Best WiFi Heatmap Tools


  • NetSpot
  • #1 NetSpot
  • Best WiFi Heatmap Tool

  • Best WiFi Heatmap Tool

  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews

If you’ve never heard the term “WiFi heatmap” before, then keep on reading because you’re about to learn what WiFi heatmaps are, how they are used, and how you create them yourself without any special skills or expert knowledge using readily available software tools.

What Is a Wi-Fi Heatmap?

A Wi-Fi heatmap is a map of wireless signal coverage and strength. Typically, a Wi-Fi heatmap shows a real map of a room, floor, or even a city overlaid by a graphical representation of a wireless signal.

A WiFi heatmap is a map of wireless signal coverage and strength

Professional network administrators and regular home users alike use WiFi heatmaps to find dead zones and make adjustments to achieve the desired coverage.

Without a heatmap, wireless network optimization involves a lot of guesswork, which is why most people who are not aware of the existence of Wi-Fi heatmap software never manage to achieve the Wi-Fi coverage they would like to have.

WiFi heatmap software fully automates the process of mapping WiFi coverage on a map, allowing anyone to create a WiFi heatmap in a matter of minutes just by walking from one place to the next until the entire area is mapped.

The created heatmap can show:

  • Signal strength: Identify areas with strong and weak coverage, pinpointing where signals may need boosting or where devices might struggle to connect reliably.
  • Interference: Potentially reveal where neighboring networks or physical obstructions introduce interference, impacting signal quality.
  • Channel overlap: Indicate instances where too many WiFi networks broadcast on the same channel, leading to congestion and performance issues.
  • … and much more!

This information can then serve as your blueprint for achieving comprehensive, efficient coverage, making it easy to improve the placement of your router, change important WiFi settings, or make well-thought-out network upgrades.

How Do Wi-Fi Heatmaps Work?

We’ve explained that a WiFi heatmap is a map of a wireless signal, but how does Wi-Fi heat mapping software create it? While there are many different Wi-Fi heatmappers to choose from, the process is usually fairly similar.

A user equipped with a laptop or smartphone with a Wi-Fi heat map software application enters the premises and either loads up an existing map of the area or creates one from scratch. He or she then begins the heat mapping processing, carrying the laptop or smartphone from one location to the next, recording where WiFi is working well and where the signal is too weak for web pages to load quickly.

After analyzing the gathered data, the WiFi heat map software application creates a map overlaid with traffic light-style color spectrum, showing areas of the greatest signal strength as well as the greatest signal weakness. The color green usually indicates a good signal strength, while the color red indicates poor signal strength.

WiFi Heatmap

Besides WiFi strength heatmaps, most WiFi heatmappers can also create other visualizations and capture all kinds of information, ranging from signal-to-noise ratio to noise level to frequency band coverage.


You might now be thinking, “WiFi heatmapping sounds like a lot of work. Is it really worth the effort?” Well, WiFi heatmapping is actually a straightforward process that you can easily accomplish with just a few clicks using one of the best WiFi heatmap software tools described below. Whether it’s worth the effort depends on how important fast and reliable WiFi is to you.

If you have a home or office WiFi network, you probably depend on it every day so optimizing it for best performance and eliminating signal weak spots is definitely worth the little effort it takes to run a modern free WiFi heat mapping software application.

Wi-Fi Heatmaps and Visualizations

WiFi heatmaps are an essential wireless signal visualization tool that can help you understand how the signal covers your designated space, where the signal doesn't quite reach, and what improvements can be applied. We've tagged heatmaps that are also available in NetSpot's predictive surveys with **.

