WiFi Site Survey Software


  • NetSpot
  • #1 NetSpot
  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting

  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting

  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews

A WiFi site survey is the process of assessing a specific area to plan or optimize a wireless network capable of covering the entire area with a strong, reliable signal.

What is a WiFi Site Survey?

The typical WiFi site survey is concerned with the following:

  • The number of access points: It’s not always possible for a single access point to cover the entire surveyed area with a strong WiFi signal. Universities, large businesses, hospitals, museums, and other large public and private places typically rely on multiple access points to provide the desired coverage and capacity.
  • Access point placement: Just because wireless access points can be placed virtually anywhere doesn’t mean that all possible placements are equally recommendable. In fact, a poorly placed access point is often as good as no access point at all, which is why it’s necessary to use wireless site survey software to determine where access points need to be located.
  • Interference: WiFi networks are susceptible to interference from other WiFi networks, electrical devices, and objects that absorb WiFi signals. The best survey software for WiFi network design and optimization can analyze interference and make it easy to see what needs to be done to avoid it.

Why Do You Need to Perform a WiFi Site Survey?

The complexity of WiFi networks is constantly growing, and so does our reliance on them. A WiFi site survey can help you ensure that your WiFi network is in top condition, ready to support your personal or business needs.

Reduce Downtime

According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is $5,600 per minute. That’s a huge number, and all businesses that rely on WiFi internet access should remember it because it makes the cost of wireless site survey software seem utterly insignificant, especially considering that free survey software is often enough to optimize a WiFi network and reduce downtime.

Provide Sufficient Coverage and Capacity

Without a WiFi site survey, it’s very difficult — if not impossible — to know that you have sufficient WiFi coverage and capacity to meet your needs. Insufficient coverage means that not all clients will be able to roam freely and connect to the internet from anywhere. And if your WiFi network doesn’t meet your capacity needs in peak locations, you may deal with disconnected clients and slow speeds.

Keep Costs Down

Designing a WiFi network without wireless site survey software is akin to building a house without a plan. If you’re experienced enough and luck is on your side, you might end up with something that satisfies your needs, but it’s very unlikely that there wasn’t a better way how to complete the project. By performing a WiFi site survey prior to deployment, you can ensure that you’re deploying the right number of access points in the right locations to keep your costs down.

Boost Productivity

When employees have access to a fast and stable internet, they become more productive, and the same is true for home users. The difference between a website loading in one second and two seconds may not seem significant, but that’s only until you multiply the time saved by the total number of internet users and look a year into the future.

Increase Security

Wireless site survey software can reveal rogue access points set up by malicious hackers to steal personal information from unsuspecting users. It can also help you limit the reach of your wireless network to ensure that it doesn’t leave your building and allow someone who you can’t even see to breach it.

Identify and Eliminate Wi-Fi Dead Zones

Wi-Fi network surveys are instrumental in spotting Wi-Fi dead zones, which are areas where the WiFi signal is weak or nonexistent. These can cause frustrating connection drops, leading to significant work disruptions for you, your employees, or your customers. Conducting a survey ensures consistent and reliable WiFi coverage throughout your premises, preventing potential productivity losses.

What Does a Wi-Fi Site Survey Show?

Completing a Wi-Fi site survey with the right wireless site survey tool provides tangible and actionable insights that can be vital for your network's performance and security.

Specifically, a Wi-Fi site survey provides a wealth of detailed information on all surveyed wireless networks, visually represented through interactive heatmaps. These color-coded maps make it easy to understand real-life WiFi data across every point of your space.

Beyond just offering a visual treat, heatmaps carry different types of data visualizations. This depth of detail helps you troubleshoot and manage any Wi-Fi setup by analyzing every access point. Whether you're a casual user or a true wireless networking maven, this level of detail can be incredibly beneficial.

  • In the case of passive surveys, you'll see data regarding signal-to-noise ratio, signal level, quantity of access points, noise level, signal-to-interference ratio, frequency band coverage, and PHY mode coverage. This extensive data set helps to understand the overall signal quality and network configuration.
  • For active surveys, your results will include throughput testing with Iperf 3 or custom speed test servers, upload and download speed, wireless transmit rate, and Iperf upload, download, and jitter. These factors give you an understanding of the real-world performance of your network under various conditions.

