For most PC users, Wi-Fi networks are a royal pain to setup and maintain. For Mac users and Airport owners, it’s a bit easier thanks to Apple’s famed user friendly interface. What if you want to scan, monitor, map, and troubleshoot a local Wi-Fi network? What’s the best way?
All you need is the free Mac app NetSpot. This is a great app for MacBook users who want to troubleshoot Wi-Fi network dead spots or weak areas, but it’s also good to scan a wireless network for devices, monitor the Wi-Fi network signal, and measure signal strength and speed.
Open NetSpot and scan the local networks from your Mac.
NetSpot lists all the networks and devices, including band, security levels, signal to noise ration, and more data than you’ll get using Apple’s built-in Airport for OS X.
Even better than the basics, NetSpot also troubleshoots a Wi-Fi network by doing a location survey area map.
NetSpot comes with a map drawing feature, though you can upload a floorplan to track and calibrate a Wi-Fi network.
Within minutes you can analyze your local or office Wi-Fi network, visualize the network with a floor plan, plan for a new and larger network, or troubleshoot weak locations in your current network.
How is this app free? Think of it as a trial version of the Pro or Enterprise apps, both of which have a hefty price tag, but also have fewer restrictions.
Restrictions? Yes, the free app is for personal use, not commercial. It also watches only 50 data points, does only two visualizations, and does just one zone per project, and a single snapshot per zone.
Most home users will do just fine with the free version, but for businesses with a more complex Wi-Fi network configuration will opt for the Pro or Enterprise version.