Passive scanning
Signal-to-noise ratio
Visualization of the correlation of the WiFi signal strength to the background noise, where the noise is the interference measured at each sampling point.
Signal level **
Visualization of the wireless signal strength throughout the space. It is to be used as a reference when analyzing the signal strength correlation to other factors in effect.
Signal-to-interference ratio **
Visualization of the WiFi signal disruption or interruption by various devices, other networks, physical obstructions, etc.
Quantity of access points **
Shows all detectable Access Points forming the surveyed/planned WiFi network.
Noise level
Visualization of the level of outside noise affecting the space as detected at each measurement point.
Frequency band coverage **
Allows for visual analysis of different frequencies available in various measurement points.
PHY mode coverage **
Visualization of the PHY Mode types (802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax) used in the surveyed network.
Active scanning
Upload speed
Upload speed heatmap visualizes the rate of data transfer from computer to the Internet in each measurement point.
Download speed
Download speed heatmap visualizes the rate of data transfer from the Internet to computer in each measurement point.
Wireless Transmit rate
Also known as TxRate, this visualization shows the speed of data transfer from an AP to a wireless device.
Iperf3 upload, download, and jitter visualizations
If using the Iperf3 tool for bandwidth performance testing, you can visualize upload, download, and jitter in NetSpot for macOS.
Issues with SNR
This type of heatmap allows you to easily spot the areas with the low SNR level that can affect your network connectivity.
High level of noise
The higher noise levels can negatively affect the wireless signal strength, from lowering it to causing "dead zones" with virtually non-existent coverage.
Low signal level **
Spot the areas where the signal is so low it's practically not present. Addressing the low signal issues can help even out the coverage.
Overlapping channels (SIR) **
Visualize different networks transmitting on the overlapping channels, which can cause a loss of network coverage performance.

Top 5 Best WiFi Heatmap Software Tools

Great WiFi heatmap software tools are actually not that easy to find. To help you out, we have selected 5 best Wi-Fi heatmap tools currently available so you can get most from your WiFi network as soon as possible.

  1. NetSpot — is the only WiFi heatmap software tool designed to satisfy the needs of professional and home users alike.
  2. Ekahau Product Suite — a comprehensive suite of WiFi analysis and heatmapping solutions capable of meeting the needs of the most demanding users.
  3. Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps — you can turn your personal computer or laptop into an advanced wireless network analysis tool to get a detailed overview of the wireless landscape around you.
  4. VisiWave Site Survey — intended for large-scale and local WiFi surveys alike.
  5. AirMagnet Survey PRO — supports all WiFi network standards and surprises with its large number of supported features.

Best WiFi Heatmap Software Tools

Choice #1


Available for MacBook (macOS 10.12+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.

  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • 500K
  • Users

Available for macOS and Windows, NetSpot is the only Wi-Fi heat map software tool designed to satisfy the needs of professional and home users alike. NetSpot runs on any laptop or computer with macOS 10.12+ or Windows 7/8/10/11.

To create a WiFi heatmap using NetSpot, all you need to do is enter the Survey Mode and follow the simple instructions. NetSpot will ask you to upload a map of the area you would like to survey, but you can also create one using the built-in mapping tool.

  • Inspector Mode

    Gives you real-time insights into the WiFi networks around you.

  • Survey Mode

    Provides a comprehensive, map-based analysis of your WiFi network's performance.

  • Planning mode icon

    Planning Mode

    Enables you to simulate and plan your WiFi network's layout and coverage.


Then just walk from one place to the next to collect wireless site survey data and wait for NetSpot to automatically build a WiFi heatmap for you. The heatmap will tell you exactly where your wireless signal is the strongest and where it could be improved.

NetSpot — WiFi heatmap

Besides its wireless heatmap capabilities, NetSpot is also a great WiFi analyzer. Switch to the Inspector Mode and let NetSpot collect detailed information about nearby wireless networks, including those that do not broadcast their SSID, showing you what kind of security settings the networks use, which channel they broadcast on, and how strong their signal is, among other things.

Inspector mode

Are you planning to deploy a new WiFi network? Then you can save yourself a lot of time and potentially money by using NetSpot’s planning mode to estimate the correct number and placement of access points before installation begins. This useful feature produces the same easy-to-understand heatmap visualization as the Survey mode, and you can export it as an image or a PDF report.

