Working with the iStumbler Wireless Discovery Tool

iStumbler is the leading wireless discovery tool for Mac OS X. It provides plugins for finding AirPort networks, Bluetooth devices and Bonjour services. The application is free although donations are encouraged to help the author continue development.

As you can see, the interface is very stylish, intuitive and simple to use. Although the image above is small because of space constraints, the information that you can see for each wireless network if you stretch it out is:

  • Network Name
  • Channel
  • MAC address
  • Vendor
  • Noise
  • Signal
  • Mode
  • Security

This list contains basically all you need when looking for wireless networks. Since iStumbler works with Growl, you’ll take advantage of its notification windows as new wireless networks pop-up.

Once you select a network, you can choose to monitor it, join right from within iStumbler. Monitoring you network will help you identify possible problems such as signal loss. It’s also worth noting that you can create an Ad-Hoc network with iStumbler.

iStumber offers a variety of options that will enable you to configure it fast to fit your needs. It does not offer packet injection options like KisMAC so if you’re looking for a tool to test the security of your network you’ll have to look elsewhere, iStumbler is a discovery tool.

The iStumbler Spectrum Widget displays a virtual spectrum analyzer on your Dashboard, allowing you to visually detect network radio frequency overlap.

Spectrum gets it’s information directly from iStumbler to provide you with the most accurate signal information available. Spectrum Requires Mac OS X 10.4, iStumbler 95 and an AirPort or AirPort Extreme Adapter.

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