When was the last time you plugged your laptop into the internet using an ethernet cable?

It was probably years ago, which is testimony to how much we now depend on WiFi. That’s also the reason why it’s important to know about and be using WiFi monitoring tools.

Very likely, you’ve already checked your internet speed using free apps and websites. That’s a great start but it’s only a snapshot in time. There’s a lot more going on with your WiFi that you need to know about.

That’s especially true if many people are accessing your WiFi at the same time. Those people could be your own family, or possibly your customers. In this article, you’ll learn about essential WiFi monitoring tools and why you need them.

Read on!

Stay Connected

While it is helpful to know your internet speed, one of the most important things you should monitor is your WiFi connection. You may not realize that your connection is lost repeatedly throughout the day, as your device will re-connect on its own.

If you’ve got connection issues you can guarantee it will strike at the most inconvenient time. Far better to use a monitoring tool to identify connection problems and the possible cause.

For example, you may see that at certain times of the day your available bandwidth is too low for the number of users, and that may kick you off the network. Only if you use a monitoring tool will you be able to gather the information you need to start to diagnose where the issues are coming from.

Time to Change Channel

In your house or in your business, you may have several WiFi channels. Your bandwidth will be divided across these channels and then shared among the connected users. WiFi monitoring tools will allow you to measure each of these channels and the coverage they offer in your home or office.

If you provide WiFi for customers and staff, then you may want to configure these channels so as to give preference to one group or another. Whatever configurations you choose, you will be able to assess how effectively it’s being used by a monitoring tool that gathers metrics on the network usage across all your channels.

Identify Black Spots

Sometimes people refer to black spots as dead zones. These are areas of your house, business, or office where the WiFi signal is weak. There are lots of reasons for this.

A primary reason is that your WiFi router has limits in how far it will cast the signal. Once you get close to the limit range, you’ll start to lose your connection. Besides the obvious limitations of range, your WiFi signal could be impeded by other objects and barriers.

If you live in a multi-story house, the signal can be lost as you move from one floor to another. How all of these factors play out can be measured using a monitoring tool downloaded to your device. You can enhance your WiFi using WiFi extenders and measure the effective coverage you’ve created.

WiFi Users

Monitoring tools allow you to make smart observations about the habits of users connecting to your WiFi system. You will be able to see how many users there are and what time of day usage peaks.

You’ll be able to identify new users connecting to your network. You’ll be able to see if anyone is abusing the bandwidth by downloading vast amounts of data from torrent streams or other sources. As you read this you’ll see how this is useful in a domestic setting with your family but also why it would be very useful at the office and monitoring your employees.

Security Issues

We’ve already mentioned multiple uses for WiFi monitoring tools, but perhaps one of the most valid reasons is to help maintain the security of your WiFi network. The bottom line is that your WiFi is an open invitation for hackers and malicious software to take advantage of you.

Criminally minded individuals can try to hack a WiFi system and then use it to exploit people financially or in other ways. The scary part is that many victims will be clueless about what’s going on. A monitoring tool will notify you if there are any unauthorized attempts to connect to the network.

Free Vs Premium

It’s great news that many WiFi monitoring tools offer a free version or free trial periods. For example, Acrylic WiFi is a free tool for personal use. You can carry out a detailed analysis of your WiFi system.

If you want to use Acrylic in your business you will have to pay for a licensed version. If you want to purchase a monitoring tool you’ll find many good options at a low cost. For example, WiFi Analyser from Microsoft can be purchased for under $3.

Use WiFi Monitoring Tools

In this article, you’ve read about WiFi monitoring tools and how they can help you. You’ve seen that these tools create visibility for how your WiFi is performing and that gives you an advantage in managing its use and protecting it from attack.

These basic monitoring tools can be used in any setting whether it’s a domestic, educational setting, or commercial. Most often, you can find a free tool that will do what you want, or you may need to spend a little for a premium version.

Be sure to check out other great tech articles on our site.