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What is a Wi-fi Analyzer

Wifi Analyzer

In this article, we talk about what is a Wifi Analyzer, its attributes, and some of the best Wifi Analyzers on the market.

Overview

Modernization has put at least a wireless router in almost every home in recent times, and this has led to the cluttering of the Wi-Fi radio spectrum. The use of 2.4 GHz radio band during data transmission has been embraced by a significant percentage of wireless routers. Generally speaking, in a densely populated area, 11 channels should be more than enough, but in actualization people mostly forget or are too lazy to alter the configuration of their wireless router thereby resulting in channel overcrowding as a result of too many wireless routers on the channel; the 2.4GHz radio band in North America is partitioned into exactly 11 channels, leaving channels 1, 6, and 11 as the channels where overlaps do not occur. 

The use of wireless network analyzer in Wi-Fi analysis has the potential of granting insights as to the Wi-Fi channel with the least traffic and plenty of other information that will help in optimizing the wireless network. The concept of Wi-Fi analysis being difficult is merely an illusion; with the right analyzer app, Wi-Fi analysis can be quite easy, and the numerous benefits reaped.

The Benefits of a WiFi Analyzer

When put to practical use, a Wi-Fi analyzer comes through and invaluable tool in respect to problem diagnosis and getting the best out of a wireless network. Wi-Fi analyzer app can be used to increase and balance the speed as well as the reliability of your system. There are a good number of trusted apps from which anyone can make a pick; one must, however, know what attributes to look out for. An efficient network analyzer app must be able to carry out server functions; one of which includes the ability to detect wireless networks in the area and collate as much information as possible about the web, all these done speedily. A minimum requirement for any Wi-Fi analyzer app is the ability to retrieve names of the networks in the area; these are also referred to as Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs), as well as signal strength data and security settings

More sophisticated Wi-Fi analyzers are packed with heat mapping functionality, a feature which gives you the option of capturing network signals strength data on a map so as to visualize and make available areas with a low level of signal strength and the possibility of high network interference. The characteristics of the best Wi-Fi analyzers are not discovered in their numerous features but the usability; they are much easier to use, even by people with no previous history or experience in Wi-Fi analysis

Attributes of a WiFi Analyzer

Some essential attributes that define a dynamic network analyzer include:

The quality of collected data – there is a wide range of data and statistics which an analyzer is capable of providing about a network and those in close proximity. A minimum of the following statistics is expected to be displayed by any efficient Wi-Fi analyzer application:

  • Name of the Network: it is typical of Wi-Fi networks to broadcasts their names, which are commonly referred to as service set IDs (SSIDs), in other to identify themselves to wireless devices uniquely. SSIDs are generally between zero and 32 bytes in length, with zero bytes length SSIDs being referred to as ‘hidden SSID’, used in some case to redirect clients to other networks. It is required of every formidable network analyzer to have the ability to search for and discover every SSID, even if it’s hidden. 
  • Channel in use: the IEEE 802.11 standard is a designated provider of distinct radio frequency ranges, and at the same time, Wi-Fi networks get broadcasted in the unlicensed spectrum; these are referred to as bands. Among other things, a Wi-Fi Analyzer is able to reveal cases where more than a single Wi-Fi network broadcasts on a single channel and provides the option of using another available channel. 
  • Signal strength: the struggle of using the internet with a Wi-Fi signal that is noticeably weak is broadly known among individuals and not just tech-savvy people. What most people do not, however, know is that Wi-Fi strength bars are mostly misleading and have a slight degree of accuracy. Luckily, a Wi-Fi Analyzer has the Wi-Fi signal strength on display in dBm, giving a more accurate estimation of the actual signal strength. 

Best WiFi Analyzer Apps

Two of the most efficient Wi-Fi Analyzer app types are NetSpot and Network Analyzer.

  • NetSpot: this is one of the few Network Analyzer apps that meet every of the singled out attributes above. This is an app used by professionals in executing Wi-Fi analysis, troubleshooting, wireless site surveys and is favoured among administrators. Mac computers, Windows 7, 8, and 10 are operating systems which NetSpot runs on. One unique feature of NetSpot is its ability to support the discovery and survey mode. 
  • Network Analyzer: this is a modern network analyzer app which supports IPv4 and IPv6, designed in such a way that, making a selection between the two internet protocol versions a mere question of the configuration option. This tool has a feature that includes internet speed testing and diagnostic running, making it a lovable app for users willing to run their analyzer on iOS devices. 

By Operation System

Android
iOS
LinuxiOS
Mac OS
Windows