Android Candy: WiFi Analyzer

I have a new day job, and as part of the hiring package, I was issued a smartphone. I'm a little bitter that it doesn't include a tethering plan, but that doesn't upset me nearly as much as the lack of Wi-Fi analysis apps. See, my new job issued me an iPhone. I really like the iPhone (it's true, I can't lie), but in order to scan Wi-Fi, I'd have to jailbreak my phone!

Thankfully, the world of Android has no such silly limitation. If you've ever wanted to scan for access points or check signal levels in different parts of your house, WiFi Analyzer is an excellent (and free!) tool. WiFi Analyzer will show currently available access points, graph signal strength as you walk around the house, and even give information on signal quality.

Screenshot from the Google Play Store

I've used WiFi Analyzer to determine the best placement of access points when deploying a building-wide wireless infrastructure. I've used it to pick the best channel for my home access points. I've even walked down the road with it to see what my neighbors use as SSIDs. (That last one might be a little creepy, but really, if people name their wireless networks after Teletubbies, you want to keep an eye on them.)

Because it's incredibly useful, completely free and not available on iOS, WiFi Analyzer gets this month's Editors' Choice award. Check it out at http://a.farproc.com/wifi-analyzer.

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing. You can contact Shawn via e-mail, ljeditor@linuxjournal.com.

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