Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. You have a home or small office wireless network. You want to see exactly what the quality of coverage your Wi-Fi access point provides and whether you should move it, add another access point, or otherwise tweak your network.
There are a wide variety of commercial and a smaller variety of free Wi-Fi heat map tools on the market for laptops, tablets, smartphones, and combinations thereof. For surveying a small home or office network, HeatMapper is a powerful tool at a great price. We grabbed a pad of graph paper, a ruler, and a felt tip pen and whipped up a rough and approximately-to-scale floor plan in a few minutes.
Even recreating your floor plan in Paint would suffice. If you have full size blueprints of your home or office you would like to import, most office supply stores, copy shops, and sign shops like Office Max and FedEx Office have blueprint scanners where you can scan and reduce your blueprints for a nominal fee. HeatMapper is completely free, but you will need to complete a basic email signup to download it.
Use a valid email as they email the download link directly to your inbox. Installation is straight forward. On Vista and above, you will need to authorize admin privileges for installation, click next a few times, etc.
Browse to your file and load it. You will then be dumped into the main HeatMapper interface like so:. On the left hand side is a narrow panel displaying all the Wi-Fi access points your laptop can detect.
You can click on the narrow vertical strip on the inner edges of both the AP list and instructions to minimize them to the side of the HeatMap application window. Left click the mouse approximately where you are standing on the on-screen map.
A small dot will appear where you have clicked. Walk a few feet and repeat, clicking on the new approximate location on the map. A trail will emerge in the HeatMapper application like so:. If you want to stop mapping at any time, right click on the map. The map will immediately turn from the trail-style map to the heat-style map as seen in the image below:.
There are a few things worth pointing out on our partially completed heat map.Review - Netspot Wifi Survey Tool
First, notice how we walked the perimeters of the room and then doubled back to walk the center of the room. This is an easy way to increase the number of readings and get a better sense of what kind of coverage you have both at the edges and the center of the space.A WiFi mapper, sometimes called simply a heatmapper, is a software application that can create a WiFi heat map, which is a special WiFi coverage map that visually highlights all areas of signal weakness and dead zones.
Heat maps are used to make adjustments and improve wireless coverage. It used to be that only trained networking professionals knew how to create heat maps using specialized software that would be completely inaccessible to regular home users. But times have changed, and heat map software is now more accessible than ever. When you create heap maps with a WiFi mapper such as NetSpot, you will see a plan of your area overlaid by a colorful representation of WiFi strength.
Typically, greenish and bluish colors indicate a weaker signal, while yellowish and reddish colors indicate a stronger signal. A WiFi map may also have several blank spots on it.
Such spots are commonly called dead zones, and they represent places with no or extremely weak WiFi signal. Dead zones are the nemesis of all WiFi users as they may cause connection drops when roaming from one room to another. Features, price, and support are all just as important, and our choice of the best WiFi mapping software reflects this.
NetSpot is a tried and tested heatmapper with two distinct WiFi analysis modes, and a user interface so simple that anyone can use it without reading the manual. Pick a name for your survey project and select the correct settings for it. Next, either draw a new map of the area you wish to survey or upload an existing one. As you can see, creating a WiFi heat map with NetSpot is extremely simplyand quick. NetSpot works on Mac and Windows and is available for free.
NetSpot PRO can capture up to 50 zones per project and up to 50 snapshots per zone. In total, NetSpot Pro is able to record data points per a single heat map and visualize an unlimited number of access points. SolarWinds Wi-Fi Heat Map is a capable heat mapper that is available as a fully functioning trial software that can be used for up to 30 days without any limitations.
It can automatically create custom Wi-Fi heat maps, find dead zones, and map the location of connected clients. SolarWinds Wi-Fi Heat Map is part of a broad suite of networking applications that includes a comprehensive network bandwidth analysis and performance monitoring tool with features intended to help you monitor and analyze network bandwidth performance and traffic patterns, identify bandwidth hogs and see which applications are using the most bandwidth, and track response time, availability, and uptime of routers, switches, and other SNMP-enabled devices.
Ekahau Wi-Fi Site Survey and Planner is an enterprise WiFi planning and wireless site survey tool with a number of attractive features. It supports To satisfy the needs of enterprise users, Ekahau Wi-Fi site Survey and Planner comes with the industry's fastest 3D prediction engine with multi-floor and multi-building planning capabilities.
It can also create summarized reports of the bill of materials, coverage and performance maps, capacity information, and the entire network layout with a single click of a button. NetSpot has many of the same capabilities as Ekahau Wi-Fi Site Survey and Planner, but it presents them in a much more approachable fashion.
