Map Your Wi-Fi with a Heatmapper

Do you have Wi-Fi problems? Or do you want to know how far wireless signals reach in your home? Use a tool that creates heat maps.

What is a Wi-Fi Heat Map?

A heat map shows the wireless coverage in an area by using color, where good wireless coverage will usually be visualized as green, while weak to no coverage will be visualized as red.

Heatmapper tools for Wi-Fi usually start with a blueprint- You will get the best and most precise results if you have blueprints for your home available.

Sample heatmap from the Android-appen WiFi Heatmap - network analyzer&signal meter
Sample heatmap from Netspot

Why heat mapping and not just speed testing?

Heatmappers and speed tests are complementing tools that together give a better overview.

  • A heat map visualizes the signal strength in a certain area and provides an indication of where you can expect to achieve the best wireless coverage. If you create multiple maps, you can compare before and after any changes you make. You can also see how conditions change continuously due to external influences.
  • A speed test only tells you the maximum achievable speed with the speed test and device you are using, for the exact location you are on at the exact moment you are running the test.

If you take your time and do it right, a heat map and a speed test can tell you where in the home signals are good and bad, as well as the speeds you can achieve where the signal is good or bad.

For more on how to complete a thorough test of a Wi-Fisolution, see Testing Wireless: Reality Check for Wi-Fi solutions.

Which tools can you use to make heat maps?

We recommend these heatmappers:

Free apps:

NetSpot http://www.netspotapp.com/ is paid software that is available for Mac OS X, Windows, Android og iOS.

Tips & Tricks

The heatmapper programs are quite intuitive, you just need to be connected to your wireless network and follow the instructions for the program you have chosen.

If you do not have blueprints for the area you are measuring, try drawing the rooms yourself.

It is important to make sure measurements are made close to each other so that the measuring ranges overlap.

Article by Jan Pedro Tumusok and Jorunn D. Newth


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