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There is enterprise-level software for surveying Wi-Fi networks, but even in large wireless networks, simple freeware tools are handy for a quick peek at the airwaves during design, deployment or troubleshooting.
Here is a look at eight free tools – some for Windows and some for Mac OS X – that provide basic details about nearby Wi-Fi signals: SSIDs, signal strength, channels, MAC addresses and security status.
Some can even reveal “hidden” or non-broadcasted SSIDs, display the noise levels, or display statistics on successful and failed packets of your wireless connection. One of them includes Wi-Fi password-cracking tools that are useful for educational or penetration testing purposes.