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Table of Contents

  1. General
    1. Adding new columns to the scanner list
    2. Favorites
    3. Feature Requests
    4. Filter
    5. Graphing
    6. Introduction
    7. Known Issues
    8. What are Ad-Hoc networks?
  2. Joining Networks
    1. Automatically joining networks

General

Adding new columns to the scanner list

AirRadar records a lot of information about networks during each scan, and by default only a small number of columns "the most essential" are shown in the main list. To view additional network information, right-click (or control-click) the list header and choose an additional column to include. To remove a column, simply choose it from the list again.


Favorites

The favorites area of the main window allows a user to specify network names and MAC (BSSID) Addresses for networks that they wish to highlight while scanning. This color can be changed in the Preferences window. To add or remove a favorite, click the plus (+) or minus (-) button below the favorites list.


Feature Requests
  • New graph idea: https://sites.google.com/site/osxwifiexplorer/
  • CW8021XProfileMBS integration
  • Help regarding network details (descriptions of each thing)
  • If AirPort was not enabled, show Wizard instructions how to enable it.
  • Printing and saving of graphs.
  • The ability to choose fonts and font sizes.
  • Stop auto-scan after preset interval preferences setting.
  • Add sound previews for "Play sound after each scan" (Preferences > General) and "Play this sound" (Preferences > Alert).
  • Semi-transparent graphs preferences option.
  • Popup notification for loss of network connection (toggled in preferences).
  • Menu extra
  • "Would be great if AirRadar showed if channel was bonded the way airport command line tool shows. Eg. 48,-1 Indicating set on channel 48 and bonded with channel 44. /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport"

Filter

To exclude certain networks from appearing in the scan list (such as networks that are password protected or otherwise unavailable), click the Filter section on the main window, click the plus (+) button below the list, and specify either the BSSID (MAC Address) or network name.


Graphing

While scanning for wireless networks, networks which appear in more than one scan, begin to build a history inside of AirRadar. A graph of the network's history of signal strength and noise levels can be viewed by selecting the network(s) and choosing the Graph section of the main window.

Colors and additional settings for this graph can be changed in the Preferences window.


Introduction

AirRadar continuously scans the local area for wireless networks, and provides detailed information about each one. Upon launching the program, simply click the 'Start Scan' button and if any networks are within range, they will appear in the Scanner list. It is also possible to configure AirRadar to automatically begin scanning on launch via the Preferences window.

Signal Strength (sometimes known as RSSI), displayed in AirRadar as a percentage, is how strong the connection to the wireless network is. The farther away from the base station, router, or relay point, the lower the strength will be. Other physical factors (such as walls, people, furniture, etc.) between this computer and the network also affect signal strength.

Noise is the level of interference to this network from other devices or networks operating on the same channel. The higher the noise rating, the more likely the connection could drop or suffer severe speed issues.

After locating a network, select it, and choose 'Join Network' from the network menu. If the join is successful, the AirPort menu will display some signal strength.


Known Issues
  • Sometimes duplicate BSSIDs make it into the list. Not sure how.
  • Undo is enabled for all text input fields, but there is no redo.
  • Undo works on a character-by-character basis instead of in groups, which is inconsistent in behavior with the rest of the operating system.
  • Ensure AirRadar current status/joining/disconnect/scanning API/shell 10.4/5/6/7
  • The globe in the "Save" icon is a dramatically difference size than the globe icon in the other toolbar icons.

What are Ad-Hoc networks?

Ad-hoc networks are often computer-to-computer networks without an internet connection, primarily used for file or data sharing.


Joining Networks

Automatically joining networks

By default, AirPort in Mac OS X can automatically join a list of preferred networks. AirRadar, on the other hand, can automatically join networks based on their signal strength during a scan.

AirRadar has this option turned off by default, but it can be turned on in the Preferences window. Without the additional options turns on, AirRadar will stop scanning if an open network is found and attempt to join it. If desired, it is possible to specify a required signal strength for open networks to be met before this action is taken, and whether or not this should only take place if not already connected elsewhere.

To configure AirRadar to automatically connect to an open network via signal strength follow these steps:

  1. Go into "Preferences"
  2. Choose "Alerts"
  3. Click the "Automatically connect to best network" and "If signal is better than" check boxes, and enter the desired signal strength in the text box (for example 60 for 60% strength)
  4. AirRadar will now automatically reconnect to the current network if it is the best open network which meets the requirements which are set.