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Wifi Analyzer: See the signals... set your channel!

Are you someone that likes to have that extra bit of elbow room? Do you break out into a cold sweat when people get all up in your space? Let's face it... no one likes to be too crowded... so why should it be any different for your Wi-Fi signal? If you live in an apartment, dormitory, or anywhere else where other networks may be crowding your signal, then this app is totally for you.

Basically, it allows you to see the surrounding Wi-Fi congestion in your area, which then enables you to pick the best channel for your router. It can also be used to choose an optimal public hotspot once you finally get up the courage to venture outside of your home.

App Name: Wifi Analyzer
Cost: Free
Developer: farproc
Website: WiFi analyzer (farproc)
Ads: Yes, but they can be hidden!

(Video review at bottom of page)

To install the app, simply search for "Wifi Analyzer" in the Android Market. You can also download the .apk file from the developer's website for a more manual installation.


Access Requirements
When installing, you'll see a notice that the application requires access to the following:

  • Network communication (full Internet access)
  • System tools (change Wi-Fi state, prevent phone from sleeping)
  • Network communication (view network state, view Wi-Fi state)
  • System tools (Install shortcuts)

Upon opening the app, you are greeted with a popup window directing you to the online help. If you haven't already enabled Wi-Fi on your device, the app will display your Wireless Settings screen and allow you to enable it there. Once enabled, just press back to get back to the app.

The app has five major views to work with. Below is a description and screenshot of each:

Channel graph
This view displays a graph view of all nearby detected Wi-Fi access points (APs). It draws each one as a color-coded parabola on the graph, which has a vertical scale for Signal Strength (dBm) and a horizontal scale for wireless channels (1-14). Also, for any given channel, you can long press and select an AP to highlight for easier viewing. This view is my favorite because it provides the most immediate visual feedback.


Time graph
This view displays a color-coded running time graph of signal strengths and allows you to see how they've changed over time. It includes a very easy to use filtering option that will only display the APs you choose. There is a legend at the top of the screen that matches the AP names to their colors. You can tap any one of these names, and it will highlight the corresponding line graph so it stands out from the rest for easier viewing and comparison.


Channel rating
This view displays all of the current channels and rates them on a scale of 0-10 stars. Once you choose an AP to compare against the others, the app will give its channel a star rating based on connection quality, and it will let you know if any other channels would be a better option. The higher the rating, the less congested and better the signal. The list is able to be sorted by channel and rating.


AP list
This view displays a list of all current detected APs. For each AP, it displays its current channel, frequency, signal strength, and security settings. Tapping on an AP will initiate a connection attempt, provided you have installed an optional Wifi Connector Library, which is also available from the market by the same developer. This view will also show you which AP you are currently connected to, and upon tapping it at the top will allow you to view and copy to clipboard a large amount of data for your current connection. The list is able to be sorted by the following: alphabetically, channel, signal strength, openness, and natural order.


Signal meter
This view displays a real-time readout of signal strength for any selected AP. You are presented with a classic meter with a moving needle that automatically moves from left to right as the signal strength increases. You can even enable sound, which will cause your device to beep slower with a low signal and very fast with a high signal. This allows you to hear the signal rise and fall as you move around without having to keep your eye on the screen.


The app includes a great Snapshot feature in the Menu list. Basically, it will capture the current state of the Channel graph, Channel rating, and AP list views and save it all as a .csv file. These snapshots can then be easily viewed and analyzed later within the app by selecting the Snapshot option again. When taking a snapshot on the Channel graph view, you have an extra feature for saving the current graph as a .png image file. The snapshots are all saved on the sd card in a "WifiAnalyzer_Snapshot" directory.

The app's settings allow you to adjust/toggle a multitude of options, as listed below:

  • Scan automatically
  • Scan interval (1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds)
  • Available channels (show/hide which channels you want to appear in the "Channel rating" view)
  • Keep screen on (Prevents the screen from sleeping when app is open)
  • Open network indicator (Displays an asterisk after the name of any open APs in the "Channel graph" view)
  • Fill channel graph (fills AP graphs with line color matching transparency in the "Channel graph" view)
  • Auto Wi-Fi on (automatically turns Wi-Fi on if needed when app is started)
  • Show "Exit" (shows exit button in menu)
  • Auto Wi-Fi off when exit (automatically turns Wi-Fi off when app is closed, but only if it was automatically turned on by the app on startup)
  • Hide Ad (hides the ad for about a week)
  • Create shortcut (Allows you to choose from 3 shortcut icons to be created on home screen)

The Wifi Analyzer app is packed full of many great features. I absolutely love it, and I believe you will too, so go ahead and try it out!

Video (best viewed in fullscreen HD at Vimeo.com)
Wifi Analyzer - Android App Review on Vimeo
(if video link doesn't appear, please view this review in the forums)


#1 Chad, Jun 15, 2010
If you haven't tried this app you should. Great for increasing speed of your wireless connection by finding the best channel to set your router to.
#2 Citznfish, Mar 29, 2011
I love this app for setting up wifi in my apartment. With so many networks close by its great for seperating your network channel the proper distance from the next. No more network clashing.

