Problems with Wi-Fi can drive one up the wall. Windows seems to have unpredictable ways of handling network and connection problems. “Windows is trying to solve the problem” is an all too familiar message that often gets you no-where.
Don’t despair – there are some tools to help with Wi-Fi problems and many are free. Preston Gralla wrote an article on these, which was published by Computerworld. I’m going to list a summary of some of the Windows tools that can help solve your Wi-Fi problems.
This program produces a heat map of your Wi-Fi coverage. It will eliminate the possibility that you have some “weak” spots in your home or office where the signal is inadequate. While running the program, you walk around the area your network covers, carrying your device. Using the map, you can then reposition devices or your router in order to get the best all-around coverage.
Acrylic Wi-Fi Home
Acrylic Wi-Fi Home displays the strength of multiple Wi-Fi networks. It locates every network within range of your device and displays copious amounts of information about each. This software also enables you to identify weak spots by walking around with your device and checking the signal strength as you move.
This is just a simpler version of any Wi-Fi analyzer. If you don’t like downloading and installing software that you only need once, this is ideal as it runs as an executable.
TamoSoft Throughput Test
If you want to know about actual transmission throughput, TamoSoft Throughput Test measures throughput in both directions between devices, as well as packet-loss and round-trip time. The computer you designate as the server will continuously monitor their throughput, packet loss and round-trip time, displaying the information as a moving graph.
This is another basic test of your Wi-Fi speed, for which you also don’t need to download any software. You go to the site, click “Begin Test” and the site tests your upload and download speeds. It will also help you determine whether your wireless router or your Internet provider is the cause of delays. You unplug your wireless router, connect a computer to the modem with an Ethernet cable, run the test and check the results. Next, you plug your router back into the modem and do the same test using a wireless device. If you see that your Ethernet connectivity is normal, but your wireless bandwidth is extremely low, your router is likely causing the slowdown.
Connectify Hotspot Lite
When you’re in a public place and have to pay for your connection, instead of paying more if you want to connect more than one device to a hotspot, you can turn your computer into Wi-Fi hotspot. Connect to a hotspot with your computer as you normally would, and then use Connectify Hotspot Lite to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot to which other devices connect without additional fees.
Good luck with those pesky Wi-Fi problems. They’re actually not problems – they could become mere challenges provided you get the right help!
This story, “9 free Windows apps that can solve Wi-Fi woes” was written by Preston Gralla and originally published by Computerworld.