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802.11 Network Discovery Tool Overview (Wi-Fi Scanner) - Nuts About Nets

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Published on Jun 8, 2015

802.11 Network Discovery Tool Overview (Wi-Fi Scanner) - Nuts About Nets. Visit us online at http://www.nutsaboutnets.com

Nuts About Nets. Innovators of Wi-Fi and wireless pro-audio diagnostic tools. Visit us on the web at www.nutsaboutnets.com.

Welcome to the tutorial video to WifiExplorer. WifiExplorer is an 802.11 Network Discovery Tool also known as a Wi-Fi scanner. It was developed for mobile platforms, specifically Android phones, and is available for free from Google Play and the Android Market. Using your Android phone's built-in 802.11 radio, it collects information about nearby wireless access points and displays the data in useful ways. The diagnostic views are helpful when installing and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks.

When you launch WifiExplorer, the fist view that is shown is a Site Survey. The Site Survey view displays the signal strength of each access point in your area, along with the channel it uses for sending and receiving data. This view also shows how channels overlap in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. Performance will suffer when access points are configured to use over that in the channels.

Using the swiping motion, move to the next view. The occupied channel view displays each access point's channel in relative signal strength. And it emphasizes how the access points in your current Wi-Fi environment are distributed across different channels.

From this view, it becomes very clear which Wi-Fi channels are the most heavily used. Each access point is represented by a color block and the height of the block reflects its signal strength.

The Channel Occupancy view displays how access points in your current Wi-Fi environment are distributed across different channels. Typically, you'll see most access points on channels 1, 6, and 11, and few, if any, on the other channels. Each curve represents an access point and its height reflects its relative signal strength.

The Timecourses view displays each access point's signal strength as a function of time. For some access points, the beacon signal is consistent and steady, while for others, you'll observe some fluctuation. This view is most useful when monitoring a particular access point and you are moving around from one location to another testing for signal coverage.

The last view lists all the wireless access points in your current Wi-Fi environment, along with their SSID (or network name), VSSID (or mac address), channel, frequency, security configuration, and beacon signal strength (or RSSI). Often times, access points with low signal strength come in and out of range. Once WifiExplorer detects an access point, then it remembers it and will include it in the list even when it is out of range. This feature to remember out of range access points can be toggled on and off.

By far, our favorite feature of WifiExplorer is Monitor Mode. This is most useful in a crowded environment where there are many access points, but you are only interested in monitoring certain ones. Pressing the button next to the access point you are interested in selects that access point from Monitor Mode. Thereafter, WifiExplorer displays that particular access point in color, while other access points are displayed in gray.

Here we have the Timecourse view again, but this time it displays only one access point, the one we wish to monitor. And here, in the Channel Occupancy view, and the Occupied Channels view, and the Site Survey view, our access point of interest is shown in color and all the other ones in gray. This makes it much easier to monitor certain access points at locations where many access points are present.

WifiExplorer also has a number of options that can be configured, such as auto-scanning and sorting the results in the list view according to SSID, channel, and signal strength. Also, you can capture screen shots of the diagnostic charts, save them to your SD card, and email them to yourself, colleague, or customer.

So take a moment, download the application, and have fun exploring WifiExplorer and see how this diagnostic tool can help you learn about your current wireless environment and better manage your Wi-Fi network.

For more information on troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks and to learn about our other wireless diagnostic tools, please visit us at www.nutsaboutnets.com and thanks for listening.

802.11 Network Discovery Tool Overview (Wi-Fi Scanner) - Nuts About Nets. Visit us online at http://www.nutsaboutnets.com

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