Wireless networking has liberated us from the confines of cabling, but it has its own set of problems. Interference from neighbouring networks or household appliances can affect the efficiency of your signal. The layout of your home and the use of shielding building materials can also reduce Wi-Fi performance. Many homes and offices have black spots where the signal just drops out completely.
You could get around these problems by installing wireless repeaters, but it may well be cheaper to investigate the source of interference first.
WirelessMon is a 30-day trial of a program that enables you to interrogate your wireless adapter to find out what other networks are available in the area, including ones that are configured to block access to unknown devices and those that don’t broadcast their SSIDs.
It shows the current signal strength of any connected network, plus current channels being used. If a neighbouring network is using the same channel as you, move to a different channel via your router or access point to improve performance.
WirelessMon also enables you to track signal strength as you move around the area so you can find potential black spots and work out how to overcome them.
If you move to the Statistics tab, you can see a full breakdown of frames sent and received during the period the program has been running. The Graph tab shows this plotted over time. You can also view the IP address and MAC address of your adapter and the internet gateway and get an estimation of the bandwidth provided.
WirelessMon is a good aid to managing your wireless network and optimising its performance. It’s useful for finding sources of interference and reducing or eliminating them.