Tag: MetaGeek

A major update for inSSIDer

News article

MetaGeek releases updated inSSIDer | SmallNetBuilder

From the horse’s mouth

inSSIDer 2 Preview – Blog article on MetaGeek site

Download inSSIDer from here!

My Comments

InSSIDer is a free but highly-capable Wi-Fi site-survey tool for use with Windows-based computers that works with any Wi-Fi network adaptor including the integrated Wi-Fi network subsystems in most laptops. I have reviewed this program on this site and cited it as a preferred tool for small-business owners and householders to manage Wi-Fi networks and tune wireless routers. I have also mentioned it as a piece of software you can have in your arsenal for keeping your wireless hotspot secure and free from fake “evil twin” hotspots set up to catch your customers’ data.

This program has just been taken to the 2.00 version level and has had some key improvements added to it.

User-defined filters

An improvement that I am pleased with is the ability for the user to define filters that show up wireless networks that match or don’t match certain criteria. A good use of this would be to determine if any access points are using your SSID and not matching other criteria like security specification or BSSID (wireless MAC address) or RSSi (signal-strength index).

Other factors you can filter on include the access point’s vendor, whether it operates with 802.11n, whether it uses the 40Mhz “double-bandwidth” channels amongst other things.

Better views

There is the option to turn on a multi-colour legend view which will show up which SSIDs match particular coloured lines on the graphs. This is important in urban areas where there are many wireless networks in operation.

As well, there is the option to see a historical preview of various access point as a “sparkline” or mini-graph view when you select access points. This is useful when you determine filters based on relative signal strength or activity of particular APs.

Other functions

The same software can work with GPS devices like Bluetooth “pucks” or integrated GPS modules for mapping wireless networks. This can be useful for plotting out wireless coverage for an outdoor access point or hotzone or may be just useful for “wardrivers”.

Features I would like to see

One feature I would like to see is options to make it easier to identify and filter on a multi-access-point “extended service set” so you can identify the coverage of that wireless network or “smoke out” foreign access points. This could be catered for with security credentials that are held on the host computer, whether as part of Windows Zero Configuration for accessing the network, or as a separate local database and / or the visibility of a network’s Internet gateway as determined by IP address and MAC address from the access points.

This function could be augmented with the use of multiple Wi-Fi adaptors on one computer thus improving the monitoring of an “extended service set” or a multi-band Wireless-N network.

As well, it could be a good idea to port the program to Android and other smartphone platforms so that these phones can be used as a tool for managing the wireless networks. This could include support for data capture applications where the data can be uploaded to a PC for later analysis.


This program is an example of a free and easy-to-use network-management program that is being made more of a tool than a toy.

Product Review – MetaGeek inSSIDer Wireless Network Analyser

The program is a free download from the MetaGeek Website or other download directories like TuCOWS or CNet. There is another application from this same team that works with a 2.4GHz spectrum analyzer for use in determining interference on this band, but it comes at extra cost.

The installation routine didn’t take long when I installed it on a Dell Studio 15 laptop that was lent to me as a review sample. It could work with the standard Wi-Fi network card that came with this laptop and could therefore work with any Wi-Fi network adaptor that is used with the host computer.

The program provides a “dashboard” with three concurrent views:inssider-screen

  • a table which lists the Wi-Fi networks that the program can find with their SSID, BSSID (MAC address) and channel for each detected wireless network.
  • a signal-strength / time graph for all of the discovered Wi-Fi networks
  • a signal-strength / channel graph for all of the discovered Wi-Fi networks

As far as I am concerned, the highlight of this program is the signal-strength / channel graph which is useful for identifying channel clashes or blank channels that you can tune the wireless access point to.

One of the main limitations is that it doesn’t detect “extended service set” networks nor does it support detection of multi-SSID access points which become a wireless on-ramp for many networks.. This may be of concern when using this program to manage routers with “guest-network” functionality or managing hotspots. Another improvement that I would like to see would be to provide for network grouping by SSID or BSSID (MAC address) so you can identify “foreign” networks easily.This would then help in identifying rogue access points or “evil-twin” hotspots easily.

I would then determine it as being very useful for “tuning” a wireless access point or router so it can coexist with other Wi-Fi networks, either as part of setting one up or troubleshooting a network. I would also recommend it as an essential tool for hotspot owners who want to keep their hotspot networks operating in an optimum manner and providing good customer service. It can also work well in “smoking out” rogue access points or fake “evil-twin” hotspots.