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I'm looking for a utility that runs on Vista to monitor the different wifi access-points in the neighborhood.

Inssider is nice, but it doesn't seem to show which AP I'm connected to, and neither does it support connecting to another AP by double-clicking on an item in the list.

Does someone know of a similar utility that has those missing features?

Thank you.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

WirelessMon will do this, but why do you want to connect to other AP's? Connecting to an AP that is not yours is illegal.

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It's legal to connect to my ISP's access-points anywhere (per the contract, each modem shares part of its bandwidth for use by any customer.) – OverTheRainbow Sep 16 '09 at 8:33
Thanks, WirelessMon is exactly what I was looking for. – OverTheRainbow Sep 16 '09 at 9:39
More than happy to help. – joeqwerty Sep 16 '09 at 11:14

What's wrong with the one built into Vista? If you show the system tray icon, you will be notified of available wireless connections, and the interface is very convenient/simple to use.

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I'd like something more comprehensive that Vista's tray applet, eg. one showing signal strength and updated every minute or so. – OverTheRainbow Sep 16 '09 at 8:34
Vista's feature does show signal strength. Not sure about the update frequency, however. – Noldorin Sep 16 '09 at 10:01

Recommended by Gizmo's freeware:

NetStumbler is a free packet sniffer utility used to locate Wi-Fi networks. It's one of the first tools of its kind and arguably still the best. So much so that it is the standard product used by war-drivers in their perpetual search for free bandwidth via unsecured Wi-Fi networks as well as road-warriors looking to connect their laptops back to the office.

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But does it still support new(er) WiFi cards? I remember it as kind of selective. – Henk Sep 15 '09 at 19:01
Yes, it looks a bit selective. Funny, normally Gizmo's has good recommendations. – harrymc Sep 15 '09 at 19:47
Thanks for the tip, but NetStumbler doesn't seem to run on Vista and support connection to 802.11n – OverTheRainbow Sep 16 '09 at 8:36

I've used the free Wireless Net View from nirsoft for ages now, works on XP, Vista, Windows 7 absolutely fine (works on my Win7 64 bit), and needs no installation you just run the exe file, so it's a great one to keep on your USB key of utilities

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You may try Xirrus Wi-Fi Inspector, which does:

  • Searching for Wi-Fi networks
  • Managing and troubleshooting Wi-Fi connections
  • Verifying Wi-Fi coverage
  • Locating Wi-Fi devices
  • Detecting rogue APs
  • Available as widgets for Windows Vista, XP, Apple Mac OS X, Desklet for Linux

alt text

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Thanks for the tip, but forgot to say that I'd rather a regular application, not a Vista widget. – OverTheRainbow Sep 16 '09 at 8:34
This IS a regular application, which is also available in widget format. – harrymc Sep 16 '09 at 12:12

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