Need a utility to expand your wi-fi powers? Then look no further. Wireless networks can be a mix of blessing and a curse. Yes, they are fantastic in that they can provide you with access to the internet or networked resources without the need to trail lengthy wires around the place (or while you’re out and about). Then again, they are notoriously unsecure, can track your activity and whereabouts and are a potential point of weakness for hackers and other nefarious people. Therefore you need to get to grips with your own wi-fi, and any other hotspots you may come across on your travels.
This could mean the need to troubleshoot connection issues, or getting the best information about each of the connections you manage; in order to monitor and analyse what’s going on or get reports on the state of the network. Basically, you need Xirrus’ Wi-fi Inspector.
Xirrus Wi-fi Inspector is a utility (for Windows XP and above) that can be used for monitoring wi-fi networks and managing the wi-fi operations of a wireless-enabled PC. It provides detailed information regarding available wi-fi networks within range and contains various tools to better manage the wireless adapter in your computer, as well as tools to help you troubleshoot any connection issues or areas where there’s significant lag, for whatever reason. From within the nicely laid out user interface you can search for available networks within the vicinity, which the software visualises using a fancy radar graphic. Additionally, you can use Wi-fi Inspector to conduct a site survey, to better ascertain the state of your coverage, and help better locate your wi-fi devices to eliminate any blind spots. Indeed, it makes it very easy and quick to see if changes lead to any improvements.
Also, you can use it to locate any rogue access points, verify the settings of each device connected, and keep tabs on the various individual settings, channels and so on for each point in your Wireless network. There are also speed tests built into the program, report gathering tools, a glossary of wi-fi terms, a real-time graph showing signal strength and brief recommendations based on the analysis of the current settings of the access points and other connected devices.
Really, there’s a fair amount of work going on here, which is what makes this an interesting (and possibly invaluable) tool for those who are setting up wireless coverage or who just want to manage their own home wi-fi setup to the finest detail.
While you could entertain yourself wandering around with a laptop locating the access points via the radar – though we’re still not absolutely convinced this isn’t just a gimmick – there’s a lot to like in Xirrus Wi-fi Inspector. We did wonder how many of its more involved features will actually be needed by the average home user, but this is a free tool so one should not really complain that the amount of detail available is too impressive! If you’re thinking of further wi-fi expansion, it’s undoubtedly a necessity, so give it a go and see what you think over by downloading it from goo.gl/5ehhWH.