Since Apple introduced AirPort in 1999, 802.11b wireless networking has taken off like wildfire. With the recent introduction of AirPort Extreme, we're sure that this trend will continue. But the ease of use and availability of 802.11b does have a downside, since its relatively easy to set up a rogue access point on an otherwise secure network. If only there was a way to discover these access points, and make sure they're configured properly...
KisMAC makes your wireless-equipped Mac a network "stumbler" which can locate and display information about any wireless access points, Apple or otherwise, that is within range. This is the first step in trying to locate any unauthorized access points, and may be enough. But KisMAC doesn't stop there. Once you've found an access point, you can double-click on its entry and get all sorts of detailed information.
Get Detailed Information on That Wireless Base
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This detailed information can help make sure your bases are configured properly. You can see the vendor, channel, signal strength and maximum signal strength. There's also information on the status of WEP encryption, which can give you some protection against others monitoring your wireless traffic. Another nifty feature is the ability to view network traffic, both numerically and graphically, so you can see how busy a particular station is.
So make sure that your wireless bases are configured properly, and check out KisMAC!
Have any other gadgets that let you get the most of your wireless connection? Send an e-mail to John and he'll give it a try.
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John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at