Heatmap visualization

Despite having so many useful features, NetSpot never lets its users wonder which button they should click on to accomplish what they want to do. Because of its ease of use, professional features, attractive price, and stellar customer support, NetSpot has established itself as a leading heatmapper and WiFi analyzer, earning the top spot on this list.

Looking for an app to use with your mobile phone? Learn how to create Android WiFi heat maps and iOS WiFi heatmaps with NetSpot.

Mobile WiFi survey and analysis

Survey a space of any size directly on your iOS device in just a few effortless taps.

Mobile WiFi survey and analysis

Survey a space of any size directly on your Android device in just a few effortless taps.

NetSpot for Android (survey banner)NetSpot for Android (survey banner)
Mobile WiFi survey and analysis

Survey a space of any size directly on your Android device in just a few effortless taps.

NetSpot for Android (survey banner)NetSpot for Android (survey banner)
Mobile WiFi survey and analysis

Survey a space of any size directly on your iOS device in just a few effortless taps.

Pros and Cons
  • Three modes of operation (Inspector, Survey, Planning)
  • 20+ types of WiFi heatmaps
  • Available on macOS and Windows
  • Works with any 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax WiFi network adapter
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Free to try with multiple paid versions to choose from
  • None
Choice #2

Ekahau Product Suite

Available for Windows 7 and newer and macOS 10.11 and newer. Supports all Wi-Fi standards including Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax in 6GHz), and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.

  • 4.7
  • 4.7 out of 5

The Ekahau Product Suite is a comprehensive collection of WiFi analysis hardware and software that can meet the needs of professionals responsible for the deployment, configuration, and management of large enterprise networks.

At the heart of this suite is the Ekahau AI Pro software application, which can analyze 2.4/5/6 GHz wireless networks and create detailed heatmaps. The software features AI-assisted predictive wireless network design capabilities that make it easier than ever to plan a new network.

Ekahau Product Suite

The Ekahau AI Pro software is intended for use with the Ekahau Sidekick 2, a hardware device whose purpose is to accurately collect 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz wireless data. Unlike your standard laptop, the Sidekick 2 is equipped with 4 tri-band radios and a spectrum analyzer that scans at 50 sweeps/second. To use the Ekahau Product Suite, you also need to subscribe to Ekahau Connect, a cloud platform that brings together the whole Ekahau product ecosystem.

Pros and Cons
  • Enterprise-level WiFi heatmapping capabilities
  • Excellent accuracy
  • Support for the latest WiFi technologies
  • Not intended for regular home users
  • Very expensive
Choice #3

Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps

Available for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, 8.1, 10, and Windows 11 with Microsoft.Net 4.5 Installed.

  • 4.3
  • 4.3 out of 5

With Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps you can turn your personal computer or laptop into an advanced wireless network analysis tool to get a detailed overview of the wireless landscape around you.

Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps can analyze the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz RF spectrum and generate detailed heatmaps and reports in a variety of common file formats.

The software offers comprehensive features for both indoor and outdoor studies, allowing users to design networks from scratch, optimize existing setups, and generate detailed reports tailored to different profile needs (executive, technical, and comprehensive).

Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps

The heatmaps generated by this WiFi heatmap software tool can be based both on online maps as well as on user-imported maps. Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps makes it possible to edit the generated maps, which is something that professionals across many different industries can appreciate. You can try Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps for free by downloading the trial version for the official website of the software.

Pros and Cons
  • Can generate comprehensive survey reports
  • Acrylic WiFi is user-friendly
  • Offers 14 different types of heat maps
  • WiFi network planning functionality
  • Runs only on Windows
Choice #4

VisiWave Site Survey

Available for Windows.

  • 4
  • 4.0 out of 5

Intended for large-scale and local WiFi surveys alike, VisiWave Site Survey provides three effective methods for capturing data. You can either capture data one point at a time, continuously walk through the survey area, or use GPS positioning for outdoor surveys. Several customizable templates can be used to easily create custom WiFi signal strength and coverage reports, and the gathered data can also be viewed in Google Earth.

