What is a Wi-Fi heat mapping tool?

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What is the best WiFi heatmap software?

Wi-Fi Heat mapping is a way to find out how evenly your wireless is being distributed throughout your building.

Finding the best WiFi heatmap software is not an easy task but we hope to show you what you can do with SolarWinds’ offering.

These tools were originally created with professionals in mind, but they have since filtered down to regular consumers as well.

There are many different WiFi heat mapping tools available online, and we want to find out what makes one of these tools worth while.

We will look at some features about WiFi heatmapping, and why you should make this one of your next purchases.

Can a heatmap show me unwanted devices on my wireless network?

The WiFi heatmap will show you all devices on the network, and can provide a useful visualisation of where these might be located.

There are plenty of other things that a wifi network can reveal from a scan like this.

This is especially helpful if there are areas in your building that have spotty coverage (or none at all). You can use this to troubleshoot potential problems with wifi connectivity across different floors.

You can also upload the blue print of your building and overlay your heat maps over them.

What can heat maps show me?

Why do they call it a heat map?

A heat map is in the shape of a gradient, and it represents signal strength or power.

The closer to blue that you get on the spectrum, means less interference with your wifi connection.

This visual representation makes finding out if any spots are dead zones so much easier.

The magic behind the scenes is actually all mathematical, and Solarwinds wifi heat map  software does all the work for you.

A heatmapping layout is a visual representation of signal strength or power levels on an object, such as in this case wifi signal.

When deciding on the best Wifi heatmap software  for you, there are a few crucial factors that should be taken into consideration.

The wireless router location is the most important factor to take in when deciding on heatmaps and the software that generates it because it will determine how accurate your signal strength will be as well as whether or not any dead zones exist.

If you are trying to use wifi signals outside then you need to be aware of  the fact that the wireless router will be farther away and there may not be a strong signal.

The best wi fi heatmaps software  to use for this would have to take into account possible dead zones, as well as any other obstructions in the way of the signal like buildings or trees. This is where you need an advanced Wifi Heat

There are other tools that you can use to check out the health of your wifi network, but wifi heat map software software gives you a very good visual indicator of how your network is behaving.

Does a wifi heat map tell you anything about signal strength?

A wifi heat map does not tell you anything about signal strength. It is a visual representation of the power levels on an object, such as in this case wifi network performance.

That is why it’s a “heat map” and not “strength map”. As the closer to blue that you get on the spectrum, means less interference with your device there is.

However, you can infer how strong your signal is by looking at a wifi heat map.

A wifi heat map will show you where the strongest signal is, and help identify dead zones.

You can also see how much interference there on a device by looking at the color of the dots that represent devices on your network.

If they are blue or green then you’re in good shape! If they are red or orange then   you need to either move your device or extend the wifi signal.

A wifi heatmap is a type of visualization that helps you see where in an area there are dead zones and interference, which can help with troubleshooting difficult-to-find problems on networks (such as those at homes).

Software for heatmaps

WiFi heat mapping is a way to find out how evenly your WiFi is being distributed throughout your building.

These tools were originally created with professionals in mind, but they have since filtered down to regular consumers as well.

There are many different wifi heatmap software options available online, and we want to find out what makes one of these tools useful.

In our first look at these types of application we will be focusing on SolarWind’s  heat mapping tools, and what makes them worth while. 

We will look at some features about wifi heat mapping, and why you should make this one of your next purchases.

  • Solarwinds is a leader in IT management software for professional services organizations. They help businesses manage their networks better and improve both coverage and performance. 
  • SolarWinds recently released the next generation of their Heatmaps
  • With this software users can see what the coverage of the network is.
  • The heat map also shows how you can improve  coverage areas.
  • SolarWinds is easy to use and includes many useful features that make it the best choice for businesses of any size.

Solarwind’s heatmapping tool is a powerful solution for both prosumer and professional users alike.

It includes an advanced level of detail that can be customized to the user’s needs ,and it has been used by many large corporations to find their optimal WiFi setup in buildings with materials that could block signal.

