If you’re a frequent user of Wi-Fi hotspots, you’ll find this
free software an invaluable tool, especially if you need to
troubleshoot connections. Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector finds nearby Wi-Fi
networks, gives an extraordinary amount of information about each,
manages your Wi-Fi connections, and monitors and reports on network
speed and performance.
For each network that it finds, Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector tells you
whether it’s encrypted or not and if so, what encryption it uses;
the signal strength; manufacturer of the router; what channel and
frequency it uses; and whether it’s an access point or a
peer-to-peer connection–and more as well.
To help troubleshoot, the software also displays your IP
address, information about your adapter and IP configuration. In
addition, it pings your configured DNS server and gateway to make
sure they’re active and alive.
There’s plenty more here as well, including a speed tester. The
software is a more powerful version of Xirrus’s free Wi-Fi Monitor,
which runs as a Vista gadget. Both pieces of software are immensely
useful for people who frequently connect to Wi-Fi networks.
Note: Although the vendor does not support this
program on Windows 7, it worked fine on my Windows 7 test