• #1 NetSpot
  • Wlan WiFi analyzer
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews

Your WiFi Analyzer App—NetSpot

top choice
  • NetSpot
  • Wlan WiFi analyzer
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews

NetSpot can help you analyze your WLAN interference to determine the best WiFi channels to be used by your access points. A professional report can easily be assembled that provides a complete analysis of your wireless network.

What Is a WiFi Analyzer?

If you could see wireless network activity with your eyes, you would most likely be surprised by how many wireless signals are in range. In densely populated areas, the demand for WiFi connectivity is so large that it’s causing major issues with signal interference, which can lead to slowdowns and connection drops.

WiFi analyzer apps, also called a WiFi channel analyzers, make up for our inability to see wireless signals by displaying all important information about them in a visually accessible manner. With a capable WiFi analyzer, free or paid, you can collect information about both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals and instantly transform the collected information into easy-to-understand graphs, charts, and heatmaps.

What Does a WiFi Analyzer Do?

A WiFi analyzer lets you see wireless activity in your area by examining the radio spectrum in which WiFi signals are broadcasted. Most modern routers use two frequency bands: the 2.4 GHz band and the 5 GHz band.

2.4GHz vs 5GHz

The 2.4 GHz band has been in use for much longer than the 5 GHz band, which is why this chunk of the radio spectrum tends to be crowded in most areas with a higher population density. It does, however, provide a larger coverage area than the 5 GHz band, whose main advantage is a higher data rate.

By analyzing the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, you can gather information about all currently broadcasting access points that are withing the range of the device on which you run your free WiFi analyzer, such as a Windows laptop or MacBook.

The best free WiFi analyzer apps can then help you make sense of the gathered information, allowing you to use it for a variety of different purposes, some of which we discuss later in this article. Some free WiFi analyzer Windows and Mac apps can even zero in on a specific network and visualize its coverage on a map by putting together information gathered from different parts of the covered area.

How Are WiFi Analyzer Apps Used?

To use a WiFi analyzer app, you don’t need to be an expert on wireless networks. Most WiFi analyzer apps are actually used by regular people who want to maintain connection quality and quickly identify problems that are preventing them from watching videos on the internet, playing online games, browsing the web, or even sending email messages.

all features of modern WiFi analyzer apps like NetSpot are accessible to beginners and pros alike

Of course, WiFi analyzer apps are also used by professionals whose job is to set up complex enterprise networks and seamlessly cover multiple floors with a strong WiFi signal. What’s important, however, is that all features of modern WiFi analyzer apps like NetSpot are accessible to beginners and pros alike.

Even if you’re happy with the performance of your WiFi network, you should consider using a WiFi analyzer app to see if there’s room for improvement. There could be small areas of signal weakness, also known as dead zones, that you’re not aware of because they cause problems only sporadically.

What Information Does a WiFi Analyzer App Show?

WiFi analyzer apps like NetSpot show a wealth of useful information to help you troubleshoot and improve your network's coverage, capacity, and performance. Here’s a small sample of what NetSpot can gather:

  • Service Set Identifier (SSID): In simple terms, an SSID is the name of a WiFi network as you see it when you choose from a list of available networks on your mobile device or computer.
  • Basic Service Set Identifier (BSSID): This unique identifier is used to distinguish between individual WiFi access points, and it typically corresponds to an access point’s MAC address.
  • Signal strength: Usually indicated in dBm (decibel milliwatts), signal strength is a logarithmic measure expressed in negative values, with -30 dBm being the maximum signal strength one can realistically hope to achieve.
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): Useful for determining how much a WiFi signal stands out from unwanted signals, SNR is a measurement of signal strength relative to background noise.
  • Band: WiFi analyzer apps can tell you which WiFi frequency band is used by a wireless router.
  • Channel: It’s also important to know which WiFi channels in your area are used the most and which are relatively empty. With a WiFi channel analyzer, you can visualize channel usage and instantly see which channels should be avoided.
  • Security: Unsecured wireless networks present a huge security threat, but you can easily identify them with the right WiFi analyzer app.
  • Vendor: Unfortunately, not all WiFi vendors are known for keeping their products secure, which is why it’s useful to know who has manufactured the routers that are broadcasting WiFi signals in your area.
  • Noise: Indicates the amount of signal interference caused by non-WiFi devices, such as cordless phones, security cameras, baby monitors, microwaves, Bluetooth headphones, smart home gadgets, and so on.
  • PHY mode: Shows you which 802.11 protocols (a, b, g, n, or ac) are used by access points in the area. Access points using older 802.11 protocols are more likely to lack support for modern security standards and data transmission technologies.

Equipped with all this information, you can easily troubleshoot complex WiFi issues and ensure that you’re getting the best coverage and performance possible.

Here's How to Use NetSpot as a Wi-Fi Analyzer

Step 1

Upload a floorplan

Open NetSpot and upload a floorplan of the area you wish to analyze.

Wireless Network Analyzer
Step 2

Complete the site survey

Complete the site survey, using the directions in the NetSpot Knowledgebase. How do I start my Wi-Fi survey?

WLAN Complete Analyzer
Step 3

Analyze the heatmap

Analyze the resulting Signal-to-Noise Ratio heatmap that is displayed. Look for areas of dark blue and purple. These are spots where coverage may be inadequate.