WiFi heatmapping tools

Heat map markers: the heatmap tool will show where there are WiFi dead zones, or areas of high concentration.

You can then change your router’s settings to distribute WiFI more evenly for a better experience as well as improving your network performance.

Heat map data: these tools will also show the amount of bandwidth that a particular device is using.

This can be helpful in different scenarios, such as identifying which devices are consuming too much of your network’s resources or someone downloading torrents on their work computer.

This information helps you to identify problems within your network and solve them

WiFi interference: some apps use international frequencies that may interfere with other types of devices in the same area.

Knowing this information allows you to take precautions before it is too late and causes any damage such as signal interference from microwaves, cordless phones, electric garage door openers (you get the point).

Easily identify wireless sources near by: when using these tools you have an option to filter out anything not related to wireless networks so that they will exclude anything that is not relevant to your testing.

Can I Automatically create custom heat maps with SolarWinds?

Yes! There are a couple of cool features on the map that make it easy to identify and improve Wi-Fi performance such as dark blue areas indicating high signal, light yellow areas showing intermittent or low connection while red represents no connectivity.

Traditionally it was very difficult to get a visual representation of what was happening on the wireless side of your network. It required a full site survey and was very costly.

This is because the equipment that was needed to accurately create a heatmap  was very expensive.

SolarWinds Wifi heatmap software makes it easy to identify and improve Wi-Fi performance such as dark blue areas indicating high signal.

Light yellow areas showing intermittent or low connection while red represents no connectivity.

Traditionally it was very difficult to get a visual representation of what was happening Wireless

The heatmap overlay is also able to be tracked over time so you can see how your network has changed in an area over days, weeks, months or years with just one click – allowing for quick and easy improvements.

How to create a Wi-Fi heat map

Step One: Download SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) on your computer or device.

This will allow you to view all of your networks at once and keep track of their performance metrics.

You can then click “Start Monitoring” so that the NPM starts tracking data about each access point including signal strength, packet loss rate and roaming status.

Other important measurements such as bandwidth usage per hour for better visibility into what is going wrong with certain areas in particular.

Step Two: Ensure that the location of the Wi-Fi network is accurately mapped by matching it with what’s seen on a physical map.

Step Three: Go to your site and click “Map My Network” in order to heatmap points for individual access points that are connected wirelessly. 

You can also see which devices have been set up using an Ethernet cable connection.

This will generate two networks – one inside the building and one outside, so you can see how they perform separately or together at any given time.

Step Four: Look at the heat map and see the blue dots which show where your Wi-Fi signal is strong.

Step Five: To take a look at how you’re performing in relation to other areas, go to “Neighboring Access Points” – this will give you a list of all the access points that are within range of your own network.

Step Six: This information can be used for any number of things such as deciding on more efficient channels or finding out who’s cutting into your bandwidth when there doesn’t seem to be an issue with it.

Find and fix wireless dead zones

The whole point of using mapping software is to find out where the wireless dead zones are and then fix them.

Solarwinds wifi heatmap software will show you your Wi-Fi signal strength as well as all of the different access points within range, which can be used for various purposes. 

Wi Fi heatmaps  can be used to decide on more efficient channels or find out who’s cutting into your bandwidth when there doesn’t seem to be an issue with it.

These include things such at deciding on more efficient channels or finding out who’s cutting into your bandwidth when there doesn’t seem to be an issue with it.

This is also a good exercise in finding out if you need to upgrade your existing access points.

Additionally, the heat map will show you all the different devices that are using your wireless network and where they’re located in relation to one another.

This can be helpful for optimizing your bandwidth usage or deciding on a Wi-Fi plan with more data allowances if necessary

This is also useful when it comes time to compare signal strength from device to device because some of them might not exactly match up depending on how far away they are from an access point.

Wifi heatmap software can also help  you determine the best placement of your access points, although the aesthetic placement and how well you install them is still up to you.

