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Troubleshoot Wifi with Xirrus Wi-fi Inspector

By DominicD
Do you experience intermittent wifi connections? Are there wifi “dead spots” in your home/office? Is restarting the wireless router the only way to fix your wifi connection? Troubleshoot your wifi woes with the free and powerful Xirrus Wifi Inspector. The Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is a utility for monitoring Wi-Fi networks and managing the Wi-Fi operations of your computer.

The Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector is a free tool for analyzing and diagnosing wifi problems. The Wi-Fi Inspector can be used for a number of practical applications, including:
  • Searching for Wi-Fi networks
  • Troubleshooting Wi-Fi connectivity issues
  • Verifying Wi-Fi coverage (site survey)
  • Managing a laptop’s Wi-Fi connection
  • Locating Wi-Fi devices
  • Detecting rogue APs (access points)
  • Verifying AP settings
  • Aiming Wi-Fi antennas
  • Wi-Fi Education

The Radar View of available wireless networks

The Radar View displays all detected wireless networks and their relative distance from the computer. This view is dynamic and constantly updating. Compared to the Windows Wireless Utility, this helps you perform a more concise “site survey” of wireless networks. Wireless networks farther from the center will typically give slower connections. This simple yet powerful view can help you locate the source of your wifi connection. Also, observing the radar can help you determine if there are intermittently disconnecting and faulty wireless routers.

The Detailed Table View of available wireless networks

The table view is the core of Xirrus Wi-fi Inspector. This displays all detected wireless networks and lists:
  • SSID – the broadcasted wifi network name
  • Signal Strength – expressed in –dbm. The lowest signal strength (expressed in green bars) are the nearest wireless networks to your computer. The higher –dbm networks (expressed in orange bars) are further away and can cause slower connections
  • Wireless Mode – Yet another powerful feature of the Xirrus Wi-Fi inspector. The Wireless Mode indicates the type of connections that detected wireless routers support. Modern wireless routers support at least [b]802.11b/g/[b], the newest devices support 802.11n. Older wireless routers that display only as 802.11a or 802.11b would be slower and more prone to signal interference.
  • Channel – Do not overlook checking the Wireless Channel of a network. Observe the channels used by wireless devices in your area. You can improve your connection by simply switching to a different channel number that is unique from other networks in your area. This is a very powerful and important field to check.

The Graph History of Wireless Signal Strength
Xirrus Wi-fi Inspector’s Graph History displays an 8 minute tracking of a wireless router’s signal strength. Do not overlook this feature as it will be most helpful for observing possible fluctuations in wireless signal. Observe the graph for any sudden spikes of signal. Longer observations will help you determine the typical graph activity of your connection. When observed together with the Radar, this can help you determine if the presence of new wireless routers affect your signal strength.

Troubleshooting your wifi connection:
  1. Check the Radar, the closer you are to the broadcasting wireless, the better connection is expected.
  2. Check the Table view. The wireless mode should at least be 802.11b/g. Any mode that is “b” or “a” is prone to weaker signal strength and interference. If your computer supports 802.11n, it would maximize wifi performance if you could also connect to an 802.11n network.
  3. If you can connect to different wireless networks, experiment and observe their connection strength in the Graph History. When its not possible to move to the closest network, observing the next nearest network with a consisted Graph History may give a better connection.
  4. Observe the Channel mode of wireless routers in the area. You can improve your connection by simply switching to a different channel number that is unique from other networks in your area. This is a very powerful and important field to check.
  5. Remember to connect to only trusted wireless networks.

Download Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector here

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