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WiFi networks use channels in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, because nowadays all our neighbors have a WiFi router, it is essential to put our router broadcasting on a channel that is not used, or at least, that is the most far away from another source of interference. The WirelessNetView program allows us to quickly and easily see which channels our closest neighbors are using, to choose one that is not already busy. Do you want to know how this simple program works?
This program is a small utility compatible with Windows operating systems, from Windows 7 to the latest version of Windows 10. It will allow us to monitor the WiFi networks around us, in addition, for each WiFi network detected, it will show us the following information:
- WiFi network name or SSID
- Signal quality
- Average signal quality
- Detection counter
- Authentication and encryption protocol
- MAC address (BSSID)
- Channel used and frequency
- Other information
Download and install the program
The first thing we must do to download this program is to access the official WirelessNetView website and proceed with its download. We have two options for downloading, downloading the program in a compressed ZIP file, or the installer. We have downloaded the installer, we double click and follow the installation wizard, it has no difficulty.
Once we have finished installing it, we proceed to run the program. Before running the program, our Windows laptop or desktop computer must have the WiFi card installed and activated, otherwise, we will not be able to see any WiFi network in the surroundings.
View all WiFi networks
WirelessNetView is a very basic utility that will allow us to see a large amount of information of all the wireless WiFi networks that we have within reach, for example, we can see the SSID, BSSID (wireless MAC), channel, maximum speed, type of authentication and much more information:
In the “Options” section, we have the possibility to define the update interval for all the information, create filters, configure the display format of the MAC address and many other options. In principle we should not touch any of these options, but it is interesting that you know that they exist, and that we have certain configuration options.
If we double click on any of the WiFi networks, we can see in detail all the information of the access point or WiFi router. It does not matter whether or not we are connected to the WiFi network, it will show us all the public information of this network. We can see the SSID, the last signal and the average, the security and the security type, the wireless MAC address, the channel and frequency, as well as the RSSI and other values.
All this information is available to us on any WiFi network, whether it is ours or not, or whether we are connected or not, it is “public” information.
How to know on which channel I should broadcast with my WiFi
To know on which channel I should broadcast with my WiFi, it is first necessary to know on which WiFi channels our neighbors are broadcasting. The most useful thing is to order all the WiFi networks by RSSI, that is, by WiFi signal, and choose the channel farthest possible from the two or three networks that are closest to us. Thanks to the fact that we can order by RSSI signal, we will avoid interference with the nearest WiFi networks, which is the most critical, after all.
We must not forget that currently all WiFi routers and APs have an automatic channel function. Every so often, they scan the surrounding WiFi networks and configure a free channel for themselves, but in many cases this channel is 1, 6 and 11, the channels that do not overlap, and it is very possible that we are interested in configuring the channel 9, which is free and we will not have interference problems.
As you have seen, thanks to WirelessNetView, we can see a lot of information about the WiFi networks around us, to decide on which channel we should broadcast.