Documentation forSolarWinds Platform

Improve the accuracy of NPM wireless heat maps by taking samples of the signal strength on real devices

This SolarWinds Platform topic applies only to the following products:

Hybrid Cloud Observability EssentialsHybrid Cloud Observability Advanced


Wireless heat maps display the ideal wireless signal coverage, they do not count with physical obstacles, such as office walls. To make wireless heat maps more real, measure the signal strength on real devices, such as cell phones, laptops, or tablets connected to your wireless network. The measured values are stored as signal samples and used for calculating the signal coverage on wireless heat maps.

Signal samples represent the signal strength measured in a specified location.

Take signal samples in places where you expect the signal to be blocked by walls or other obstacles, or in places where the signal strength does not correspond with your heat map.

Take signal samples with cell phones, because polling the signal is usually faster for them.

Simple signal samples

Take a wireless device, walk it to a certain location, and take a signal sample there. Then, walk the device to another location, and take another signal sample. This procedure is called "walking edition" because it requires you to walk through the office.

Multiple signal samples

If you have multiple devices connected to your wireless access points, take multiple signal samples at once (called "sitting edition" because you can do it sitting at your desk).

Signal samples stay in the map and influence the calculation of wireless heat maps even after the client moves from its position.
When you move access points in a map, the signal samples might not be accurate any more. Delete obsolete signal samples, and add new ones.


  • You need to have a wireless heat map created and open in the Network Atlas.
  • You need to have wireless access points added into the map.
  • You need to have clients, such as cellular phones, tablets, laptops, connected to the access points positioned in your wireless heat maps.

Take simple signal samples

  1. Click Take Signal Sample in the Home ribbon. The Signal Sample wizard will display on the right side of the Network Atlas screen as a tab.
  2. Walk your device to the location where you want to measure the wireless signal strength and click Next.
  3. Select the wireless client (cellular phone, laptop, or tablet) in the drop-down list, and click Next.
  4. Drag the client into its current location on the map, and click Next. Network Atlas will start measuring the wireless signal strength in the spot. It can take a few minutes, depending on the device.
  5. To add another signal sample, click Repeat, walk the device to a new location, and repeat steps 3 - 4.
  6. To apply the measured signal strength to the heat map, click Generate Map.
  7. Network Atlas will regenerate the map. Click Close to hide the Signal Sample wizard tab.

Take multiple signal samples at the same time

  1. Click Take Signal Sample in the Home ribbon. The Signal Sample wizard will display on the right side of the Network Atlas screen as a tab.
  2. Click Use Multiple Devices to Take Signal Samples.
  3. Drag the clients to their positions on the wireless heat map, and click Next.
    • If there are too many devices, use the search box to find the devices you want to use for creating signal samples.
    • Measuring the wireless signal strength can take a few minutes.
    • If the signal measuring fails, you can either repeat the measurement for the device, or restart the wizard.
  4. Network Atlas will automatically regenerate the map according to the defined signal samples. Click Close to hide the Signal Sample wizard tab.