For those of us who live in dorms, apartments, or other small spaces where WiFi is a necessity for working or studying, it can be frustrating to work with poor WiFi Internet speeds. WiFi can be difficult to get right at home. Setting up optimized WiFi has a steep learning curve and it’s easy to do something wrong without the proper tools or guidance on what knobs to turn. Or your neighbor two floors above you has set up their WiFi so badly that your own WiFi becomes unreliable. The problem can be especially frustrating when you are trying to download large files or have a video call but get an error message.
WiFi Scanner for Windows is a WiFi discovery and scanning application for IT professionals and home users looking for detailed information about surrounding WiFi networks.
WLAN Pi is a portable device that can be used as a throughput tester, remote WiFi scanner, packet capture tool, portable WiFi signal generator and more.
In this blog post we will cover how to configure a Linux device such as a Raspberry Pi computer as a remote WiFi Scanner. Our setup uses our Windows based WiFi Scanner on a Windows 10 laptop.
The Windows WiFi Scanner connects the the local or remote Raspberry Pi via SSH to transmit WiFi scanning results from the Raspberry Pi to the Windows WiFi Scanner for display.
The benefits of this setup are below.
- Linux device can be local or remote as long as SSH access to device is available.
- Linux device can be low cost device like a Raspberry Pi.
- Leverage wide selection of USB wireless adapter support available for Raspberry Pi devices and operating system.
Active WiFi Survey
An active WiFi survey is when a surveying device is connected to the WiFi network and records signal measurements based on the performance of the connection. Active surveys are used to troubleshoot WiFi networks. This type of survey also allows for various other metrics to be measured, such as ping round-trip-time (RTT), throughput using iPerf/iPerf2/iPerf3, and Internet upload/downloads.
Vital signs are measurements of the body's most basic functions. When a body is not performing well, vital signs, such as body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure, are used to monitor and detect potential medical problems.
Similarly, if your WiFi network is not performing well, the following “vital signs” can be checked to determine the health of a WiFi network.
- Signal Coverage
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio
- Channel Overlap
- Rogues and Interferers
- Access Point Placement Optimization
This setup involves measurement/survey software running on a laptop or tablet that can collect information about WiFi and non WiFi devices in the environment. This data is compared with WiFi signals from a temporary access point deployed for this survey process positioned at locations we believe would meet the requirements of the deployment.
iPhone and iPad users with iOS 7 and up, now have a way to view WiFi scan info (SSID, BSSID, RSSI, Channel) on devices with Apple's AirPort Utility app. Prior to this AirPort Utility update, only SSID and BSSID information was available on app store apps (non jailbreak apps).