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New Member

Cisco or Other Tool that measure Wireless Signal Strength

Does anyone know of a FREE app that actually detect Wireless Access Point signal strenghts? If so, can you please point to the right URL and download file? Thanks

New Member

Re: Cisco or Other Tool that measure Wireless Signal Strength

Netstumbler is a good "free" war application. it has its limitations, but can be used to detect RF and also used to locate a rogue wlan it ad hoc or infrastructure. I use it to track down client cards broadcasting ad hoc requests brought onto my campus. I digress...try it and see if you like it. One feature I like is you can actually configure it to play a piano sound when it detects an RF. If you have it on a can walk around with the it and as the signal strength increases, the notes played get higher and higher...until you are standing next to the culprit!

New Member

Re: Cisco or Other Tool that measure Wireless Signal Strength

I forgot to mention, you should not get so caught up on signal strength exclusively. You need something that measures SNR...signal to noise ratio. SNR is the true measurement you should strive for in that its a fair representation of signal strength AND quality. Cisco has some good reading on reaching the perfect balance.


Re: Cisco or Other Tool that measure Wireless Signal Strength

I agree with the previous poster regarding NetStumbler ( it's a pretty good (free) application for the MS Windows environment.

In the Linux arena, you can use Kismet ( or net, I think). It does pretty much everything that NetStumbler does, plus it can be set up as a wireless Intrusion Detection System (IDS). With Kismet, you can have one station set as a Master, and other peripheral Slaves that report back to it.

There's (at least one) a Knoppix release that includes a number of wireless tools (including Kismet).

Knoppix ( is a Great thing - it's an entire Linux distribution on a CD. You don't have to install it; you just put in the CD and boot it up. It doesn't make any changes to the host drive (unless you want it to) ... when you're done, just shut it down, remove the CD, and reboot.

Knoppix is a good tool all the way around - not just for wireless.

There's also a wireless specific release (I've heard, I don't have it) called "Woppix" ...something like that.

Finally, if you buy a Cisco wireless NIC, the utilities that come with it include a Site Survey tool - it's not much, but it's handy. Basically it's a graph with signal strength displayed on one axis, with signal quality dispayed on the other..... in other words, a 45 degree slope to the upper right corner is a "perfect" signal. The graphical display is very easy to interpret.

Good Luck


New Member

Re: Cisco or Other Tool that measure Wireless Signal Strength

My favorite "low cost/free" tool is NetSurveyor by Nuts About Nets. It is free for the basic version and I dont often need anything else.



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