What is PHY Mode (a/b/g/n/ac) Coverage? [PRO]

The PHY Mode Coverage visualization shows you which 802.11 protocols (a, b, g, n or ac) are present in your scanning area:

  • Purple represents 802.11a
  • Green represents 802.11b
  • Yellow represents 802.11g
  • Red represents 802.11n
  • Light Blue represents 802.11ac
  • Dark Grey represents areas where no frequency is detected above the Mode PHY Coverage Signal Level specified in the settings (see below).

A color different from those listed above means that two protocols overlap. For instance orange indicates a mix of n and g. When you hover over a point on the map, the protocol(s) present will be outlined in black on the colored map key on the bottom-right of the screen.

The PHY Mode Coverage visualization is one of the PRO visualizations available only to those that have upgraded to the PRO or Enterprise version of NetSpot.

PHY Mode heatmap

There are several ways you can adjust this heatmap view:

  • Wi-Fi Network: Each Wi-Fi network detected can be mapped individually. Simply check the box next to the network(s) you wish to view on the left-hand side of the NetSpot window.
  • Wi-Fi Channel: By clicking on the Project Configuration gear icon (on the bottom-left), you can also view the PHY Mode coverage by channel.

    settings gear icon

    Project Configuration icon

  • View: By clicking on the Project Configuration gear icon and selecting Toggle, you can choose whether to show your path, sampling points, and AP titles on the map.
  • AP Detection Proximity: By clicking the Visualization Configuration gear icon (next to the visualization drop-down menu), you can filter out weaker access points (APs) by adjusting the AP detection proximity slider. The default is -60dBm.

    visualization gear icon

    Visualization Configuration icon

  • Mode PHY Coverage Signal Level: By clicking the Visualization Configuration gear icon, the minimum signal level can be set. The default level is set at -70dBm.