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December 2, 2015

5 wi-fi checking tools to optimise your network

List: Keep your network speedy with this tool from Ofcom and other network monitoring tools.

By Alexander Sword

As Ofcom research reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the UK wi-fi scene, these five apps will help you make sure your network is running as smoothly as it could be.


1. Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker

The UK communications regulator launched its Ofcom Wi-Fi Checker app on 1 December alongside research revealing that 6 million premises in the UK are not getting the best connection they could be.

This app, available free from Google Play and the App Store can run on a smartphone or tablet and allows consumers to test the wi-fi set-up and discover if there is an issue preventing it running smoothly.

The app will also provide the user with tips on how to improve the service.


2. Wifi Analyser

Like every wireless technology, wi-fi uses a particular set of frequencies to communicate, meaning that a wi-fi router operates on a certain channel which will also be used by other routers in other nearby premises.

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Wifi Analyser, which is only available on Android and has been installed between 10 million and 50 million times, allows the user to find out which channel other routers are using.

The user can then adjust their own router to a less populated channel, hopefully speeding up the service.


3. WiFi Sweet Spots

This app for iOS will help you observe fluctuations in your wi-fi network, as well as provide guidance on locations.

It can help you find the best spot to place your router or the best place to use the end-point device.

Built by ASSIA-Inc, it requires iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


4. inSSIDer

Unlike the other apps this will set you back $9.99, but as a more serious tool it provides a more detailed layout of your network and how it is functioning. It is available as an Android app.

It can identify signal overlap, channel conflicts and configuration issues that are slowing the network’s performance.

It also features table and graphics views of surrounding WLANs, detailed statistics and channel recommendations, network grouping by ESSID or Radio and filtering by SSID, MAC address, channel or signal.


5. Fing

Fing aims to help you manage and analysis all aspects of your network. You can evaluate security levels, detect intruders and resolve network issues.

As well as providing an overview and discovery of all devices on your network, it provides details of these devices as well as tools to check signal strength and check availability of internet.

The app is available free on both iOS and Android, as well as Windows, OS X and Linux.


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