Xirrus WiFi Inspector
Find detailed information about wireless networks in your vicinity
Pros & Cons:
Xirrus might be known by many for their sidebar gadgets for wireless networks. What some of you might not know (and I didn't either until recently - thanks, Jonas) is that they also offer a full local Wi-Fi finder utility as well. And it is good. I actually liked it that much that I made it the new Top Pick in this category.
It was not that it offers better or more features that made me change my pick, it was more the fact that the features it offers and the GUI they are presented in are so well done that I think it will be favored by most users trying both, Xirrus and inSSIDer. inSSIDer's concept approaches the more techincal oriented user while Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector uses a more general approach addressing the majority of users.
Of course, what hits the eye first is the beautifully animated radar screen in the upper left corner displaying the strength of the visible Wi-Fi networks in your vicinity. The closer the dot to the center, the better the signal. But don't mistake this radar animation as a Wi-Fi locator. The position of the dot in the radar does not represent the physical location of the hotspot. I assume the dots are just placed randomly on a circle around the center. However, it is very nicely made.
The upper right window area shows the most important information about your current connection, the wireless network and your local IP settings. In the middle the available networks are listed in a grid, just like in inSSIDer. You can sort the list by each column and read signal strength, encryption, channel etc. of those networks near you. The lower part of the window shows a history graph of the signal of your current network. All of these areas can be easily selected to full size by the Office like menu on top of the window. The usabilility of this application is simply great. You can even disconnect/connect to a network as well as enable/disable your adapter. I think it is a worthy successor as the Top Pick Wi-Fi finder.
Xirrus WiFi Inspector was reviewed by George on based on version 126.96.36.199.