I've just recently purchased a USB wi-fi adapter and have been using the software (for Windows XP) that comes with it to search for and connect to networks, but it's really quite slow and featureless. Are there free/OSS alternatives for Windows XP that can I can replace it with? Preferably something that can, in addition to connecting/searching for wireless networks, display stats like signal strength and transfer speeds on graphs so I can better monitor the quality of my connection?
Ekahau HeatMapper is a free software tool for quick and easy coverage mapping of Wi-Fi (802.11) networks. It's the only free, easy-to-use tool that shows, on a map, the wireless network coverage in your home or small office. HeatMapper also locates all access points.
i prefer the Windows connection manager, however, the weakness of you signal is hardly software related, some WLAN adapter are just poor performers, not much you can do about.