The best apps to keep your WiFi network in check
If you feel like your WiFi is slow in certain parts of your house, these apps can help pinpoint the problem.
Is your WiFi slow and sluggish? Does a single web page take ten seconds longer to load in your office than in your lounge? Do you have a weak WiFi signal even when you’re standing next to the router? Then you could probably do with keeping tabs on your network and seeing where any weaknesses lie. For this, you’ll need a WiFi analyzer to see what’s going on.
A WiFi analyzer will help if you need to see where the blackspots lie in your home. Some will also help by telling you which gadgets have a connection to your router. Some will even recommend whether you should connect a device to the 2.4 GHz or the 5.0 GHz band coming from your router. There are even apps that can detect cameras located in your vicinity (cue Airbnb owners across the land collectively shitting themselves). It’s all clever stuff and it will all help when it comes to optimizing the connections around your home.
There are plenty of options out there in terms of apps. WiFi analyzer apps can differ greatly in terms of the level of detail they offer, though. So, we’ve collected some of the best apps out there, and you can wave goodbye to frozen videos as you ignore your growing mound of work in the background.
Ubiquiti’s WiFiman is a simple, easy-to-use, and (perhaps most importantly) free app. It allows you to view surrounding WiFi access points and test their speed. This is ideal if you want to check whether or not your WiFi is performing at the speeds your provider claims it will. Not only that, but you can also discover what devices have connections to your router. Anything you don’t recognize? Then you’ll know that your router is compromised and can take measures to rectify the situation.
NetSpot WiFi analyzer makes use of graphical data to help you understand your analysis. The free app displays real-time WiFi data and records it on the screen directly in front of you, so it is great for picking out the sweet spots where your signal is strongest. It also allows you to see what devices have connections to the network at any one time. The app will show you the network with the strongest signal, allowing you to use the internet without interruption.
One of the most-downloaded free WiFi analysis apps for Android is WiFi Analyzer. It is open-source software so there is plenty of scope for tinkering about with the source code if you are that way inclined. If you are in a public space, then one really useful tool is the distance estimator which will allow you to make your way to the nearest WiFi AP and get yourself logged on. This is particularly handy in the event of an internet emergency.
OpenSignal is a really comprehensive free app, as it shows you data based on local WiFi and cellular data networks. Using the detailed map system integrated within OpenSignal, users can easily find their nearest hotspot and phone tower to check which signal is best and where. This is a handy tool if you are moving home and connectivity is one of your main priorities in moving. With the app, you can easily scope out potential locations and see if they measure up signal-wise. It also provides data on networks within your home, allowing you to check for latency and check speeds.
Scany is an excellent app that lets you analyze your WiFi network. It is $5.99, but for that fee, you get an in-depth network scan. The app gives you a wide range of data, from networked devices to connection speeds. However, you also receive a host of additional network tools, such as whois, ping testing, and dig DNS traceroute. The app also boasts a wealth of export options so you can save data down, including the option to export as text, .TXT and/or .CSV files via email.
Wi-Fi SweetSpots is perfect if you need to locate the areas of a room with the strongest WiFi signal. In this sense, then, it can also help with finding the best spot for your router, games console, or whether certain areas could do with a signal booster. Optimize router placement and you should have a fairly even share of WiFi signal across the board. The app is free and, while fairly basic, it does a good job of locating the best and worst signal spots around your home.
WiFi Overview 360
If you’re a bit more of a whizz with your router settings, then you might like to check out WiFi Overview 360. It allows you to connect your router to a frequency range, or channel, with no or very few other wireless network connections. This free app will scan networks and give you the best options in terms of which channel you should be using. In turn, this allows you to optimize your own network and therefore improve its performance.
Fing is a great app if you are conscious about the security of your home network. It is even useful when you’re not home, as it is capable of discovering camera systems on any wireless network. Do you know that funny little hole in the corner of the hotel bathroom? Well forget about that; Fing has just found a hidden webcam in the spine of the Gideon Bible sat on the side table. Looks like the owner has got some explaining to do! Fing also offers regular network scanning and scoring features, along with global and local network outage reports.
The best WiFi analyzer for your needs
Given that it is available on both iOS and Android, Fing is one of the best network analyzer apps out there. Its range of features is really cool. Plus, the ability to find hidden cameras is a nifty little tool to carry if you spend a lot of time in Airbnb properties or something similar. However, all of the apps listed here offer you that extra peace of mind when it comes to your WiFi network. They can even help with optimizing your connection, so it is worth trying out at least one of them. If you would like more information on wireless networks, check out how a WiFi heatmap can help you improve your WiFi.
Do you use a WiFi Analyzer that we haven’t listed? Are you currently tearing cameras out of motel walls like some sort of lunatic? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.
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