In essence, a Wi-Fi site survey becomes a comprehensive dashboard of your wireless network, paving the way for informed decisions, targeted troubleshooting, and superior network performance.

How to Select the Best Software Tool for WiFi Site Surveys?

Your choice of wireless site survey software should depend on the type of site survey you want to perform:

  • Passive survey: During a passive survey, there’s no need to establish a connection with an access point because the goal is to gather information about all access points in the area, including their names, wireless channels, signal strength, and so on. A passive survey is great for identifying rogue access points and obtaining a high-level view of the surveyed area in terms of WiFi activity.
  • Active survey: To perform an active survey, it’s necessary to establish a connection with the surveyed access point. An active survey measures round-trip time, throughput rates, packet loss, and retransmissions, among other things. This type of site survey is used to troubleshoot a single WiFi network.
  • Predictive survey: A predictive survey dives into the realm of simulations. It involves creating a hypothetical model of a wireless network, taking into account interactions with physical barriers like walls or larger objects. This type of survey is done pre-deployment, providing a predictive analysis of how the network will perform and highlighting potential weak spots and interference areas. Because predictive surveys can be conducted without any field measurements, they offer an efficient and cost-effective method to plan your wireless network.

Good to know: Passive and active surveys require a compatible off-the-shelf WiFi adapter, but no additional hardware is required. Predictive surveys can be performed even on a computer that doesn’t connect to WiFi.

select wireless site survey software capable of performing passive, active, and predictive surveys

In most real-world situations, it's not enough to simply perform one type of survey. The nuanced and multi-faceted nature of wireless networks necessitates the use of a combination of passive, active, and predictive wireless network surveys, each serving a unique and complementary purpose.

To effectively conduct these three types of Wi-Fi site surveys, you need a wireless site survey tool that's versatile and comprehensive. Your tool should not only support all Wi-Fi standards, including the latest WiFi 6, but also be compatible with both Windows and Mac computers to provide flexibility in your operations.

Furthermore, Wi-Fi survey tools must be user-friendly, having an intuitive design that streamlines the survey process and makes it accessible to a variety of users, from seasoned IT professionals to novice network administrators. The easier the tool is to use, the more likely you are to perform regular site surveys, leading to more accurate and up-to-date network data, thereby ensuring optimal network performance and resilience.

Top 5 Best WiFi Site Survey Software Tools

Performing a WiFi site survey is always much easier when you have the right tool for the job. Today, both home users and professionals can choose from such a wide range of WiFi site survey software tools that the sheer number of tools available can be overwhelming. To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, here’s our selection of the top 5 best WiFi site survey software tools.

  1. NetSpot — is the best WiFi site survey software tool.
  2. Ekahau Product Suite — powerful Wi-Fi planning and AI design for the most reliable, best performing wireless networks — now including 6 GHz.
  3. VisiWave Site Survey — is a proprietary WiFi site survey software tool with GPS support and extensive reporting capabilities.
  4. TamoGraph Site Survey — includes a powerful spectrum analyzer capable of detecting and identifying non-Wi-Fi sources of RF signals, such as wireless video cameras, microwave ovens, or cordless phones.
  5. iBwave Wi-Fi — is a feature-packed WiFi site survey software suite that delivers a unique cloud-based user experience.
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

What home users and professionals have in common is a strong preference for easy-to-use software applications that don’t require a lengthy manual to deliver outstanding results. NetSpot is the best WiFi site survey software tool because it’s the only professional solution available that even home users without any expert knowledge can use to optimize WiFi networks.

  • 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.


With NetSpot, visualizing, managing, troubleshooting, auditing, planning, and deploying wireless networks is as easy as clicking on a button. Depending on what information you want to gather, you can generate a real-time view of surrounding WiFi networks using Inspector mode, switch to Survey mode and outline a WiFi network on an interactive map, or activate Planning mode to estimate the number of access points you'll need for a smooth and even coverage in a specific area.

NetSpot Survey Mode (heatmap)

The current version of NetSpot offers many different heatmap visualizations, allowing you to see everything from noise level to frequency band coverage to signal-to-interference ratio. Your gathered data can be effortlessly exported in several formats, making it simple to share or analyze in the future using NetSpot or some other tool.

