android app that doesn’t meet your requirements or doesn’t live up to its promises, we recommend you focus on apps that offer a free trial version.

What You Need to Know Before Building WiFi Heat Maps?

Building a WiFi heat map isn’t difficult, especially not if you use a popular WiFi mapping Android app with an easy-to-use user interface. Still, there are some things you should know before you build your first WiFi heat map so that you obtain the most accurate results possible:

  • It’s a good idea to create the same map at different times of the day and compare the results.
  • Your Android device may influence the results, so close as many background apps as possible.
  • Keep in mind that many appliances and electronic devices cause interference, so avoid standing too close to them when measuring.

You should also learn the difference between different kinds of WiFi heatmaps, including:

  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Signal level
  • Quantity of access points
  • Noise level
  • Signal-to-interference ratio
  • Frequency band coverage
  • PHY mode coverage
  • Upload and download speed
  • Wireless transmit rate

You can create these and other WiFi heatmaps with NetSpot for Windows and macOS using data collected by your Android device running NetSpot for Android.

Android WiFi Heat Maps with NetSpot

NetSpot is a popular professional app for wireless site surveys that’s accessible even to casual users who don’t have an in-depth understanding of wireless networks. It runs on all WiFi-equipped computers with macOS 10.10+ or Windows 7/8/10 and is designed to work in pair with the NetSpot Android app.

The recently updated Android version of NetSpot lets you quickly and easily collect important information about surrounding wireless networks and observe the changes in data charts in real-time. Best of all, the app can now be used to perform a WiFi site survey, allowing you to visualize the results using the desktop version of NetSpot.

NetSpot’s approach to heat mapping offers two main advantages. First, WiFi heat mapping Android apps are far more convenient to use on site because they don’t require you to haul around a bulky laptop. Second, desktop visualizations make it far easier to spot WiFi coverage issues because they are not limited by the small screen of your Android device.

Here’s How you can create Android WiFi heat maps with NetSpot:

Step 1

First, you need to create a new project by clicking the + button.

Step 1
Step 2

Choose the file of your site from the library or take a photo of a map.

Step 2
Step 3

Give your project a name (such as ‘My office’) and briefly describe your project (Description.)

Step 3
Step 4

Calibrate your map — chose any two points on the map, and then input the actual distance between them. Be sure to select the correct unit of measurement (feet or meters.)

Step 4
Step 5

Set the area type. Choose the size of your site (small, medium, large, x-large).

Step 5
Step 6

Start scanning: you have to take at least 3 sampling points to build a visualisation.

Step 6
Step 7

Once your WiFi site survey is finished, you need to export the project to your mac or Windows computer to view and analyze the created heatmaps in the desktop version of NetSpot.

Step 7
Export the project

The desktop version of NetSpot makes it effortless to read WiFi heat maps because it uses an intuitive color scheme: red means that the signal is very strong (hot), green means that the signal is average, and blue means that the signal is weak (cold).

You can create many different types of WiFi heat maps with NetSpot for Windows and macOS, and switching between them is as easy as clicking a button.

Conclusion

Your Android device can tell you a lot of useful information about nearby WiFi networks if you equip it with a powerful Android WiFi heatmapper like NetSpot. As we’ve described in this article, creating a detailed WiFi heat map isn’t difficult, and the benefits of seeing your coverage visualized on a map are numerous.

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Android WiFi Heat Map — FAQs

How do I heatmap my WiFi?

To heatmap your WiFi network, you need just two things: an Android device and a WiFi heatmap app for Android, such as NetSpot.

What is a heat map in the WiFi planning process?

A heat map is a visualization of WiFi signal distribution, and it can be used to highlight areas of signal weakness, the quantity of access points, and other important information.

Check our picks for the best WiFi heatmap software.

How can I tell where a WiFi signal is coming from?

Typically, WiFi signal becomes stronger the closer you move to your WiFi router. Knowing this, you can create a WiFi signal heat map with a WiFi heatmapper like NetSpot and use it to determine where the signal is the strongest. That’s likely the direction the signal is coming from.

What is the best WiFi analyzer for Android?

There are several great WiFi analyzers for Android, but the one we always recommend is NetSpot. Why? Because NetSpot is easy to use yet packed with advanced features that can provide you with a wealth of useful information about your WiFi network, helping you optimize its performance and coverage.

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Read next in All about Wi-Fi

If you want to get more information about Wi-Fi, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi routers, the best apps for wireless networking, WiFi signal, etc.
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