The BYOD (Bring your on Device) era is in full Swing, and what better way to know where your Bandwidth is being allocated and used than to Monitor your WIFI Networks and Analyze Traffic as well.
The last thing you want going on in your networks is a rogue user who is downloading illegal content or using your WiFi hotspot as a leech for other illegal file transfers or torrents.
Here is our list of the best Wifi analyzer software for networks:
- SolarWinds Wifi Analyzer with NPM – EDITOR’S CHOICE This monitoring tool for wireless network plots the signal of a wireless AP over an office floor-plan and also shows the endpoints in the area. The Wifi service is part of the Network Performance Monitor, which runs on Windows Server. Start a 30-day free trial.
- Paessler PRTG – FREE TRIAL This package is a customizable bundle of monitors for networks, servers, and applications. Among the sensors that you can activate is a wireless network management system. Runs on Windows Server. Start a 30-day free trial.
- Acrylic Wireless This WiFi tracking system identifies wireless APs and creates a heatmap for the layout of your premises. This is color-coded to show the signal strength in each area. The system will produce recommendations for Wifi service improvement. Runs on Windows.
Some of the main tasks of Analyzing your WiFi Networks are as follows:
- Find and Diagnose Under-performing Wireless access points
- Analyze Bandwidth usage Per User or IP Address by AP
- Ability to Visualize and Diagram Wireless Networks Quickly and Efficiently
- Build Heat Maps to Visualize Dead Zones and Spots within your Building
- Poll Access Points for Connected Clients/Users and Display IP Addresses Used
- Inventory IP Address of WiFi Users along with Bandwidth and Signal Strength
- Inventory AP's, Channels and Signal Strength to ensure maximum performance
- Monitor Up-time/Down-time of APs and Thin clients.
- Find Last Access Times of WiFi Users per Access Point
- Monitor Bandwidth and Loads on the Access Points
- Alerts, Monitors and Reporting Features
The criteria above is not 100% thorough but more of a Baseline of what we're looking for in Wifi Monitoring and Analyzing Software. With that said, many of the programs listed below will have all of the features and many more.
Here's the Best Wifi Network Analyzers & Monitoring Software of 2021:
Below is a list of the best tools we've discovered for wireless analysis and enterprise monitoring – some are FREE and others are paid tools. Nonetheless, we recommend downloading them and giving them a try in your networks to see if they meet your qualifications.
SolarWinds has probably one of the most Robust and impressive wireless tools on the Market as of 2017 – Due to their long history of provide network monitoring tools and software for network connections, delving into the Wifi realm wasn't very difficult.
Some main features of SolarWinds Wifi Analyzer with NPM (Network Performance Monitor) are as follows:
- Automatically Scan & Discover Wifi Access Points for Easy setup
- Automatically Build a Visual Heat Map of Access Points along with corresponding Signal Strengths
- Manage Thin or Autonomous AP Clients easily within the Dashboard
- Inventory all Users and their Corresponding IP Addresses within the Dashboard
- Inventory Mac Address, Device Name, IP Address, Signal Strength, Exact Time User Connected to AP, Data Transfer Rate, Bytes Received/Transmitted.
- Find Rouge Wifi Users/Clients/Phones/Devices Quickly within Dashboard
- Monitor Bandwidth Usage by User/Device/Phone/Ipad or whatever device is connected by Ip Address, Name, etc.
Here are a Few screenshot from the Software that will give you a better understanding of its Usage and Abilities:
- Highly scalable enterprise-focused tool
- Supports detailed reporting for heatmaps and site surveys
- Utilizes a number of templates to recreate accurate coverage based on brand name equipment
- Alerting is easy to configure and helps alert to issues before they impact network performance
- Can be used by MSPs to providing heat mapping as a service
- Integrates well into other SolarWinds tools
- Feature-rich, requires knowledge of heat mapping and wireless network to fully utilize
SolarWinds NPM Wifi Analyzer is our top pick for a Wifi analyzing tool to monitor your wireless network because it performs a network discovery phase that locates all of your endpoints and maps these on a submitted office floor-plan. The service then overlays a display of signal strength across the depiction. This tool is part of the Network Performance Monitor, which tracks the statuses of network devices. So, the Wifi management section of this package extends the monitor’s competence into wireless networks.
OS: Windows Server
Paessler PRTG is another long standing software in the network monitoring industry and rightfully so – they've not only perfected their infrastructure monitoring capabilities, but have also added support for Wifi Monitoring as well.
Some features of PRTG Wifi Analyzer are as follows (this list isn't fully compete, so make sure to check out their official site for more info at the link below):
- Support for Major Manufacturers including: Netgear, Aruba, Meraki, Ruckus/Brocade, D-Link and Extreme Networks along with many other manufacturers.
- SNMP Monitoring, Packet Analysis/Sniffing and Netflow are used for Analysing Wifi Traffic.
- Monitor Device Status, Alarms, Uptime/Downtime, Load, Traffic, Signal Strength of Individual SSID's and Last Access.
Screenshots of PRTG in action:
- Built for professionals and enterprise use
- Supports both heat mapping as well as wireless network performance monitoring
- Makes great use of visualizations to map out more complex wireless networks
- Could offer better reporting features
- Could be redesigned to be more user-friendly, especially when it comes to filtering aspects of the heatmap
More Information: https://www.paessler.com/wifi-monitoring
3. Acrylic Wireless
Acrylic WiFi is another good option for diagnosing issues with your wireless network as well as getting a good overview and insight into access points, wifi channels, signal strength and connected devices.
With a feature list that is ever-growing Acrylic has an extensive list of tools that can be used for diagnosing slow wireless signals and connections as well as test speeds for uploads/downloads on your network. Some features that come with Acrylic include:
- Inventory all connected Devices per Access point
- Extract information on Max transfer speeds per Access Point and Client
- Device Information of Clients connected to AP
- Detects Access Points and Clients connected to them (Supports 802.11A/B/G/N/AC)
- Extract Stats about Packet Retry Rates to identify Coverage Issues
Screenshots of Acrylic:
- Designed for small to medium-sized businesses making it easy to use for less experienced users
- Automatically identifies best places for access point placement
- Drawing walls, rooms, and specifying building materials are easy
- Lacks mobile app
- Not designed for enterprise use
More Information: https://www.acrylicwifi.com/en
Wifi is one of the most prevalent ways of accessing the internet nowadays, especially with the popularity of laptops and mobile devices becoming more and more accessible. Students and professional work environments are transforming migrating away from Ethernet connected networks and depending more on wireless networks to service all users from wherever they are located.
Colleges and Universities are almost entirely wireless and with the constant threat of malware and phishing that is being spammed around the internet, having a insight into your wifi networks on campus has never been more important. On top of that, monitoring wireless networks and deep packet analysis will help root out users who are using and abusing the internet and bandwidth by downloading Torrents, movies, mp3's and other media illegally.
For Enterprise and Business users, we highly recommend SolarWinds NPM for Wireless – They provide the best coverage and packet analysis features on the market. You can download a Free Trial of their software here and install within Minutes to start monitoring seamlessly. PRTG is also a great option as well and is another industry leader.