I set up a WiFi hotspot in my office. I want to know who is connecting my WiFi hot-spot and especially where the devices are currently located in the building.

Several programs exist that show the IP address and signal strength of the clients. However, I want to know the physical location of the Wi-Fi clients.

The company Nordstrom is apparently tracking their customers in a similar fashion, so it should be technically feasible, right?

What kind of devices do I need to buy for this, and how would I set it up?

  • Position detection of mobile devices always requires multiple base stations/hotspots. See GPS for example - you always need connection to multiple satellites. – Robert Jan 13 '14 at 13:13

The only product I know of that tracks wifi capable devices physically is the netgear nighthawk router. Hopefully this leads you in the right direction.


I googled and googled and found this one.


It says

A real-time locating system (rtls) that locates Wi-Fi devices in a monitored area

"Navizon I.T.S. (Indoor Triangulation System) is a real-time locating system (RTLS), designed to unobtrusively locate active Wi-Fi devices throughout an area of interest (a "site"). Nodes (hardware) deployed throughout the site detect the mobile devices, and a cloud-based server estimates the devices' locations. Device location data is accessible via a REST API"

And that is what i am looking for.


All real time locating systems that I know of use the very old principal used in LORAN and other navigation systems. In your case, in such a system there have to be at least three access points, and they have to be widely separated to get an accurate location that is not ambiguous. But, all three access points must be able to always receive the signal of the WiFi device. This is the basic physics that is not always emphasized in the advertising.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.