The last thing to keep in mind is that you should be mindful of the size and complexity of your wireless network, and how heatmap tools can help you to un-bundle some of that complexity.

If it’s a big building or an entire campus, then wifi heatmap software may not cut it for you without some additional help from somebody who knows what they’re doing.

The heat map can help you find what is cutting into bandwidth when there doesn’t seem to be an issue with it. This also a good exercise in finding out if you need to upgrade your existing access points.

Map locations of connected clients

This is a useful feature that allows you to see all the devices connected to your network at any given time and will help identify any troublesome devices if they are present.

If there is a user that is associated with a device that is consuming bandwidth, then it will be helpful from an administrative point of view as you will be able to limit bandwidth based on the physical device.

When you have a heat map of your network, you will be able to see where the densest areas are and this can help identify problematic devices.

To get more information on what other features SolarWinds has that may suit your needs better than just heat mapping tools, visit their website.

Conclusion

SolarWinds Wi-Fi Heat Map

Now that we have looked at the basics of what heatmap tools do, you can explore what you can achieve with the SolarWinds trial version here.

FAQs

What Exactly Is a WiFi Heatmap Anyway?

A WiFi heat map is a graphical representation of the wireless coverage in an environment. The most common use for this tool is to find areas that have strong WiFi signal and those with weaker signals – which can be helpful when troubleshooting problems on your network or identifying where you should set up new access points. It’s also useful if you’re trying to plan out future installations because it shows what frequencies are best suited to different locations.

How Do I create a WiFi heatmap using SolarWinds?

SolarWinds heat mapping makes it very easy to create a WiFi heatmap. All you have to do is install the SolarWinds WiFi Heatmapper on your systems and then run it once every week or month for best results.

How Do I collect information about nearby wireless networks?

SolarWinds WiFi Heatmapper has a great feature that allows you to easily collect information about nearby wireless networks and then create heatmaps using this data.

The easiest way is by running Solarwinds WiFi Heatmap on your systems once or twice per month which will automatically detect all of the networks in range!

If it’s only for one or two days, just turn off WiFi on any devices when not needed so they don’t interfere with the detection process.

This article goes over details if you’re interested: How do I collect information about nearby wireless networks?

How do I make a heatmap for WiFi?

The easiest way to make a WiFi heatmap is to first install SolarWinds WiFi Heatmapper on your system.

You will then need to run the program, either from your desktop or by using Task Scheduler (for more details see How do I create a heat map?).

The interface should now be available and you can start creating maps! To learn how to read them check out How do you read a wireless heat map?

How do I read a wireless heat map?

Heatmaps are very easy to understand and read. You can usually tell which networks are the strongest by looking for the larger areas of color on your map, with darker colors representing stronger signals and lighter ones weaker.

You’ll also be able to see where there are large uncovered spots as well as more detailed information about those specific points in a sidebar below the heatmap.

The most darkly colored section is likely going to correlate with an area that has good coverage but not enough density (or swaths) of access points or clients that it’s “thick” – ie wider than tall. This would typically mean either plenty of open space around them like outdoors or in large are with few obstructions.

The lighter areas are going to be spots with fewer access points, and more likely lots of walls and/or other interference that’s stopping the wireless signal from getting through or being able to reach its full potential.

How should I create a heat map?

The best way to create a heat map is to use WiFi software, like the ones mentioned in our post. These tools are usually able to scan for wireless signals within a certain range and create an accurate heat map of said frequencies.

For example – you could use SolarWinds as your WiFi Software to create a Heat Map with just two simple steps:

Launch the Network Performance Monitor module
Click on “Analyze Networks” from the left menu bar > Choose Wifi Scanner and wait until it completes scanning all available networks nearby.

That’s it!

How can I figure out where WiFi signals are coming from?

WiFi signal is represented on a heat map as blue lines. The more intense the signal, the closer it is to you on your WiFi Heat Map.

A WiFi signal can be detected by looking for two directional antennas that are typically found atop rooftops or poles near homes and businesses.

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