NetSpot App Review – Professional WiFi Analyzer, Tester and Troubleshooter

Unless you live far from neighbors, you probably have several overlapping Wi-Fi networks. This is especially true in apartment complexes where dozens of different Wi-Fi router networks can communicate with each other. Conducting a wireless site survey with a Wi-Fi analyzer can help prevent interference from other access points and help you set up a optimal WiFi network

The downside is that these wireless network surveys are often expensive unless you do it yourself. The NetSpot app is one of many recommended professional applications for Wi-Fi network surveys, Wi-Fi analysis, and wireless network troubleshooting. In this review, we provide feedback on NetSpot’s Wi-Fi analytics application.

What is the NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer?

NetSpot is a professional Wi-Fi 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 application is packed with powerful tools and features.

NetSpot Features

When you first open NetSpot, you’ll be presented with a list of every Wi-Fi router network in range and all relevant information about those networks: SSID, BSSID, channel, band, security type, vendor, mode, signal strength, and more.

In this standard To discover tab, NetSpot runs scans in real time at set intervals. These real-time scans occur every ten seconds by default, but you can change this interval to a maximum of one full minute.

The Questionnaire tab is the tool you would use to conduct a wireless site survey.

The main screen of the Wi-Fi analyzer will even show you hidden router networks, although their names are shown as “Hidden SSID”. You can select and add networks by channel for easier browsing.

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 certain devices aren’t connecting as well as they should, a site survey with a Wi-Fi analyzer like NetSpot can reduce dead zones.

Using the survey tool

The most powerful tool in NetSpot is the Survey tool. You can use this to manage existing surveys or start new ones. It offers multiple area types for zones, including closed office spaces, apartments, cube farms, outdoor spaces, and more.

Selecting the correct zone type is essential as the app uses these settings to further calibrate the detection algorithm.

You can design a floor plan 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 available) and work on it.

You can calibrate your map by selecting two points and entering the actual distance between them. The app can take any two measurements and calibrate the rest of the map based on those distances, provided the map you’re using is to scale.

After this, NetSpot will ask if you want to scan other Wi-Fi networks. After you have completed the basic calibration, the survey will begin. You choose the point on the map where your computer is the first point for the Wi-Fi analyzer scan before moving on to the next point.

After you choose a point on the map, the scan starts. You should not move your device from this position during the scan. You should repeat this process for at least three points throughout the house.

When the network analyzer survey is completed, you can see detailed information about each area, including signal strength, signal-to-noise ratio, bandwidth-frequency coverage and more. Selecting a point displays an overview of each network and Wi-Fi 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 the Details icon at the bottom left of the app, you can view the channel, signal strength, sound level and security type.

You can also split this information into four different tabs: Signal & Noise, Table Data, Channels 2.4 GHz, and Channels 5 GHz.

Why does this matter?

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 5GHz band has more bandwidths that do not overlap, resulting in better connection strength and quality. If you’re looking for the best Wi-Fi network quality, you’ll want to connect to the 5GHz band if possible.

The Discover Tool allows you to view individual bandwidths for detailed information about network activity. Use this troubleshooting tool to determine the best channel with the least interference to connect to.

Is the NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer worth it?

NetSpot includes many powerful diagnostic tools in a lightweight package. There is a free version, but you can access more of what makes NetSpot useful if you opt for the Home version. Allows you to set up two zones, with two snapshots and 50 data points per zone. You can get lifetime upgrades for just $19 on top of the $50 base price.

The Pro version is the better bet for commercial use. It is set up for 50 zones, 50 snapshots and 500 data points per zone. You can create more than 12 visualizations and get access to one free technician license if you want to speak to someone on your network. You can receive lifetime upgrades for an additional $49.

After spending several weeks with NetSpot, we find that it is well worth the cost for the network performance improvements you will see. Be warned though: NetSpot is not beginner friendly. 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 network terminology and how to use the NetSpot network analyzer to conduct a wireless network site survey in your own home to optimize your Wi-Fi network and coverage.

Even with tutorials, it can take some time to familiarize yourself with all the features. NetSpot is powerful, but it can be complicated to use. For example, uploading maps didn’t always work as intended, although we did calibrate the app for the correct distances.

If you have a question or want to provide feedback, you can do so directly in 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 answer you via email.

If you have the knowledge and experience in wireless network troubleshooting and diagnostics, you can’t go wrong with NetSpot. But if you’re trying to improve the WiFi in your home and you don’t have a background in networking, you’ll need to do some online reading before you can fully use this app.

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