If you are in need of planning or troubleshooting wifi but you’re on a budget, then inSSIDer by Metageek may be a good start for you. inSSIDer is a tool used to show you what your wireless environment looks like.
inSSIDer comes in two version, inSSIDer and inSSIDer Office.
- Uses built-in wifi
- For Windows and Mac
inSSIDer for Office
- Includes Wi-Spy Mini
- Assists in troubleshooting interference
Radios and ESSIDs
When you open inSSIDer, and depending on whether you organized the main pane via Radio or ESSID, you will be presented with a list. When organized by Radio you get a number of columns:
- Radio’s MAC address
- Broadcasted SSID
- What channel the SSID is on
- Signal strength (in dBm)
- Data rates
Selecting Radio is great if there is usually one access point. If you see two channels listed under the Channel column, e.x. 36+40, it means that wireless network is channel bonding to utilize two 20 MHz channels to form a single 40 MHz channel for increased bandwidth.
Select ESSID and the list of wireless networks will be organized by the SSID name. This is useful if there are multiple access points broadcasting the same SSID. You get the same columns but in addition there is a BSSID count which will tell you how many radios are seen for a particular SSID.
On the first column, under Radio or ESSID, you may see a chain link icon. That shows what SSID your laptop is associated with. [Read more…] about An Overview of inSSIDer