Analyze WiFi Signal Strength
Step 4

Adjust the heatmap

Adjust the Signal-to-Noise heatmap if desired, by changing the min and max signal variables on the sliders in the visualization config popup, as well as the AP detection proximity.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio WiFi Analyze
Step 5

View the heatmap

View the Signal-to-Noise Ratio heatmap by specific network, if desired. Go to the control panel to the left of the heatmap and uncheck the boxes next to the names of the networks you do not want displayed.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio heatmap
Step 6

Analyze your Wi-Fi network

Analyze your Wi-Fi network by specific channel, if desired. Click on Configure > Select Networks by Channel at the bottom of the control panel to select the desired channel.

Analyze WLAN interference with NetSpot to determine the best channels
Step 7

Export the heatmap

Export your Signal-to-Noise Ratio heatmaps to PDF by clicking the Export button on the top of the NetSpot window.

Export the heatmap
Step 8

Continue to analyze

Continue to analyze your wireless network by selecting other reports from the drop-down menu in the lower toolbar of the NetSpot window. Other Wi-Fi analyzer reports include Signal Level, Signal-to-Interference Ratio, Noise Level, and Quantity of Access Points, Download and Upload rates , Wireless Transmit Rate and Troubleshooting . Export additional heatmaps as needed.

Wi-Fi Analyzer Reports

Once you have exported all of your WiFi heatmaps, it is easy to analyze your WLAN and identify the optimum configuration for your Wi-Fi access points. No other wireless analyzer makes it so quick and easy to completely map your network.


The Best WiFi Analyzer App

  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • 500K
  • Users

NetSpot is the best free WiFi analyzer app for Windows and macOS because it makes professional WiFi analysis accessible to anyone. With the desktop version of NetSpot, you can instantly collect all important information about nearby WiFi networks and create interactive heatmaps with detailed coverage information.

  • Discover mode

    Reflects the rate of data transfer from user to the Internet.
  • Survey mode

    Available on any MacBook with macOS and PC laptop on Windows.

Both the Windows and macOS version of NetSpot can be downloaded and used for free with certain limitations. Paid licenses are available as one-time purchases, so there’s no reason to worry about recurring subscription fees.

In certain situations, it can be handy to analyze WiFi networks using a mobile device, which is why NetSpot is also available as a free WiFi analyzer for Android and as well as an iOS WiFi analyzer that could be found in App Store.

NetSpot WiFi Analyzer for Android

NetSpot WiFi Analyzer for iOS

NetSpot for iPhone and Android

Using NetSpot on your smartphone is just as easy as using it on a laptop — no special knowledge required.

More about the NetSpot WiFi analyzer Windows app.

NetSpot Free WiFi Analyzer and Scanner will

  • Scan and analyze your wireless network
  • Help you to analyze AP info like frequency band, channel, security type, etc.
  • Analyze a WiFi network for signal level and noise
  • Visualize and analyze WLAN site
  • Scan, visualize, and analyze WiFi coverage
  • Act as a simple but powerful free WiFi analyzer app
Free WiFi analyzer app runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.
  • 4.8
  • 969 User reviews
  • #1
  • WiFi analyze app

  • 500K
  • Users
  • 6
  • Years
  • Cross-platform
  • Mac/Windows

Free WiFi Analyzer FAQ

How can I analyze my WiFi with NetSpot?

In order to analyze your WiFi with NetSpot start by uploading the floor plan to the app and perform a site survey. The heatmap that you get after the survey will help you visually analyze your wireless signal and see where the changes might be needed. Your heatmap can be exported into file for further usage.

How do I start my first survey?

  1. Open NetSpot and click “Start a New Survey.”
  2. Name your new project.
  3. Upload or draw a new map.
  4. Click on two points on the map and enter the actual distance between them in feet or meters.
  5. Walk to one corner of your area and click a point on the map that corresponds to where you are standing. Let the app take the measurements — wait for green circle to appear on map.
  6. Measure your whole space and once done — click the Stop Scan button.

How to Analyze a WiFi heatmap?

When analyzing the Signal-to-Noise Ratio heatmap you need to look for areas of dark blue and purple. These are the possible areas with insufficient coverage.

How can I analyze my Wi-Fi network with NetSpot?

With NetSpot you can build a comprehensive heatmap of your WiFi area. The heatmap visually shows you the areas where coverage is inadequate. 12+ types of visualizations help you analyze your coverage by different parameters. You can analyze heatmap by specific network or WiFi channel.

What is the best free WiFi analyzer?

NetSpot stands out as the best free WiFi analyzer app for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices because it combines professional features with an easy-to-use user interface, making it suitable for regular home users and network administrators alike.

Is there a free WiFi app that works?

Yes, there are many free WiFi analyzer apps that can be used to analyze both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz signals, but not all of them are equally capable or easy to use. Some may even give inaccurate readings, which is why you should always use the best free WiFi analyzer app available for your operating system.

Which WiFi analyzer is the best?

With so many WiFi analyzer apps available, finding the best one is far from easy. One WiFi analyzer app that has received countless raving reviews from real users and professional reviewers alike is NetSpot, and you can download it free of charge for Windows, Mac, and even mobile devices.

What does a WiFi analyzer do?

A WiFi analyzer gathers information about wireless activity in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, allowing you to see all broadcasting access points in your area and analyze their configuration and status. This can be useful when troubleshooting various network problems or optimizing a network to achieve the best performance and coverage possible.

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Next in Wi-Fi Analysis

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.
Get NetSpot for Free
Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.