Wi-Fi analysis programs listen to nearby access points (and sometimes wireless hosts) to determine such things as how strong their signals are, what types of security they use, what their SSIDs are, and sometimes the directions of the individual access points.
There are many Wi-Fi analysis programs for mobile devices. Many have “stumbler” in their names in homage to one of the first examples, NetStumbler. This chapter looks at Wi-Fi Inspector from Xirrus, which runs on Microsoft Windows and which is available as a free download from Xirrus. A comparable Windows Widget that always remains on the desktop is also available from Xirrus.
Activities – Go to at least two locations. At each location, record the information in the networks window. Also, do a connection and speed test. Write a brief report and Make sure to intersperse your screen shots (use the Windows Snipping Tool) to capture what you learned about Wi-Fi service in the building, referring to the data you collected to answer the questions below:
1. Why is the radar window’s image of a radar scope misleading?
2. How would you locate an access point despite the limitations of the radar window? This will take one to two paragraphs. SSID, Signal level in either dBM or percentage network mode, default encryption, default authentication, vendor, BSSID, channel, frequency, network type, graph.
3. If there is a value of -44 dBm for signal strength. How good is this?
4. How can you sort the networks window?
5. What information does the Connection Test give you?
6. What information does the Speed Test give you?
7. What information does the Quality Test give you?
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1. The image provided by the radar scope can be misleading because the physical position of the discovered APs (wireless devices) can be totally different. For instance, they are shown as being placed under concentrique circles even if they can reside in different physical locations (this happens because the metric used as reference for the results is made as function of the dBm). In addition to this, the point from the radar image that corresponds to the located AP doesn’t always comply 100% with the dBm value displayed in the Networks window....
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