NetSurveyor is a free wireless network discovery an analysis tool showing real time information on wireless access points around you, various charts and graphics display Access Point, Channel Timecourse and usage, Wi-Fi channel heatmap and a 3D Spectogram. Data can be logged for later analysis and exported to a PDF file including a full report with screenshots or playing back the recorded data on an included application called NetPlayer.
Physical barriers weakening wireless signals are impossible to spot if the Access Point is not in view (e.g. multiple floors), that is when the graph of the beacon strength (signal quality) of each access point updated every few seconds comes in handy, allowing you to position your laptop in the best possible place. A single click (View>Adapter information) can show wireless card properties, like NDIS name, description, MAC address and 802.11 driver in use.
Access Point signal data is nicely presented in colors, if you have various access points it can get confusing with so many lines, selecting one of the Access Point names highlights its own graph in bold and unchecking a box next to the Access Point name makes it visible or invisible on the grid, using these tools you can tailor NetSurveyor to only monitor the Access Point you are interested in.
As soon as NetSurveyor is launched a snapshot of the beacon strength is taken, refreshed later on, a chart shows each access point beacon qualities, displaying a comparison using colored bars. The heatmap is useful to spot which are the most used Wi-Fi channels by just looking at the colors it is easy to work it out, alternatively you can look at the Channel Spectogram displaying a 3D representation of channel usage in relation to time.
If you do not have a wireless adapter you can still use NetSurveyor in “Demo” mode to experiment with it and learn how it works, all of the features are available in “Demo” mode with the data being generated by a built-in simulation module. NetSurveyor is a must have tool for professionals troubleshooting wireless networks or home users who want to learn and see a wealth of information about their own Wi-Fi network and surroundings, a complete easy to understand NetSurveyor help manual with screenshots is available but only accessible online.