Connect with us

Tech

How a WiFi heatmap can help you improve your WiFi

If you are looking for the best and comprehensive WiFi site survey, troubleshooting, and WiFi analysis app, NetSpot is the go-to choice.

wifi tips how to guide
Image: Unsplash

There is virtually nothing more infuriating than a slow WiFi connection, especially when you need to browse the web or send an important email. Now, thanks to WiFi heatmap software, you can see where your WiFi coverage is cold, hot, or somewhere in between. You don’t have to guesstimate where your WiFi coverage is strong or weak, thanks to this remarkable wireless network optimizing tool. 

Wireless signals can be severely affected by electrical or radio interference, physical objects as well as the environment. Do you know a concrete wall or even a single mirror can significantly decrease the WiFi signal by more than 75 percent?

The most efficient way to quickly determine your coverage area or whether your signal is leaking is via the use of a WiFi heatmap.

What is a WiFi Heatmap?

netspot

Image: NetSpot

A WiFi heatmap is a two-dimensional map or graphic representation of the strength of a signal within a WiFi network. The map usually uses a traffic light-style color spectrum to indicate the speed and coverage of the network connection or wireless signals in an area such as an office building, warehouse, conference center, etc.

Green color shows there’s an excellent wireless connection in an area, but the red color is an indication that the connection is weak. Different factors can be responsible for a slow wireless network.

With a visual map, network admins can get great insights on how to readily make adjustments so that the wireless Accent Points or APs. When the adjustment is made, the APs can boost signal coverage, thereby avoiding dead zones.

Heatmaps can also assist wireless engineers when carrying out site surveys – known as WiFi surveys – and planning for capacity.

Why the Speed of Your WiFi is Slow

Here are a few some reasons why the speed of your WiFi is slower than a snail’s movement:

Too Many (or Too Few) WiFi Access Points

Lack of WiFi APs in an area gives rise to what is known as ‘dead zones.’ You may want to adopt a much better approach, but the truth is that it may not be that simple.

When there are too many WiFi APs, it could mar the speed of your network. The same principle applies if APs are too few, and so it is highly recommended that you consult a specialist to ensure you have the right number of Access Points. They should also be located at just the right places to make you enjoy impressive wireless network coverage.

Heatmaps help to identify areas within a region that may require the installation of more access points in order to boost wireless speed.

Interference by Nearby WiFi

Another factor that causes slow network speed is interference by nearby WiFi networks. But a heatmap can serve as a guide by pinpointing other competing networks that may be interfering with your own wireless local area network (WLAN).

Physical Objects or Obstructions

Physical objects such as furniture, walls as well as human beings, can also affect the speed of your WiFi network.

WiFi heatmaps can be used to readily identify obstructions in any building or office that may prevent the seamless operation of your wireless network.

And after you have pinpointed the different areas causing the disruption, you can make the necessary adjustment. This may include installing additional WiFi APs in some areas or even making structural changes to a particular building.

Un-optimized WiFi Network

At times, WiFi networks are frustratingly slow during periods of higher usage. This usually happens when, for instance, a business meeting or event, is also occurring at the same that you want to keep up with your WiFi.

With heatmaps, you can quickly determine whether or not your network is up to the task or you need a replacement.

How to Make a WiFi Heatmap

WiFi heatmap software can automatically operate the coverage mapping process. You may need to upload your office blueprint and move around with the connected client. This movement enables the software to collect relevant data, and then it automatically creates the map.

There are several WiFi heatmappers you can choose from; however, the process of creating a heatmap across the numerous heatmappers out there is relatively similar.

Let’s say a user with a smartphone or laptop with a heatmap software app enters a particular building. The user may create a map of the area from scratch or load up an existing one.

Then the user can start the heat mapping procedure, moving from one location to the next within that building with the smartphone or laptop. The software will be recording where WiFi signals are extraordinarily strong as well as where signals are very weak. 

After analyzing the collated data, the heatmap software app creates a map that is covered with a traffic light-style color spectrum. This color spectrum shows areas with the highest signal strength and those with the weakest signals. 

The ‘green’ color is an indication that there is excellent signal strength, while the ‘red’ color implies poor signal strength. 

How to Interpret a WiFi Heatmap

You will see every access point that the heatmappers detects on the left side of the screen while the actual heat map is on the main screen. You need a heatmap of WiFi coverage for every one of the detected access points by default.

You can see the heatmap that is specific to one access point by left-clicking on it. You can also save the heatmap by clicking ‘Take Screenshot’ which is located at the top left of the screen.

You are now armed with the information of where your network coverage is strong and where it is weak. This will help you to create a strategy on how to improve it significantly.

How a WiFi Heatmap Can Help You Improve Your WiFi

WiFi heatmaps help users to do the following: 

  • Pinpoint WiFi dead zones
  • Automate wireless network evaluations
  • Eliminate slow WiFi speeds
  • Set up a wireless network without guesstimating
  • Grants access to images and reports which can be sent to admins or upper management.

When you know the area of your house, office building, etc. where network signals are high, you will not waste any time looking for a place to set up your WiFi receiver/transmitter. The heatmap has already revealed the best places with the strongest wireless signals so that you can avail yourself.

This is important for seamless access to the web while avoiding dead zones.

If you are looking for the best and comprehensive WiFi site survey, troubleshooting, and WiFi analysis app, NetSpot is the go-to choice. It comes with a vast range of scenarios that users can avail themselves without wasting too much time.

NetSpot can help you to significantly improve or optimize WiFi signal strength by way of heatmaps.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Comments

More in Tech