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Optimize your WiFi Network with Wi-Fi Site Survey Windows Software

WiFi site survey software is essential for unlocking the true potential of your internet connection. Let’s take a closer look at what it does and how you can use NetSpot WiFi site survey Windows software to troubleshoot and optimize any WiFi network.
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  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews

WiFi Site Survey on Windows

WiFi networks have become an essential part of our daily lives. The trouble is that we don’t see them. Sure, you can see a list of available networks on your smartphone or laptop, and you know where your router is physically located, but you can’t exactly see the wireless signals connecting the router and your devices.

So, when your internet connection suddenly becomes unreliable and your download and upload speeds begin to fluctuate, it can be difficult to pinpoint the issue and apply the correct fix.

WiFi site surveys can give you the information you need to troubleshoot and optimize your WiFi network (or any WiFi network for that matter) by collecting and visualizing important WiFi data, such as signal strength, channel info, and data transmit rate.

WiFi Site Survey Software for Windows

There are three major types of WiFi site surveys that you should know about: active, passive, and predictive.

What Is an Active WiFi Survey?

An active WiFi survey is a survey of a specific WiFi network to which you are actively connected to. This type of WiFi survey can obtain invaluable information on network bandwidth, latency, signal strength, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), among others.

What Is a Passive WiFi Survey?

To perform a passive WiFi survey, you don’t need to be connected to any specific network. The goal is to capture information on all WiFi activity in the surveyed area to determine how many networks there are, how strong their signals are, and what their configuration is. Equipped with this information, you can make educated decisions about the placement and configuration of your own WiFi network.

What Is a Predictive WiFi Survey?

A predictive WiFi survey is performed prior to the deployment of a WiFi network using specialized software. The software is able to simulate the proliferation of WiFi signals in the surveyed environment, taking into account everything from physical obstacles to interference. While somewhat more technically difficult to perform than active and passive WiFi surveys, predictive WiFi surveys are well worth the extra effort because they can save a lot of money on WiFi equipment.

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Planning & Prediction

Deploying a new WiFi network with a ready-to-go estimate of the number of access points sounds so much better than all the shuffling and the necessity of buying additional hardware to finally get that WiFi signal into every corner! NetSpot 3 with WiFi network planning is almost here!
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Planning & Prediction

WiFi Site Survey Software

Regardless of which of the three WiFi survey types you choose to perform, you need to equip yourself with a capable WiFi survey app for Windows.

That can be surprisingly difficult because there are many WiFi site survey tools to choose from, and the difference between them can be dramatic. Here are some key characteristics of a good wireless site survey application for Windows:

  • Intuitive user interface: Your WiFi site survey software of choice should make your life easier—not more difficult. The best WiFi site survey software tools have an intuitive user interface that nicely blends in with other Windows software and the operating system itself.
  • Accurate survey results: The whole point of performing a WiFi site survey is to obtain accurate information on WiFi network, so it goes without saying that choosing accurate software should be your top priority.
  • Plenty of advanced features: WiFi site survey software ranges from extremely simple to remarkably complex. While there’s no reason to go with an expensive professional solution if you’re just a regular home user wanting to eliminate signal weak zones, you should still favor software that has plenty of advanced features because you never know when you’ll need them.
  • Affordably priced full version: Similarly, there’s no reason to spend an arm and a leg on software whose capabilities you would never be able to take advantage of when simpler and cheaper software is more than able to meet all your needs.
  • Helpful customer support: Unexpected issues are not unheard of when using WiFi site survey software to collect information on nearby networks. Helpful customer support can be the difference between finishing the survey successfully and unsuccessfully.

NetSpot WiFi site survey Windows software meets all these criteria and offers number of other benefits as well, which is why we recommend it as the best WiFi site survey software for Windows.

Unlike some of its main competitors, NetSpot WiFi site survey Windows software is constantly updated to maintain compatibility with the latest version of Windows, and new features are added on a regular basis to help users gather accurate information as easily as possible.

In addition to Windows, NetSpot WiFi site survey software is also available as:

  • WiFi site survey software for iOS.

How to Perform a WiFi Site Survey with NetSpot (on Windows)

Performing a WiFi site survey with NetSpot on Windows is so easy that even regular home users with no expert knowledge and previous experience with WiFi site surveys can use the software to troubleshoot and optimize WiFi networks.

