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Monitoring AirPort Signal Strength

TMO Quick Tip - Monitoring AirPort Signal Strength

by , 7:30 AM EST, February 26th, 2007

The AirPort menu bar icon gives you a rough idea about your wireless network connection signal strength, but not much else. When I experience poor wireless network signal strength, I want as much information as I can get to help troubleshoot the problem, which is why I turn to AP Grapher.

The AirPort menu item shows signal strength.

AP Grapher is an application that displays the current Wi-Fi signal strength, signal noise, data transmission rate, and more for any network you join. It also includes network stumbler feature called AP Scanner so you can find all of the visible networks in range of your Mac.

AP Grapher monitors your wireless network signal.

I use AP Grapher to help find the best location for my AirPort Base Station, track down possible wireless interference causes, and to monitor my PowerBook's wireless data throughput. AP Scanner is handy when I want to see of there are any other wireless networks in range that are using the same channel as my AirPort Base Station - a potential cause of slower data transfer rates and dropped signals.

AP Scanner finds visible wireless networks.

AP Grapher is free, and available for download at the Chimoosoft Web site.

Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

if you have tips or tricks to share, or Mac-related questions you want answered.


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