Applications to improve coverage with Wi-Fi heat maps
Wi-Fi heat maps will allow us to know in detail the coverage that our Wi-Fi router or access point provides to the different locations of our home or office. There are tools that will greatly facilitate the task of knowing where the Wi-Fi coverage is weakest, and, therefore, where we must improve it to have a very good wireless speed and not have cuts due to low coverage. Today at RedesZone we are going to recommend a series of tools for both Windows and Android and iOS.
What is a Wi-Fi heatmap?
A Wi-Fi heat map is a graph that represents the strength of the Wi-Fi network signal, depending on where you are. Regardless of where you are, whether in a small or large house, a building or an apartment complex, it is a great support to have adequate Wi-Fi coverage. According to the strength of the signal, the graph is colored in different colors. For example, if the coverage is optimal, it will paint the involved area green, however, if the coverage is very poor, it will paint the area red.
Heat maps give us a summary of the characteristics of our network, as well as the people who are connected to it. Regardless of whether your role consists of being a Wi-Fi network administrator in a company, or simply managing your home network, it is a great support tool , especially when it comes to troubleshooting frequent problems such as low signal level in certain situations. parts of the area. Of course, Wi-Fi heatmaps help to prevent potential connectivity problems before setting up the actual wireless network, so it is ideal to use them before starting to deploy the different Wi-Fi access points.
Although mapping the network coverage area may take some time, it is important to do it before deploying the wireless network. Skipping this activity can result in high unnecessary costs later. Logically we will always be able to count on adding one more AP to the wireless network, but it would not necessarily solve the problem of “dead zones” or those areas with a weak signal. You can also opt for the typical Wi-Fi repeaters to extend the emitted signal, although this could further degrade the speed of the signal, considering that, at a greater distance, there will be a lower level and quality of the signal.
There are also external interferences that generally involve certain devices and parts of the structure of the place where we are. Nor should we forget electrical/radio interference and those that are typical of the environment, since they influence the quality of the signal emitted by the Wi-Fi network. For this reason, the use of this type of heat map applications is essential to determine where there is an area of low coverage, and take an effective solution.
Best Wi-Fi Heatmapping Apps
Currently we have a large number of tools to make heat maps, both for computers and mobiles. However, we present you some of the best solutions that will help you to assemble heatmaps and get more information from the Wi-Fi network, among other things. Some of them require a subscription after the trial, but we think it’s worth it if you’re a Wi-Fi pro.
Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps
Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps is the best tool for Windows to create Wi-Fi heat maps. In addition to allowing the creation of heat maps, it also performs radio frequency analysis in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, both the “low” channels and the “high” channels, although this will depend on the Wi-Fi card that is used. use. It is interesting that, at the time of creating the map, you can draw walls, furniture and other types of materials that could interfere with the wireless network. Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps is a great ally for our networks to be as useful as we are looking for. Because there is nothing worse than touring the area in search of a section with adequate signal quality.
What the application does is measure the signal levels of the Wi-Fi network, scan access points around us and capture information related to our network traffic. With all this information, it is possible to achieve the creation of heat maps. On the other hand, you have reports that you can generate in a personalized way. Whichever type of report you choose, Wi-Fi network diagnostics and recommendations to improve connectivity to it in general will be included.
You can access the official website of Acrylic Wi-Fi Heatmaps where you will find all the details of this great tool. You have a 15-day trial version and then you must buy the license, depending on the time you want to use it, you can choose between a one-month or perpetual license. This according to the number of months that you will be using this heat map application.
It is one of the most complete solutions for managing and supporting problems with the Wi-Fi network. You don’t have to be a professional to use it. Likewise, you can use it for home wireless networks . In addition to allowing you to define the coverage area of the wireless network, it also provides the necessary information for an analysis and implementation of security measures to improve the conditions of use of the network. Of course, you will be able to create heat maps to check coverage zones, dead zones and all the information you need to know about the network.
Now, how can you start? You must upload the map of the place where you are, be it the house, a floor of a building. You may need to create more than one heatmap if you are managing the network for multiple floors of a building. After that, follow these steps:
- Indicate your current location on the map so that the tool calculates the current signal level at that location
- Move around the area you want to analyze so that NetSpot collects all the information necessary to determine coverage
- Once finished, confirm the heatmap creation. And ready!