VisiWave Site Survey

VisiWave Site Survey supports most wireless adapters, and it doesn’t require any special hardware components to function. VisiWave has been maintaining and upgrading this comprehensive software product for over 20 years, so you can count on their support even in the future.

VisiWave Site Survey Pro offers advanced features like predictive surveys, allowing users to create theoretical simulations of radio wave propagation in a given area. This capability enables network planners to estimate signal strengths and optimize access point placement before physical deployment, saving time and resources in the network design process.

Pros and Cons
  • Powerful report generator
  • GPS positioning for outdoor surveys
  • Support for predictive WiFi surveys
  • Mature product that’s constantly being updated
  • Very outdated user interface
  • Can’t analyze 6 GHz networks
  • Windows only
Choice #5

AirMagnet Survey PRO

Available for Windows 10, Windows 11 Pro/Enterprise 64-bit, and macOS (using Boot Camp).

  • 3.8
  • 3.8 out of 5

AirMagnet Survey PRO can automatically create easy-to-read heatmaps for signal/noise, WLAN throughput, PHY data rates, retry rates, and packet losses. This heatmapper supports all WiFi network standards, including WiFi 6/6E, and surprises with its large number of supported features. The user interface has been improved in recent versions, though some users may still find it less intuitive compared to newer tools.

AirMagnet Survey PRO

If you frequently need to create WiFi heatmaps, you will appreciate the comprehensive capabilities of AirMagnet Survey PRO. However, if you've never created a WiFi heatmap before and don't know if you will ever need to create one again, a more user-friendly WiFi heatmapper, such as NetSpot, might be a better choice for you.

The latest version of AirMagnet Survey PRO now offers advanced predictive modeling for WiFi 6/6E networks, allowing users to design new networks or model changes to existing ones for optimal coverage and performance without physically setting up access points.

Pros and Cons
  • Compatible with the 2.4/5/6 GHz bands
  • Supports WiFi 6/6E predictive modeling
  • Can run multiple surveys at the same time
  • Plenty of customizable reporting templates are available
  • Outdated user interface
  • No free version readily available
  • Works only with AirCheck G3, EtherScope nXG, or CyberScope

How to Choose the Right Tool for Creating WiFi Heatmaps?

With so many excellent WiFi heatmap software tools to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? By considering the following criteria:

  • Features: Different heatmappers support different visualizations, so make sure to select one that is able to tell you everything you need to know about your WiFi network.
  • Accuracy and precision: Opt for a tool that uses reliable data collection methods and algorithms to optimize mapping precision. This will avoid misleading results and help accurately identify dead zones or coverage overlaps.
  • Compatibility: It goes without saying that you need to select a WiFi heatmapping tool that’s compatible with your operating system. Fortunately, NetSpot and many other leading heatmappers support both Windows and macOS.
  • Ease of use: You should always select a Wi-Fi heat mapping software application that’s intuitive and designed to make the heatmapping process as simple as possible because there’s no reason to waste your time on applications with poor usability.
  • Price: When it comes to price, WiFi heatmappers can cost as little as zero dollars or as much as several thousand. We recommend you stay within your budget and focus on heatmappers that offer a free trial version.
  • Customer support: Never purchase WiFi heatmapping software from a company that doesn’t stand behind its customers and doesn’t offer multiple customer support channels.
  • Data export options: Consider the flexibility your WiFi heatmapper offers for exporting data. Can you easily export the visualizations as image files? Does it support export to raw data formats for further analysis in different tools?

Remember, the best tool is the one that can meet your technical requirements and also fit within your budget — all while being pleasant to use. If you still haven’t found the perfect match for your WiFi heatmap needs, don't hesitate to explore more best WiFi mapper apps.

How to Create a Wi-Fi Heatmap with NetSpot?

Creating a WiFi heatmap with NetSpot is straightforward, requiring no technical expertise because NetSpot streamlines the entire process:

Step 1

Launch NetSpot.