Pros and Cons
  • User-friendly interface which requires no expert knowledge
  • More than 15 heatmap visualizations
  • Supports both macOS and Windows
  • Cost-effective, offering a free version for home users
  • Allows exportation of data for further analysis
  • Can perform predictive site surveys
  • Free version is limited in its functionality
Choice #2

Ekahau Product Suite

Available for Windows and Mac.

  • 4.7
  • 4.7 out of 5

Ekahau Product Suite includes several powerful enterprise-grade tools for designing, analyzing, optimizing, and troubleshooting all 2.4/5/6 GHz Wi-Fi networks. The one you should know about if you’re interested in WiFi site surveys is Ekahau AI Pro, an advanced WiFi site survey software that 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.

With a database of over 4,000 Wi-Fi access points and antennas from all vendors, Ekahau AI Pro is an all-in-one solution for IT professionals leading business-critical Wi-Fi design and deployment projects.

Ekahau Product Suite

Ekahau AI Pro boasts AI-assisted predictive wireless network design capabilities, network upgrade simulations, and custom reports detailing the performance health of your network. It supports multiple buildings and thousands of access points per project, so it’s more than capable of meeting the needs of even the most demanding enterprise users.

Of course, A WiFi heatmapper of this caliber and price point is definitely an overkill for smaller organizations whose networks don’t span multiple buildings. There’s also the fact that Ekahau AI Pro requires the Ekahau Sidekick 2 device to collect data — a regular WiFi adapter isn’t enough.

Pros and Cons
  • AI-assisted predictive wireless network designs
  • Supports all Wi-Fi standards
  • Can handle multiple buildings and thousands of access points per project
  • Part of Ekahau’s capable suite of WiFi analysis products
  • Extremely expensive, with a price tag of $5,995 USD
  • Overkill for small-scale or home Wi-Fi site survey projects
  • Requires the Ekahau Sidekick 2 device
Choice #3

VisiWave Site Survey

Available for Windows.
  • 4.6
  • 4.6 out of 5

Developed by AZO Technologies, VisiWave Site Survey is a proprietary WiFi site survey software tool with GPS support and extensive reporting capabilities. It provides three different WiFi site survey methods. You can manually collect data one point at a time, continuously walk through the surveyed area, or use GPS positioning to automate large-scale outdoor surveys.

VisiWave Site Survey

The Pro version of VisiWave Site Survey includes support for predictive surveys, allowing you to create a realistic model of the survey area and simulate the interaction of radio waves with walls and other objects in the area. The result of this effort is a heatmap that clearly visualizes how signals from one or multiple sources will likely propagate through the area.

Pros and Cons
  • Provides three different WiFi site survey methods
  • Offers GPS support for large-scale outdoor surveys
  • Detailed reporting capabilities
  • Mature product that has been available for around 2 decades
  • Compatible with VisiWave Traffic
  • Only available for Windows
  • User interface may not be as friendly or intuitive as other options
  • Predictive site surveys only in the Pro version
Choice #4

TamoGraph Site Survey

Available for Windows and macOS.
  • 4.5
  • 4.5 out of 5

This WiFi site survey software tool boasts the ability to analyze 802.11ax networks, as well as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac networks. The tool is available in two versions, and both versions cost over $1,000. The more expensive version of TomoGraph Site Survey adds support of access point simulation and predictive modeling of signal propagation.

TamoGraph Site Survey

Included in TomoGraph Site Survey is a powerful spectrum analyzer capable of detecting and identifying non-Wi-Fi sources of RF signals, such as wireless video cameras, microwave ovens, or cordless phones. This feature is intended to work with Wi-Spy, which is a compact 2.4 and 5 GHz spectrum analyzer that connects to the USB port.

Pros and Cons
  • Capable of analyzing a wide variety of network types
  • Includes a powerful spectrum analyzer
  • Offers access point simulation and predictive modeling in more expensive version
  • Runs on both Windows and macOS
  • Very expensive
  • The interface can be a bit complex for beginners
Choice #5

IBwave Wi-Fi

Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
  • 4.2
  • 4.2 out of 5

Aimed at professional users, iBwave Wi-Fi is a feature-packed WiFi site survey software suite that delivers a unique cloud-based user experience. You can start a WiFi survey on a tablet, save all your files to the cloud, and open the files on a desktop computer to create a highly accurate 3D model of the surveyed area. Customers and stakeholders can then view the model, as well as all gathered data, using iBwave Viewer, a free, read-only version of iBwave Wi-Fi.

iBwave Wi-Fi

To justify its steep price, iBwave Wi-Fi includes many enterprise-oriented features, such as a complete bill of materials, smart antenna contouring, automatic cable routing alignment, and others. Customers can watch videos of iBwave Wi-Fi online or order a live product demonstration.

