• 07/22/2014
    9:06 AM
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10 Handy WiFi Troubleshooting Tools

If you need help troubleshooting your wireless networks, here are 10 tools that can help uncover WiFi problems. Bonus: Some are free!


other tools?

What are your favorite WiFi tools? Any others you would add to this list?

Re: other tools?

If the environment requires the creation of a hotspot access point, tools that allow for their creation can make the process quicker. The network administrator would be involved in this process, but if rogue networks ever become a major security concern, this makes it difficult for the security team to find rogue access points.

Re: other tools?

Marcia, for basic WiFi detection and information I like the Android WiFi Analyzer. It supports 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz, and gives you a map of all the networks, type of AP and signal strength.

It is not for heavy users, but makes a Smartphone a basic WiFi mobile detection tool.

Re: other tools?

That looks like an interesting tool Pablo, thanks. Are there particular situations where it's the most useful?

Re: other tools?

Marcia, the WiFi analyzer is great to use in places where several APs and WiFi routers are in use from different netwroks. Tipically an office building shared by several companies each managing their own network.

A simple tool can help to determine the best channels based on what the other networks are using.

It is also perfect for consumers living in condos where every apartment has a WiFi router. 

Re: other tools?

Thanks for those details Pablo.

A new free WiFi tool was just released today by ManageEngine; WiFi Monitor Plus lets companies monitor WiFi signals from their Android devices. The company claims its the first to provide both analyzer and surveyor modes. 

Re: other tools?

The WiFi Monitor Plus looks interesting, I'm going to give it a try. 

I have over 20 2.4GHZ WiFi networks fighting for spectrum at home. My DSL is working fine because we only have four devices connected to it, but sometimes is difficult to get a good signal.

I believe this is a common issue in condos and big appartment buildings. I wish I had a 5GHz router.

Re: other tools?

@PabloValerio this is a big problem here in the UK, we have so many different services all running at different speeds. In rural England there are some places still using dial up as well as there being no mobile phone network. In some cases its a complete nightmare, even where I live the mobile phone signal is available one minute and unavailable the next.

Re: other tools?

I have not used such tools, although i have used build in wifi scanning tool for smartphone and laptop. Apart from this i guess when you access wifi at public places where internet is free you hardly get speed which is makes situation even more frustating.

Re: other tools?

@david, I remember a similar situation 30mi outside of Boston. The cell operators were not interested because of the limited number of customers.

Also the maximun DSL speed was 2 mbps, Now Verizon has launched FTTC and the situation is much better

Re: other tools?

@Pablo This is the issue here in the UK too, the carriers concentrate on where the money is first while everyone else has to wait for decent service.

Re: other tools?

That tool looks interesting @Marcia I am going to check that out right now!

Re: other tools?

I will recommend you to add NetSpot: . It's good alternative for Heatmapper and in some aspects even better and it also have Mac version. I hope my late reply will help you =)

Re: other tools?

Thanks for the recommendation!

Inssider by Metageek

Not a free tool anymore!


REquies special USB-adapters to get all WiFI packets. They are not cheap.

Ekahau Heatmapper

Can not be used for planning and does not allow you to save the result. You have to get the big tool for this.

Planning requires that the tools know about the walls in teh environment which you can not add in heatmapper.


"Unlike NetStumbler, Kismet finds networks by listening to beacon transmissions from APs instead of broadcasting for SSID, making it possible to find rogue networks that are hiding their SSIDs."


Thi is an incorrect description of the function.

Re: Kismet

Martin, thanks for all the feedback on these tools. The descriptions provided on the site are not very detailed and we admit that the free version of a tool will sometimes be lacking. Do you use all of these tools in your daily work?