Get NetSpot. These days, WiFi networks are often complex, and with their complexity come various problems, such as how to cover a large area with an even WiFi signal so that everyone can enjoy stable and fast internet access.Easily share your result by one click.
Connection to best access point AP map. If network AP with better signal is available you will see it on map. Interfering networks map. Scans radio spectrum for third-party networks that may dramatically reduce your network quality.
Overview Specs. Features: Signal coverage map. Poor signal means lower quality Connection speed map. Indicates your wireless network throughput Frequency channel map. If more than one AP is used, you can see to which you are connected to Connection to best access point AP map. If network AP with better signal is available you will see it on map Interfering networks map.
Scans radio spectrum for third-party networks that may dramatically reduce your network quality Network quality map. Check if you are connected to Wi-Fi 2. Upload floor-plan 3. Set scale by moving markers and selecting distance between them 4.
Put cursor to your location on map and press "Mark" button 5. Move to another location - at least for couple of steps and repeat previous step 6. Analyse your measuring. How can you tell if an Android app is safe? Explore Further.
Ok I Agree Learn More. Download APK 9. The description of Wifi Heatmap WifiHeatmap is a free tool that lets you create a heatmap of your wifi signal. The heatmap uses the colors red, green and yellow to display where your signal is strong, and where it is weak. This way you can find out where in your room you need to sit to get the best connection possible. FAQ: My device is showing me walking in the wrong direction!
Answer: This has to do with the devices compass. Go into Google Maps and tilt your device back and forth to calibrate the compass. My steps aren't showing up. Answer: This app uses the accelerometer in your device to count your steps.
Because of this, if you hold your device perfectly still while you walk, your steps won't be detected. Allow your device to shake a little while you walk so that it registers your steps correctly. If you find a bug, please email me! I can't contact you through the Play store comments to fix the problem.A WiFi heatmap is a map of wireless signal coverage and strength.
Typically, a WiFi heatmap shows a real map of a room, floor, or even a city overlaid by a graphical representation of a wireless signal. Professional network administrators and regular home users alike use WiFi heatmaps to find dead zones and make adjustments to achieve the desired coverage. Without a heatmap, wireless network optimization involves a lot of guesswork, which is why most people who are not aware of the existence of WiFi heatmap software never manage to achieve the WiFi coverage they would like to have.
WiFi heatmap software fully automates the process of mapping WiFi coverage on a map, allowing anyone to create a WiFi heatmap in a matter of minutes just by walking from one place to the next until the entire area is mapped. Great WiFi heatmap software tools are actually not that easy to find.
To help you out, we have selected 5 best heatmap tools currently available so you can get most from your WiFi network as soon as possible. Available for macOS and Windows, NetSpot is the only heatmap software tool designed to satisfy the needs of professional and home users alike. NetSpot runs on any laptop or computer with macOS To create a WiFi heatmap using NetSpot, all you need to do is enter the Survey Mode and follow the simple instructions.
NetSpot will ask you to upload a map of the area you would like to survey, but you can also create one using the built-in mapping tool.
Then just walk from one place to the next to collect wireless site survey data and wait for NetSpot to automatically build a WiFi heatmap for you. The heatmap will tell you exactly where your wireless signal is the strongest and where it could be improved.
Besides its wireless heatmap capabilities, NetSpot is also a great WiFi analyzer. Switch to the Discover Mode and let NetSpot collect detailed information about nearby wireless networksincluding those that do not broadcast their SSID, showing you what kind of security settings the networks use, which channel they broadcast on, and how strong their signal is, among other things.
Despite having so many useful features, NetSpot never lets its users wonder which button they should click on to accomplish what they want to do. Because of its ease of use, professional features, attractive price, and stellar customer support, NetSpot has established itself as a leading heatmapper and WiFi analyzer, earning the top spot on this list.
Best Wifi Heat Map Tools and Software for Mapping your Wireless Networks
Ekahau HeatMapper is no-frills WiFi heatmap software with support for This heatmapping tool can automatically discover all nearby access points and detect their security settings to help you better understand how you should optimize your own wireless network for maximum performance. Ekahau HeatMapper can be downloaded for free, and it works on any Windows laptop or desktop computer with a WiFi adapter and at least 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of memory.
Compared to NetSpot, Ekahau HeatMapper has a lot fewer features even though the two heatmappers are equally easy to use. With Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps you can turn your personal computer or laptop into an advanced wireless network analysis tool to get a detailed overview of the wireless landscape around you. Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps can analyze both the 2. The heatmaps generated by this WiFi heatmap software tool can be based both on online maps as well as on user-imported maps.
Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps makes it possible to edit the generated maps, which is something that professionals across many different industries can appreciate. You can try Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps for free by downloading the trial version for the official website of the software. Intended for large-scale and local WiFi surveys alike, VisiWave Site Survey provides three effective methods for capturing data. You can either capture data one point at a time, continuously walk through the survey area, or use GPS positioning for outdoor surveys.
Several customizable templates can be used to easily create custom WiFi signal strength and coverage reports, and the gathered data can also be viewed in Google Earth.Wireless networks are reliant on close proximity to an access point, losing signal strength as the distance grows. Setting up a WiFi network for business often means coverage for a significantly larger area, and that requires extra considerations for a variety of potential problems that can arise.
As we expand the service range, signal interference can occur from physical obstructions such as walls and furniture, but also intangible things as well. Any combination of these factors can affect your wireless signal, resulting in slow transfer speeds, dead zones or even connection drops. This is where WiFi Heat Maps can prove to be invaluable tools, pinpointing the problematic areas and helping to narrow down the cause.
Instead of making a blind guess as to the source of problems, WiFi Heat Maps provide the ability to map out and visualize an entire wireless network. To accurately replicate your coverage area, most tools can import images or blueprints of your layout for georeference. Alternatively, manual surveying allows you to walk around the space with a mobile device, building a dynamic map from the data it collects. For organizations where outdoor coverage is a concern, some enterprise oriented solutions even implement GPS.
In a nutshell, these tools translate our environment in to a 2D or 3D space, then show us the problematic zones in our network. Several applications will even recommend changes that can help optimize performance. Capable of creating custom WiFi heat maps, you can poll the strength of signals to locate weak areas and pinpoint dead zones.
In contrast to most software that requires a manual survey of the coverage area, Wi-Fi Heat Map is able to generate dynamic heat maps as well. By polling the signal strength of adjacent access points and connected clients, it is possible to plot out the area based entirely on existing device connectivity.
Once the heat map has been established, you can visualize the signal strength to identify problems and make adjustments to compensate. The color coded representation makes it easy to tell where hot and cold spots exist. Best of all, when used in combination with SolarWinds Network Monitor, you can even determine the physical location of every single network connected device within a range of 3 meters.
Ekahau HeatMapper is a great alternative for home, office or small business use. The Installation Wizard provides a quick, one minute setup and works on practically any machine with a Windows operating system. Out of the box it supports Once you have imported an image of your building layout, you just walk around the space with your laptop to survey the premises.
The software handles the rest, determining signal strength in each area and plotting that data to a map. NetSpot is one of the more balanced packages available, designed to meet the needs of both personal and commercial users alike. They are a self-proclaimed leader in the heatmap sector, with dozens of testimonials from the big tech sites such as C Net, TechRepublic and LifeHacker.
The biggest appeal of NetSpot however is the user friendly interface, with guided navigation for quick on-boarding. After entering Survey Mode, the setup wizard will assist with the necessary steps, either importing an existing floor plan blueprint or walking the space to generate a real-time map of the space.
Depending on what option is used, it will build the heatmap based on the data provided, and offer a visual representation of the wireless signal strength.Download the latest product versions and hotfixes.
Manage your portal account and all your products. Get help, be heard by us and do your job better using our products. Get practical advice on managing IT infrastructure from up-and-coming industry voices and well-known tech leaders. Wi-Fi heat mapper creates color-coded maps for insight into access points APs and client coverage. Easily troubleshoot wireless dead zones by leveraging accurate signal strength information.
Find lost or rogue devices by pinpointing all connected client locations within three meters. A Wi-Fi heat map, also called a Wi-Fi coverage map, shows the real-time coverage and quality of a wireless infrastructure overlaid on a map, typically a floor plan. Wireless heat maps use an algorithm to determine signal coverage, which is then displayed using color coding. This heat coloring is based on estimated signal coverage combined with the results of each AP seeing the signal of nearby APs.
In NPM, wireless heat maps are designed to show where the Wi-Fi signal is best using a dark red color. As signal strength drops, cooler colors represent weaker wireless signal strengths. Creating a Wi-Fi heat map allows network administrators to visualize the real signal strengths of their wireless infrastructure, and more quickly understand which clients have limited or missing Wi-Fi connections.
With the rise of BYOD culture and increasing workplace mobility, all businesses need insight into Wi-Fi coverage to ensure productivity. Enterprises with larger facilities in particular need to ensure widespread connectivity. Using a Wi-Fi heat mapper can help ensure optimal coverage, locate dead zones, and identify areas of excess coverage. Developed by network and systems engineers who know what it takes to manage today's dynamic IT environments, SolarWinds has a deep connection to the IT community.
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