The signal meter is also a great feature for detecting your networks range easily and you dont even need to look at the phone if you can tell the difference in volume properly.

Any network tech with an android phone would be silly not to have this great app.
#3 ForeverNewb, Mar 30, 2011
The WiFi analyzer is a nice tool, but the shown channel numbers are wrong. When I set my router (D-Link) at channel 1, channel 3 is shown and when I set channel 13, channel 11 is shown.
#4 JFaupel, May 20, 2011
I found the reason for the wrong channels.
My router channel width was set at 40MHz. In this case the results of the WiFi Analyzer are wrong. After setting the channel width at 20MHz (standard) the right channels are shown.
I think to solve the problem of the Analyzer the feature "channel witdh" is needed.
#5 JFaupel, May 21, 2011
Took it, used it, found it, deleted it.
Good app.
#6 janpetras, May 30, 2011
cooool thaaaaaaaaanx
#7 anycool, Sep 4, 2011
I think the AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer is the industry standard tool for mobile auditing and troubleshooting enterprise Wi-Fi networks.The Android application is safe and secured.It is developed in Eclipse framework.
#8 john8gomes, Sep 10, 2011
I am running Wifi Analyzer on an HTC Desire running Cyanogen Mod 7.0.3 (= Android 2.3.3). At work we have a multifunction AP that has 2 SSIDs running on channel 6 (they have to use the same channel) and although Wifi Analyzer shows them as both present, the signal strength for one SSID (AP 2) is shown as dropping to zero for about a second every 10 seconds.

On another Android Device (HTC Tattoo running Froyo), wifi analyzer shows both SSIDs as present all the time with no signal drop on AP 2 - and so does a PC running some wifi sniffing software.

The problem seems to be a quirk on the Desire (?) Is this a known issue?
#9 linker3000, Oct 10, 2011
I like wifi manager,but after updated it has change.wifi analysis also very very good application
#10 hilin, Oct 11, 2011
I used this app repeatedly, but on my rooted DroidX it came time for an update and would not complete the update despite several tries. I uninstalled and now cannot install the app. I can find it in the market. Click on it... Loading... and that is it.
I'm sure there is a cache somewhere that I need to delete, does anyone know where or what?
#11 docmarkc, Oct 13, 2011
Hey! 1st post here, nice to be here. This is a great little app, love it.
#12 python134r, Dec 1, 2011
how do you select the channel you want from the list of 1-11? I've downloaded the wifi library (which doesn't come up on my app menu as an app icon so I'm not sure where it is). Pressing or long pressing doesn't change the channel, my phone remains on channel 11.

Any suggestions?
#13 curiost, Mar 14, 2012
Excellent App - used it for a couple of years now.

@curiost - your phone will remain on the channel that the router it is connect to is using. The tool is to enable you to configure your router so as to not get interference from other nearby routers.
#14 TheBrit, Mar 15, 2012
I've been using this for a long time with great satisfaction.

However, the "channel rating" screen doesn't seem to make sense to me: I've set up my home router to use a channel that's as far from what everybody else is using. The suggested "better" channel is always one that is much more congested than the one I'm already using.

Taking the screen shots in the first post as an example:

Let's say my wlan is "Bat Signal" (it's the strongest, which sounds reasonable).

Now, when switching to the "Channel Rating" screen, look what happens:

The app suggests channel 6, where there already are six (and a half) other stations, including the next-most-powerful besides my own). The way I read it, the app suggests that I should reconfigure my router to broadcast on channel 6 -- joining the fray while leaving channels 1-5 completely unused.

How does that make sense? :thinking:

Edit: Tried to rescale the screen shots to make them much smaller, but it didn't seem to work. Sorry.
#15 KlaymenDK, Mar 16, 2012
Yeah I've always ignored the rating screen and gone with the one you suggest.
#16 TheBrit, Mar 16, 2012
#17 theunf, Apr 7, 2012
Another benefit with this app is on wifi only tablets like mine, so while on the road you can look for open networks.

The way that it works is it doesn't know which wireless connection you are using (unfortunately). So the more stars means least chance of interference. You can safely ignore the ones that are -80 or higher (or the rainbows below that -80 line) as interference from those will be minimal. It shows the number of stars based on one strong signal at channel 1, there are 2 weaker ones above the -80 line at channel 6, and then 3 weaker but reasonable signals at channel 11.

In your case since you are the only one in range with your channel 1 router (or else the strong signal is drowning out other possible networks), I would suggest leaving it as is. One way to find out is disable the wireless on your router (or make it hidden/not discoverable), and see if there are other wifi links at channel 1.

On my router I actually have it set to channel 3 since 1, 6 and 11 are the most popular and default channels.
#18 talikarni, Apr 19, 2012
When looking for the best channel for my wifi I recommend using WIFI Optimizer. It really detects the overlaps for each channel and will let you know the best option for any WIFI.
And of course, it
#19 MonchinRLB, May 22, 2012
wow, nice app ... thanks :)
#20 hrdik, Jun 3, 2012