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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Windows: viewing the WiFi networks nearby

Posted by jpluimers on 2011/07/11

Windows contains the versatile netsh command that allows to configure and inspect your network configuration locally or remotely, including WLAN.

One of the things you can do is view the WiFi networks nearby, including all kinds of details not readily visible through the standard Windows UI.

This is the command to do it:

netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid

It shows you information on all WiFi networks nearby, revealing details like this:

inSSIDer graph

inSSIDer graph - click to enlarge (image courtesy of MetaGeek)

SSID 1 : FON_FREE_INTERNET
    Network type            : Infrastructure
    Authentication          : Open
    Encryption              : None
    BSSID 1                 : 00:18:84:24:98:f5
         Signal             : 70%
         Radio type         : 802.11g
         Channel            : 2
         Basic rates (Mbps) : 1 2 5.5 11
         Other rates (Mbps) : 6 9 12 18 24 36 48 54

When you need much more detailed information, then you should definitely take a look at inSSIDer: a GUI tool that monitors nearby WiFi networks over time. It is the free tool showing you a glimpse of what the payed Wi-Spy series of tools from metageek can do.

One of the things inSSIDer can do is showing the WiFi networks, channels and strength over time.
This allows you to optimize your WiFi channels so you have less interference with neighbours.

Highly recommended.

–jeroen

Via: Signal Strength

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