In this article, you will learn what a good WiFi scanner can do for you and discover five great WiFi scanner Windows apps so you can say goodbye to slow speeds and mediocre signal reception.
Try to remember how much your monthly Internet bill costs you. Probably more than you’d like, correct? If you’re like most people these days, you connect to the Internet wirelessly, which means that you seldom get what you’re paying for.
Yes, you might be able to reach the download and upload speeds your ISP advertises when standing right next to your router, but try to measure how fast your Internet connection is when you walk to the other side of your house or apartment. The chances are that it will be slow as a glacier.
Unfortunately, the WiFi signal transmitted by most home routers doesn’t travel too far. And it travels even shorter distance when it has obstructions in the way, such as walls or furniture. What’s more, your neighbor’s WiFi network and your neighbor’s neighbor’s WiFi network may have a noticeable negative impact on the strength of your WiFi signal, as well. As such, most people end up paying for an Internet they can never use to its fullest potential.
Enter the mighty WiFi scanner. With a reliable WiFi scanner, you can discover the source of your wireless woes and come up with a strategy how to put an end to them.
Wireless scanner won’t improve your WiFi signal strength on its own, but it will give you all the information you need to either pick a better place for your router or make a suitable adjustment to your router’s settings.
NetSpot is a highly polished WiFi scanner Windows app that’s so easy to use and comes with so many useful features that we’ve picked it as the best WiFi scanner app currently available.
You don’t have to pay even a cent to use NetSpot’s Inspector Mode to instantly discover all nearby WiFi networks and see their details.
NetSpot also features another WiFi analysis modes, called Survey and Planning. With the Survey mode, you can create WiFi strength heatmaps that show signal dead zones, helping you figure out the best place for your router.
While the same functionality can be found in other WiFi scanner apps, no other app is so well designed and such a pleasure to use as NetSpot, earning it the top spot on this list.
InSSIDer is a popular WiFi analysis tool that allows users to find poor channel placement, low signal strength, and RF interference in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. inSSIDer can detect channel overlap, and it visually displays channel usage on a graph to make it obvious which channels used the most.
inSSIDer is great for network administrators responsible for managing multiple access points. You can see all networks and their activity at a glance, or you can zoom in on a single network with a simple mouse click to learn more about it. inSSIDer is available in three editions.
Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is a comprehensive suite of wireless analysis tools intended to help organizations around the globe gain visibility into their networks. Xirrus Wi-Fi inspector works both on macOS and Windows, and it supports the latest wireless standards, including 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 technology.
Although Xirrus Wi-Fi inspector isn’t free, you can download a free trial version from the official website. The free trial version is likely to satisfy the needs of most home users, but enterprise customers are encouraged to contact Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector directly and ask for a price quote.
First released in 2012 by Nir Sofer, WifiInfoView is a venerable Windows WiFi scanner app that might not amaze you with its design, but you would be foolish to disregard it just because it doesn’t make the greatest first impression. WifiInfoView can display the following information about WiFi networks: Network Name, MAC Address, PHY Type, Signal Quality, Frequency, Maximum Speed, Company Name, Router Model, and more.
WifiInfoView supports both the 32-bit and the 64-bit version of the Windows operating system, and it runs on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 10.
Unlike WifiInfoView, WiFi Scanner is guaranteed to make a great first impression. The app features a polished user interface that makes network management less daunting, and it has many useful features that supply vital WiFi information needed for troubleshooting purposes.
If you live in a busy urban center, you’ll appreciate the ability to easily filter wireless networks according to various criteria, and the built-in speed test feature allows you to conveniently track of your network speeds and performance. Besides Windows, WiFi Scanner is also available for macOS.
Vistumbler is a relatively old WiFi scanner that’s now in version 10. It runs on all versions of Windows that support .Net framework v4, bringing to the table a number of features that make it one of the best choices for large-scale mapping and visualizing of WiFi access points.
To be more specific, Vistumbler makes it possible to collect GPS data when taking WiFi measurements using COM-based NMEA recievers. The WiFi scanner for Windows 10 and older can then export access point GPS locations as KML or GPX files for use with other software applications.
What’s especially great is the fact that Vistumbler is completely free and open source. What’s not so great is the application’s user interface. Unlike many other Windows WiFi scanners, Vistumbler is anything but polished, and the UI is best described as functional.
Acrylic is a well-known Windows 10 WiFi scanner that can scan 802.11/a/b/g/n/ac/ax networks in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The software company behind this product, Tarlogic Research, offers a whole range of WiFi scanner apps for Windows, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t offer any Linux WiFi scanners or WiFi scanner Mac apps.
There are actually two versions of Acrylic: Home and Professional. As their names suggest, one is aimed at regular home users, while the other one is aimed at professional network administrators. Acrylic Home includes a capable WiFi scanner, but it lacks Wireshark integration, reporting, and technical support, and more.
Both Acrylic Home and Acrylic Professional are compatible with Windows Vista and newer. The WiFi scanner runs even on Windows 11, but its website doesn’t explicitly state that the latest version of Windows is supported.
You would be incredibly lucky if you never needed one of the best WiFi scanner apps described in this article. Realistically, however, most Windows users experience WiFi-related issues at some point, and knowing which WiFi scanner Windows apps can effortlessly deliver accurate results to help you troubleshoot the problem can be the difference between a problem solved and a problem persisting.
WiFi scanner apps are useful software applications designed to analyze your local WiFi environment and help you learn more about it so that you can improve your performance and fix annoying issues with insufficient coverage.
You can easily scan for WiFi using WiFi scanner Windows apps. NetSpot is a great example because the app is both easy to use and capable of delivering results that are so comprehensive that even professionals rely on them.
A WiFi scanner will ensure you get a great wireless coverage in your home or office. There are numerous reasons why a wireless signal is not reaching some parts of your space and it is almost impossible to guess what causes it and where to place a WiFi router for the best performance. A high-quality WiFi scanner can help you figure out if there are any issues with your coverage and find the proper ways of fixing the problems.
A wireless scanner is a great assistant on your way to a better WiFi signal. A great WiFi scanner will give you all necessary information helpful in finding a better place for a wireless router with less physical obstacles and noises around. It should also help you choose the most appropriate router settings to avoid channel overlap.
The best WiFi scanners for Windows in our opinion are:
Use the NetSpot app to figure out a proper placement for your router: with the app's Survey mode you'll be able to create visual heatmaps of your network and see where exactly the signal is the strongest and where it is quite weak and needs an extra boost.