- You will be able to count on real-time graphics of your Wi-Fi network to have constant monitoring of the signal level and noise generated by interference. If you need it, it has a Discover mode to obtain information about neighboring networks.
We recommend you visit our complete analysis of NetSpot , a highly recommended tool that will be of great help to us in creating Wi-Fi heat maps. You can access the NetSpot download from the official website. Go to the last option to be able to download the permanent free version. They also have other paid versions with more additional functions, according to the needs.
It is a free tool that is designed to work on both home and small office networks. It is quite simple to use and in a couple of minutes we will have it installed and working perfectly. In addition to guiding you through a simple creation of a Wi-Fi heatmap, it allows you to learn more about neighboring Wi-Fi networks and their security settings.
You just have to upload a file of the plane in the place where you are and start moving. In this easy way, you will be creating the heat map. The tool will detect the level and quality of the signal emitted wherever you are. In this way, the heat map will be truly effective in identifying areas where coverage is compromised.
It is good to consider that the application is compatible only with the Windows operating system. You can access the download link .
Wi-Fi heat map apps for mobile
We believe that these types of applications are better used thanks to mobile phones, since today the vast majority of users use both smartphones and tablets, and these types of devices have less reception and emission capacity than laptops or cards External Wi-Fi, therefore, we can guarantee good coverage if we test with this type of application.
Another positive aspect of using a smartphone or a tablet is the comfort we feel when moving around all the points that our network should cover without having to carry the laptop from one place to another. Next, we share the most recommended solutions for both Android and iOS mobiles . They all have the same function. However, each one is characterized by its user interface peculiarities, usability in general and additional functionalities.
It is a free application and very simple to use. It is possible to verify the signal strength of the network to which we are connected. Also, you will be able to obtain information related to neighboring wireless networks, including IP information and network quality in general.
One of the peculiarities of this heat map application is that it is under the ARCore framework , from Google itself. In other words, thanks to the facilities of Augmented Reality, you will be able to create your map.
However, additional software installation will be required to enable ARCore.
It is one of the most complete mobile solutions at a professional level and it is free of charge. In addition to creating Wi-Fi heat maps, you will be able to analyze the network to which you are currently connected, as well as neighboring networks.
A great facilitator to be able to find the ideal location of the Wi-Fi router that you are going to use. On the other hand, it helps you find the points where the highest signal level and its quality are concentrated.
It is an application oriented to home use. You will be able to monitor with ease and a high level of detail what is happening with your network. Including coverage status and heatmap creation. In short, you will be able to reset the Wi-Fi router from your iPhone.
How to avoid Wi-Fi dead zones
We have seen what a heat map is and different programs that we can use. In this way we will know in which areas of the house we have the best connection and where it will be very difficult to connect. Now we are going to give some tips to avoid Wi-Fi dead zones, which are basically the places where we are not going to have access.
Place the router correctly
The first thing to keep in mind is to place the router well . This is going to be very important for the coverage to work properly. Ideally, put it in a central location in the house. We must avoid places near walls or walls, as well as areas where we are not really going to connect.
This will help avoid dead zones. It is important that the signal is distributed well and that it also points directly to where we are going to connect other equipment. Therefore, whenever possible we should think carefully about where to place the router.
Use Wi-Fi amplifiers
We can also use other devices to achieve a better wireless connection . Here we can mention Wi-Fi repeaters, Mesh systems or PLC devices. In all these cases, we will be able to extend the coverage and thus reduce the possibility that we will have errors when connecting.
Likewise, as in the case of the router, we have to place the devices correctly. The objective once again will be to achieve optimal coverage and not have problems.
Have we optimized the device we use to connect? This is also important to reduce dead zones and avoid Wi-Fi issues. We can always use a more powerful wireless network card, a higher capacity antenna, etc. This will help us make the connection work better.
But it is also important that the settings are correct. We must avoid using the wrong Wi-Fi band, for example. The 5 GHz band is going to be the one that offers the maximum speed, but it is more sensitive to distance and therefore more dead zones can be generated.
In short, these are some issues to consider in order to reduce dead zones when using Wi-Fi. We must ensure that the quality of the signal is adequate and be able to connect more devices without problems.