If it’s not Wi-Fi signal strength, it’s channel conflict. If it’s not a slow connection, it’s Wi-Fi dead zones. If it’s not one thing, it’s always something (my thanks to Roseanne Roseannadanna for inspiration). If your Mac is using Wi-Fi you’ve likely experience one or more of the above problems. Fortunately, there is a way to survey a Wi-Fi network. All you need is this app and your MacBook.
Spotting Problems With NetSpot
There’s more to a Wi-Fi network than merely entering a password to connect your Mac to the internet. Wireless networks have all sorts of inherent problems which impede signal strength.
NetSpot Pro is the Mac utility which scans a wireless network and can be used to analyze the network, troubleshoot connects, find dead zones and channel conflicts, even measure signal strength and network speed.
The first step to a faster, more reliable, less trouble-prone Wi-Fi network is the wireless site survey. This step is unlike any wireless connection and monitoring app for the Mac. You can actually load a floor plan, office plan, or area map into NetSpot Pro and use your MacBook to conduct a walking survey.
The survey measures signal strength and collects Wi-Fi data as you walk. What you’re likely to find– because signal impeding events are everywhere– are signal leakages, channel conflicts, noise sources, and more.
NetSpot Pro finds all the local and nearby Wi-Fi hotspot access points and identifies the characteristics of each one. While it can find channel conflicts easily, it’s perfect to detect dead zones within a Wi-Fi network, as well as areas which have noise conflicts.
Not only does NetSpot Pro map the area, it analyzes the signals generated from nearby Wi-Fi hotspot access points so you can troubleshoot weak signals. There’s even an option to test a location’s network speed within the app.
Think of it as a heat map for your Wi-Fi network; either already deployed, or in the design process.
Noise and interference are two main culprits and often create dead zones which can be detected by using NetSpot Pro on your Mac notebook. Why a notebook? Carry the Mac around the office, home, or local Wi-Fi network area to collect signal data. That knowledge lets you place Wi-Fi access points at the most appropriate locations for a more robust network.
NetSpot Pro is updated frequently and is unlike most of the cheaper Wi-Fi tracker apps. It’s actually fun to use, but there’s also a free version for home use, and an enterprise version for larger, company-wide Wi-Fi networks.
If your Wi-Fi network seems slower than you expect it to be, use NetSpot to find the problem areas.