Xirrus is a leading provider of high-performance wireless networks. It has a simple free tool called Wi-Fi Inspector that provides a real-time radar type of search for any nearby wireless access points. It has a radar built-in that shows where all the available wireless networks are.
The tool is simple but getting it is a bit hassle. Since it’s a tool provided by a well-known vendor, you need to provide your work information to obtain it. Installing it will also prompt you a SmartScreen protection warning like below. Click More options and Run anyway button to proceed.
Once installed, you can launch it by locating it in the Start menu. The tool will automatically start scanning for any nearby wireless networks and list them all in the tool, with detail information about the one you are currently connected in the Connection panel.
The Networks panel displays more detailed information about any wireless networks that have been detected to supplement the data in the radar, including the vendors, Security, WiFi mode, Frequency, Channel, and Network Type. It supports WiFi Standard 802.11ac, both Wave 1 and Wave 2.
The Radar is the most intriguing feature in this tool. Click Radar button on the toolbar to have a much closer look.
The signal strength indicator shown on the Radar in the tool can be very useful to test your own wireless network or be used in designing a new wireless network to find a sweet spot that provides the most coverage. It uses the radar as the default sweeping mode but you can also change to sonar mode in the Settings if you want to.
Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is free and works on both Windows and Mac OS. Windows 10 is supported with both 32-bit and 64-bit editions.