Mac users, rejoice! With the Mac app NetSpot, you can easily avoid WiFi dead zones.
The app, launched earlier this year for OS X, scans nearby WiFi networks revealing signal strengths, security types, channel information, and more as soon as you launch it. This information is displayed on the Discover view by default, but if you turn on the "Survey" feature, you can build a heat map of your network. You'll be asked to load or draw a map of your home on the Survey screen, or you can choose to use a blank canvas. Then, plot at least three points on the map, and click "Stop Scan" to see the results. You may need to check the list of networks included in the scan, as NetSpot grabs all potential WiFi signals by default. To look at just your home WiFi, make sure that this is the only network selected. The Survey map reveals strong and weak points for the connected network, showing you where you might have some connectivity issues around your home.
The free version of the app offers this WiFi heat map as well as support for speed tests, multiple networks, and more. Multi-level homes would need to be tested in separate surveys or with one of the paid options for NetSpot, as the free option only allows for one zone per project. However, there is no limit on the number of projects you can have on the app. NetSpot Pro is available for $149, and the Enterprise plan costs $499, offering additional zones, users, and features. Users will need to have Mac OS X 10.6.8 or newer to run the app.
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