Are you someone that likes to have that extra bit of elbow room
? Do you break out into a cold sweat when people get all up in your space
? Let's face it... no one likes to be too crowded... so why should it be any different for your Wi-Fi signal? If you live in an apartment, dormitory, or anywhere else where other networks may be crowding your signal, then this app is totally for you.
Basically, it allows you to see the surrounding Wi-Fi congestion in your area, which then enables you to pick the best channel for your router. It can also be used to choose an optimal public hotspot once you finally get up the courage to venture outside of your home.
Website: WiFi analyzer (farproc)
Yes, but they can be hidden!
(Video review at bottom of page)
To install the app, simply search for "Wifi Analyzer" in the Android Market. You can also download the .apk file from the developer's website for a more manual installation.
When installing, you'll see a notice that the application requires access to the following:
- Network communication (full Internet access)
- System tools (change Wi-Fi state, prevent phone from sleeping)
- Network communication (view network state, view Wi-Fi state)
- System tools (Install shortcuts)
Upon opening the app, you are greeted with a popup window directing you to the online help. If you haven't already enabled Wi-Fi on your device, the app will display your Wireless Settings screen and allow you to enable it there. Once enabled, just press back to get back to the app.
The app has five major views to work with. Below is a description and screenshot of each:
This view displays a graph view of all nearby detected Wi-Fi access points (APs). It draws each one as a color-coded parabola on the graph, which has a vertical scale for Signal Strength (dBm) and a horizontal scale for wireless channels (1-14). Also, for any given channel, you can long press and select an AP to highlight for easier viewing. This view is my favorite because it provides the most immediate visual feedback.
This view displays a color-coded running time graph of signal strengths and allows you to see how they've changed over time. It includes a very easy to use filtering option that will only display the APs you choose. There is a legend at the top of the screen that matches the AP names to their colors. You can tap any one of these names, and it will highlight the corresponding line graph so it stands out from the rest for easier viewing and comparison.
This view displays all of the current channels and rates them on a scale of 0-10 stars. Once you choose an AP to compare against the others, the app will give its channel a star rating based on connection quality, and it will let you know if any other channels would be a better option. The higher the rating, the less congested and better the signal. The list is able to be sorted by channel and rating.
This view displays a list of all current detected APs. For each AP, it displays its current channel, frequency, signal strength, and security settings. Tapping on an AP will initiate a connection attempt, provided you have installed an optional Wifi Connector Library
, which is also available from the market by the same developer. This view will also show you which AP you are currently connected to, and upon tapping it at the top will allow you to view and copy to clipboard a large amount of data for your current connection. The list is able to be sorted by the following: alphabetically, channel, signal strength, openness, and natural order.
This view displays a real-time readout of signal strength for any selected AP. You are presented with a classic meter with a moving needle that automatically moves from left to right as the signal strength increases. You can even enable sound, which will cause your device to beep slower with a low signal and very fast with a high signal. This allows you to hear the signal rise and fall as you move around without having to keep your eye on the screen.
The app includes a great Snapshot
feature in the Menu list. Basically, it will capture the current state of the Channel graph, Channel rating, and AP list views and save it all as a .csv file. These snapshots can then be easily viewed and analyzed later within the app by selecting the Snapshot option again. When taking a snapshot on the Channel graph view, you have an extra feature for saving the current graph as a .png image file. The snapshots are all saved on the sd card in a "WifiAnalyzer_Snapshot" directory.
The app's settings allow you to adjust/toggle a multitude of options, as listed below:
- Scan automatically
- Scan interval (1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds)
- Available channels (show/hide which channels you want to appear in the "Channel rating" view)
- Keep screen on (Prevents the screen from sleeping when app is open)
- Open network indicator (Displays an asterisk after the name of any open APs in the "Channel graph" view)
- Fill channel graph (fills AP graphs with line color matching transparency in the "Channel graph" view)
- Auto Wi-Fi on (automatically turns Wi-Fi on if needed when app is started)
- Show "Exit" (shows exit button in menu)
- Auto Wi-Fi off when exit (automatically turns Wi-Fi off when app is closed, but only if it was automatically turned on by the app on startup)
- Hide Ad (hides the ad for about a week)
- Create shortcut (Allows you to choose from 3 shortcut icons to be created on home screen)
The Wifi Analyzer app is packed full of many great features. I absolutely love it, and I believe you will too, so go ahead and try it out!
Video (best viewed in fullscreen HD at Vimeo.com)
Wifi Analyzer - Android App Review on Vimeo
(if video link doesn't appear, please view this review in the forums