Pros and Cons
  • Runs in the cloud and can be accessed from any device
  • Ability to start a WiFi survey on a tablet and continue it on a desktop
  • Enterprise-oriented features
  • Its price is quite steep
  • May require some technical knowledge to fully exploit its features

How to Perform a WiFi Site Survey Using NetSpot?

One wireless site survey software tool that excels in all the key criteria for being the best WiFi site survey software is NetSpot. This professional app for wireless site surveys, WiFi analysis, and troubleshooting supports passive, active, and predictive surveys. Compatible with modern Macs and PCs, NetSpot 3 operates seamlessly with standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapters.

NetSpot 3 comes with three core modes: Inspector, Survey, and the newly introduced Planning mode.

  • In Inspector mode, you get a real-time snapshot of all nearby WiFi networks, complete with key metrics such as data transfer rates and signal strength. This mode provides a comprehensive overview of the wireless landscape around you, making it easier to identify potential issues or opportunities for improvement.
  • Survey mode offers in-depth, interactive heatmaps of your WiFi network, highlighting crucial details like signal coverage and data rates at every point on the map. Now with improved calibration and faster data processing, Survey mode is more accurate and efficient than ever.
  • The newly introduced Planning mode allows you to simulate various network configurations before actual deployment. This predictive feature estimates the number of access points needed for optimal coverage and helps you understand how building materials and other factors might impact your network's performance.

Regardless of which of the three major modes of operation you select, you can always save all collected data as a CSV file. Heatmaps can be saved as PNG files, and active visualization can be exported into the PDF file format.

Survey mode NetSpot

To perform a WiFi site survey using NetSpot:

Step 1

Launch NetSpot and click the “Create new…”.

NetSpot — Start a New survey
Step 2

Name your site survey and then give a name to the first zone you want to scan.

Start a new survey
Step 3

Either load an existing map of the surveyed area from your computer or draw it using the map creation tool included with NetSpot.

Draw map survey
Step 4

Click on two points on the map and input the actual distance between them.

Map of the surveyed area
Step 5

Walk to one corner of the surveyed area and click the point on the map that corresponds to where you are standing.

NetSpot Scan
Step 6

Continue moving and scanning until you have covered the whole area.

Step 7

Click the Stop Scan button when done.

When you finish your survey, NetSpot will automatically generate heatmap visualizations, so that the only thing left for you to do is analyze them.

NetSpot Survey Mode (heatmap)


With our increasing reliance on WiFi networks, both in personal and professional settings, a comprehensive site survey provides invaluable insights into access point placement, interference issues, and overall network performance. The right wireless site survey software tool makes it much easier to perform different kinds of WiFi site surveys, and NetSpot stands out as the best choice for most users thanks to its versatility, user-friendliness, and comprehensive features.

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 Site Survey Software — FAQs

Which is a Wi-Fi site survey tool?

A Wi-Fi site survey tool is a software or application used to plan, design, and optimize a Wi-Fi network. It allows you to measure signal strength, noise interference, and identify optimal locations for access points. Examples of such tools include NetSpot, VisiWave Site Survey, and TamoGraph Site Survey.

What does a wireless site survey consist of?

A wireless site survey consists of analyzing a location's Wi-Fi characteristics, such as signal strength, noise levels, network coverage, and possible interference.

Is NetSpot really free?

Yes, NetSpot does offer a free version of its software, but it comes with some limitations. The biggest limitation is that in the free version, you're only able to use the Inspector mode. While the Survey mode is technically accessible, it doesn't let you create new surveys — you can only check a sample one. This and other limitations reflect the fact that the free version is primarily designed for personal use.

What are the three types of wireless site surveys?

The three types of wireless site surveys that can be performed using wireless site survey tools are:

  1. Passive Survey: Collects data about all nearby access points without connecting to them.
  2. Active Survey: Involves connecting to specific access points to measure performance metrics.
  3. Predictive Survey: A simulation-based survey performed before the network deployment.
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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.