Fun without wires

Wifi Stumbling on iPhone 3GS

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WifiTrak for iPhone 3GS

WifiTrak for iPhone 3GS

I’m currently in Santiago, Chile on an extended trip, and trying to “work from the road”. That’s easier said than done, and there are a number of things you’ll be looking for when you’re trying to set up a temporary office in a cafe or other location. One of those things, obviously, is wifi. A lot of places are nice enough to have a sticker on their window, or some other indication that they have wifi available for guests to use, but it can get tiresome walking around peeking in windows trying to find signs of life.

The solution that I’m currently using it to employ my iPhone 3GS as a stumbling device/wifi scanner. I looked around on the iTunes store for a while and the best (99c) application I could find that actually works on the iPhone 3GS, doesn’t require a data connection of some sort, and is a true scanner (not a location-based look-up against known APs) is WifiTrak.

I can turn on WifiTrak and then walk around an area that I know has some cafes etc, and quickly get a scan of all the wifi in the area. It’s easy to spot open/protected APs (although a lot of the protected ones here will give you a password if you ask), and to see relative signal strengths. It automatically sorts the APs located by signal strength, so you get the strongest ones at the top. You can even connect to a network directly from the app which is a nice touch, although I’m not using that since it’s really just for scanning purposes.

Written by Beau Lebens

December 18th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized,WiFi

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