Step 2

Switch to the Survey mode using the slider in the toolbar.

NetSpot — Start a New survey
Step 3

Click the Create new… survey button and give your WiFi heatmap a name.

Start a new survey
Step 4

Choose Zone Area Type so that NetSpot can configure appropriate default sampling settings for the first zone you create.

NetSpot active scan
Step 5

Either provide an existing map of the area you want to survey or create one using the map creator included with NetSpot. Click Continue when you’re ready to begin the heat mapping process.

Draw map survey
Step 6

Move from one area to the next until the entire map is covered with overlapping blue circles, which is when you can click the “Heatmaps” button.

NetSpot Scan
Step 7

Analyze the Wi-Fi heatmap. You can switch to other visualizations using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen.

Survey mode NetSpot

Look for color-coded indicators, where warmer colors (reds and oranges) signify stronger signals, and cooler colors (blues and greens) indicate weaker signals. Identify dead zones with no coverage and areas with overlapping signals, which may cause interference.

Assess the placement of routers and access points to ensure optimal coverage and minimal interference. Use the WiFi heatmap data to make adjustments, such as repositioning devices or adding additional access points, to improve overall Wi-Fi performance and reliability.

What Is the Purpose of Creating a Wi-Fi Heatmap?

The purpose of creating a WiFi heatmap is to obtain accurate information about the quality of coverage of a WiFi network. As you may know, WiFi coverage is affected by many different factors, including:

  • Your WiFi router: There are many different WiFi routers, and the quality of coverage they provide varies greatly. You can’t reasonably expect a budget WiFi router to cover a large home or office building with a strong WiFi signal no matter how well you position or configure it. A WiFi heatmapping tool can help you understand the limitations of your WiFi router and decide if you should get a new one. Modern WiFi routers have plenty of useful features intended to improve your online experience, so upgrading once in a few years is typically always a good decision.
  • Other WiFi networks: Being stuck in traffic on your way to work is no fun, especially if you’re in a hurry and need to get there as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, something similar can happen to you when surfing the web, downloading files from the internet, or video chatting with friends because digital traffic jams can occur when too many WiFi networks in the same area broadcast on the same frequency and channel. Using a WiFi heatmapping software application, you can visualize frequency band coverage and configure your router accordingly.
  • Physical obstacles: Your WiFi signal doesn’t like physical obstacles, especially those that are dense and thick, such as walls or large furniture. Materials like metal can also have a significant impact on your wireless signal, which is why you should never install a WiFi router near metal appliances. In extreme cases, physical obstacles can create dead zones, which can be clearly seen on a WiFi heatmap. Unfortunately, not all physical obstacles can be easily removed. You can, however, always improve your WiFi signal by installing a WiFi extender or additional router.
  • RF interference: Radio frequency interference, also called electromagnetic interference, refers to the disturbances in the WiFi frequency spectrum (usually 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) caused by RF-emitting devices. Such devices include cordless phones, mobile phones, microwave ovens, medical scanner, baby monitors, wireless security cameras, and, of course, WiFi routers themselves. RF interference can manifest itself on a WiFi heat map as an area of signal weakness, and it typically correlates with the presence of some electronic device.
  • Router configuration: Your WiFi router has many different settings that you can change to improve the quality of its signal. The main setting you should pay attention to is your WiFi channel. In the 2.4 GHz band, there are 11 channels (at least in North America), with channels 1, 6, and 11 being the only non-overlapping channels. You should also pay attention to your router security settings, because the last thing you want is to let other people use your internet connection without your approval. Most WiFi heat map software solutions can gather information about the configuration of your router, as well as other routers in the area.

Ultimately, the goal of creating a WiFi heatmap is to gain actionable insights for addressing these factors and optimizing your network. Whether you aim to troubleshoot connectivity problems, fine-tune router placement, mitigate interference, boost speeds, or simply plan the addition of extenders or upgrades — a heatmap empowers you to move from guesswork to informed decision-making.


Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.12+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.

  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • #1
  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting

  • 500K
  • Users
  • 10
  • Years
  • Cross-platform
  • Mac/Windows

Best WiFi Heatmap Tools — FAQs

What Is a Wi-Fi Heatmap?

A Wi-Fi heatmap is a visual color-coded map that shows the wireless signal coverage and strength. Thanks to this colored representation one can easily spot weak wireless areas and try fixing the problem.

What are the Top 5 Best WiFi Heatmap Software Tools?

We have selected 5 best heatmapping solutions for you. Here are their brief descriptions:

  1. NetSpot — the only heatmap software that is loved by home WiFi owners as much as it is loved and respected by WiFi professionals for its advanced features and efficient surveys.
  2. Ekahau Product Suite — is a comprehensive collection of Wi-Fi analysis hardware and software.
  3. Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps — another friendly software for your personal computer or laptop for an advanced wireless network analysis.
  4. VisiWave Site Survey — supports local WiFi surveys just as it does a large-scale network analysis.
  5. AirMagnet Survey PRO — this WiFi heatmapping tool has a lot of features and supports all wireless network standards.
How to create a WiFi heatmap using NetSpot?

After opening NetSpot, go to its Survey Mode and follow the simple instructions. You'll need to either upload a map of a surveyed area or create one directly in NetSpot. Once you have the map in front of you, start walking from spot to spot while NetSpot is building a heatmap. With the resulting visual heatmap, you'll be able to see which areas have the strongest signal, and where the coverage needs to be enhanced.

How to collect information about nearby wireless networks?

Use NetSpot to gather information about the surrounding networks. In the app's Inspector Mode you can see what kind of security settings the discovered networks use, what channels they broadcast on, their signal strength, and more. You can get information about the networks that don't broadcast their SSID as well.

How do you make a heatmap for WiFi?

To make a WiFi heat map, you don’t need to purchase any special equipment. All you need is a laptop and a WiFi heatmapper application like NetSpot. Once you have your WiFi heatmapper application of choice installed on the laptop, you can go ahead and use it to create your first WiFi heat map by methodically walking from one part of the surveyed area to the next. From start to finish, heatmapping a regular-sized apartment shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes or so.

How do you read a wireless heat map?

Understanding a wireless heat map is straightforward, thanks to its self-explanatory design. For instance, a WiFi heat map in NetSpot's default settings uses a color gradient from red, through green, to blue to denote signal strength. Blue areas indicate weak signal presence, green signifies acceptable signal strength, and red represents excellent signal coverage. Users who don’t like the default color scheme can choose a different one from the app’s settings.

How do I create a heat map?

The exact steps will depend on your WiFi mapper of choice, but the general process is always the same:

  1. Download and install a WiFi mapping software application on your laptop.
  2. Launch the application and start a new survey.
  3. Create or load a map of the surveyed area.
  4. Methodically walk from one part of the area to the next, taking measurements along the way.
  5. Finish the survey and analyze the results.

With the right WiFi mapper, you should be able to create a map highlighting various aspects of your wireless coverage in just a few minutes and without any special knowledge.

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

Just like electromagnetic waves, a WiFi signal will get stronger and stronger the closer you get to its source (a WiFi router or repeater). Knowing this, you can use a WiFi mapping tool to create a heatmap of your area to see where the signal has the greatest strength.

Just know that the strength of a WiFi signal can also be affected by solid obstacles and other devices that use electromagnetic radiation for transferring information, so finding the exact origin of the signal may not always be possible.

What is WiFi hotspot mapper?

A WiFi hotspot mapper is a tool or application used to identify and visualize the locations of WiFi hotspots within a specific area. It typically uses data from WiFi signals to create a map showing available networks, their signal strength, and coverage. This can help users find the best spots for a strong connection and assist network administrators in optimizing WiFi coverage. Some mappers also provide additional details such as network security types and usage statistics.

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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.12+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.