Unless you live far from your neighbors, you probably have several overlapping Wi-Fi networks. This is especially true in apartment complexes where there may be dozens of different Wi-Fi networks of routers interacting with each other. Performing a wireless site survey with a Wi-Fi analyzer can help avoid interference from other access points and help you set up an optimal Wi-Fi network.
The downside is that these wireless network surveys tend to be expensive unless you do them yourself. The NetSpot app is one of many recommended business apps for Wi-Fi network surveys, Wi-Fi analysis, and wireless network troubleshooting. In this review, we will provide feedback on NetSpot’s Wi-Fi analyzer app.
What is NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer?
NetSpot is a professional-grade WiFi analyzer that works on iPhone, Android, macOS, and Windows. You can use it to conduct Wi-Fi network surveys that measure things like Wi-Fi channel signal strength and interference throughout your home. The app comes with powerful tools and features.
When you first open NetSpot, you get a list of all router Wi-Fi networks in range and all relevant information about those networks: SSID, BSSID, channel, band, security type, provider, mode, etc. . signal strength and Suite. .
in this defect Discover , NetSpot performs real-time scans at set intervals. These real-time scans run every ten seconds by default, but you can change this interval up to a full minute.
The Investigation The tab is the tool you would use to perform a wireless site survey.
The main Wi-Fi analyzer screen even allows you to see hidden router networks, although their names are displayed as “hidden SSID”. You can select and add networks by channel to more easily sort your options.
NetSpot helps you measure the signal strength of your Wi-Fi channel and the steps you can take to improve network quality and functionality throughout your home. For example, if you find that some devices aren’t connecting as well as they should, a site survey with a Wi-Fi analyzer like NetSpot can narrow down the dead zones.
Using the survey tool
NetSpot’s most powerful tool is the Survey tool. You can use it to manage existing polls or launch new ones. It offers several types of spaces for areas, including closed office spaces, apartments, cubic farms, outdoor spaces, etc.
Selecting the correct zone type is critical, as the app uses these settings to further calibrate its detection algorithm.
You can design a map of your space by drawing it, choosing a sample map, or starting with a completely blank map. You can also upload a floor plan of your office or apartment (if there is one) and work with that.
You can calibrate your map by selecting two points and entering the actual distance between them. The app can take two measurements and calibrate the rest of the map based on those distances, as long as the map you’re using is to scale.
After that, NetSpot asks you if you want it to scan for other Wi-Fi networks. Once you have performed the basic calibration, the survey begins. You choose the point on the map where your computer is the Wi-Fi analyzer’s first scan point before moving on to the next point.
After choosing a point on the map, the scan starts. You should not move your device from this position for the duration of the scan. You will need to repeat this process for at least three points throughout the house.
When the network analyzer survey is complete, you can view detailed information about each area, including signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, bandwidth frequency coverage, and more. Selecting a point displays a breakdown of each Wi-Fi network and channel within range of that point.
Using the Discover tool
The other half of the NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer app is the Discover tool. This tool displays more detailed information about a Wi-Fi network. By selecting a network and then choosing the Details In the bottom left section of the app, you can see your channel, signal strength, noise level, and security type.
You can also divide this information into four different tabs: Signal and Noise, Tabular Data, 2.4 GHz Channels, and 5 GHz Channels.
Why is this important?
There are different bands for each network range. For example, the 2.4 GHz network has 11 different bands, but only three of them do not overlap. The 5 GHz band has more non-overlapping bandwidths, which improves connection quality and strength. If you’re looking for the best Wi-Fi network quality, you’ll want to connect to the 5 GHz band if possible.
The Discover tool lets you view individual bandwidths to get detailed information about network activity. Use this troubleshooter to determine the best channel with the least interference to connect to.
Is NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer Worth It?
NetSpot includes many powerful diagnostic tools and does it in a lightweight package. There’s a free version, but you’ll get access to more of what makes NetSpot useful if you opt for the Home version. It allows you to configure two zones, with two snapshots and 50 data points per zone. You can receive lifetime upgrades for just $19 on top of the $50 base price.
The Pro version is the best option for professional use. It is configured for 50 zones, 50 snapshots and 500 data points per zone. You can create more than 12 visualizations and access a free technician license if you need to talk to someone in your network. You can receive lifetime upgrades for an additional $49.
After spending several weeks with NetSpot, we’ve found that it’s definitely worth the cost for the network performance gains you’ll see. Beware though: NetSpot is not for beginners. To use the information, you must have at least a basic level of networking knowledge.
The good news is that NetSpot includes a user guide with dozens of articles on networking terminology and how to use the NetSpot Network Analyzer to perform a wireless network site survey at home. inside your own home to optimize your Wi-Fi network and coverage. Phi.
Even with the tutorials, it can take some time to get familiar with all the features. NetSpot is powerful, but it can be tricky to use. For example, loading floor plans didn’t always work as expected, even though we had calibrated the app to match the correct distances.
If you have a question or want to submit feedback, you can do so directly from the NetSpot app. The Ask a question The option at the top of the screen allows you to contact the team directly and they will respond to you via email.
If you have the knowledge and experience to troubleshoot and diagnose wireless networks, you can’t go wrong with NetSpot. But if you’re trying to improve your home Wi-Fi and are new to networking, you’ll need to read a bit online before you can fully utilize this app.