Note: This review addresses v1.2.0.0708 of the
If you have a wireless network, you know the true meaning of
frustration. If your house has than one story, or if rambles, you
probably have dead spots where your wireless network doesn’t have a
strong enough signal. In an apartment or an office in a shared
building, you have more problems with competing networks as well.
Trying to troubleshoot wireless networking can be a nearly
impossible task. That’s where InSSIDer, a great piece of free
software, comes in.
InSSIDer finds all wireless networks within range of your PC,
and displays their signal strength as it changes over time. It also
shows visually the channels on which your wireless network is
Why is all of this important, and how can you use InSSIDer?
First is that you can walk around your house or office, and see the
strength of the network in different locations. Based on that, you
can either relocate your PCs, or relocate your wireless router,
until you fix the problem.
In addition, by showing all wireless networks within range, and
showing on which channels they broadcast, you can look for network
conflicts. For example, you may find out that on the top floor of
your house, a neighbor’s wireless network is broadcasting on the
same channel as yours–and that its strength is even stronger than
yours, causing no end of problems. Based on that, you can change
the channel that your router uses for transmission.
The upshot? InSSIDer is one of the best utilities for
troubleshooting wireless networks. That it’s free makes it only
better. Note that you’ll have to install this software on a PC with
a wireless adapter; it won’t work with PCs that are connected to a
network via Ethernet.