Wireless network scanners can come in really handy for spotting, identifying and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks. One of the widely used free software, NetStumbler, has been hailed long for it’s well-proven performance, but does not work well with Windows 7, Vista and XP 64-bit. inSSIDer covers up this deficiency by adding full support for the latest generation of Windows OS as well as supporting x64 architecture. In short, it is a more reliable alternative to NetStumbler.
The software comes in as a small, installable package. Running it will present you with the option to choose the correct Wi-Fi network card that your machine is using. Make your choice and click Start Scanning. The software will identify and list all the available Wi-Fi networks in range, and show signal strength, MAC address, vendor information, RSSi, security, connection speed etc. The graph shows how the signal strength for each access point changes over time, and can be useful in identifying recurring patterns.
inSSIDer is also compatible with most GPS devices (if you have one), and gives you the option to export Wi-Fi and GPS data to a KML file that can be viewed with Google Earth as well. The control over GPS features can be better achieved through the program’s preferences.
This tool can come in really handy for hunting down wireless networks on the go, or to spot the best network in an area of high access point concentration. It requires a minimum of.NET Framework 2.0 which won’t be a problem if you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7. For more, also check out outSSIDer and Zamzom Wireless Network Tool.