NetSpot offers two main WiFi site survey modes: Discover (used to perform passive WiFi site surveys) and Survey (used to perform active WiFi site surveys). Soon, NetSpot will gain the ability to also perform predictive WiFi site surveys, which will make it the most complete WiFi site survey solution for Windows.

Here’s how to perform a WiFi site survey with NetSpot WiFi site survey Windows software:

  1. Download and install NetSpot WiFi site survey software on your computer.
  2. Launch the application and make sure Discover mode is selected.
    • After a short while, NetSpot will automatically display a host of information on all WiFi networks available in your local area in the form of an interactive table.
NetSpot’s Discover mode
  1. Switch to Survey mode and click the Start a new survey button (available in Home, Pro, and Enterprise versions).
NetSpot — Start a New survey
  1. Give your survey a name and import a map of the surveyed area.
Start a new survey
  1. Finally, walk from one place to another with your laptop until you cover the whole area and gather enough data for NetSpot to create a WiFi site survey report. Click the Stop Scan button when you’re done.
NetSpot Stop Scan

When performing an active WiFi site survey using Survey mode, NetSpot gives you the option to save your surveys and export the gathered data in several different formats. Best of all, you can turn the collected information into WiFi heatmap visualizations.

WiFi Heatmap

NetSpot supports several useful WiFi heatmap visualizations, including signal-to-noise ratio, signal level, signal-to-interference ratio, the quantity of access points, PHY mode coverage, and others. The beauty of WiFi heatmap visualizations lies in their intuitive use of colors as a way to represent collected data.

Visualizations

It is no wonder that visual analysis is the most preferred method of research and troubleshooting for many because the graphical overlook it offers on any current situation is unrivaled. Let's see what you can visualize and analyze with NetSpot's heatmaps.

*Please note that some visualizations are only available for Mac, so be sure to check the User Manual for more details.

Passive scanning
Signal level
A measurement that is important when combined with such values as interference or noise; it lets you see how strong your WiFi signal is.
Signal-to-noise ratio macOS
Allows the comparison of the current wireless signal level to the background noise present at each measurement spot.
Signal-to-interference ratio
Though somewhat similar to SNR, this heatmap allows visualizing the effect of specifically co-channel interference from other radio transmitters on the signal.
Quantity of access points
Shows how many access points are detected at each spot of the covered space.
Noise level macOS
Shows the level of effect of the outside interference on the coverage at each measuring point.
Frequency band coverage
Allows you to visually analyze the coverage by available frequencies: either 2.4GHz, or 5GHz, or mixed.
PHY mode coverage
This visualization can be used to see which WiFi protocols are engaged throughout your wireless network. You can see whether 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax or ax protocol is used.
Active scanning
Upload speed
Reflects the rate at which data travels from your computer to a server on the internet. Upload speed is important for efficient video conferencing, uploading content to video streaming services, etc.
Download speed
Reflects the rate at which data travels from a server to your computer. Streaming movies or music, or downloading raw images requires a sufficient bandwidth.
Wireless Transmit rate
Demonstrates the rate at which data travels from an access point to a wireless device.
Iperf3 upload, download, and jitter visualizations macOS
These visualizations are very effective in demonstrating your bandwidth performance in both directions via TCP and UDP protocols.
Troubleshooting
Issues with SNR macOS
This visualization is aimed to assist you in identifying the areas with the low SNR level affecting your network signal strength negatively.
High level of noise macOS
This visualization is aimed at helping you find the areas with excessive noise, which usually leads to very low signal or even "dead zones" with no connectivity.
Low signal level
Use this visualization to identify where there is a need of a higher signal level in order to obtain the optimal connectivity around the areas affected.
Overlapping channels (SIR)
This visualization can help you sort out the most optimal channel usage. You can avoid excessive channel overlapping for neighboring access points and improve connectivity.
Low download and upload rates
Use this visualization to see the areas of lower upload and download speed values. Sufficient speeds are essential for successful content streaming, video-conferencing, and active bandwidth usage by multiple people.

As you can see, performing a comprehensive WiFi site survey on Windows using NetSpot is something anyone can do, and the accuracy of the gathered results rivals even software applications that are aimed strictly at professional users.

SO, WE RECOMMEND
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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.
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Read next in All about Wi-Fi

If you want to dive deeper into this Wi-Fi thing, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi security, the best apps for wireless networking, inflight WiFi, etc.
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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10/11) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax wireless network adapter.