How-To Geek

Analyze & Optimize Your Wireless Network with Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android

Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android is the complete package. Not only will it show you the channels used by nearby wireless networks on a slick graph, it’ll recommend the ideal channel to reduce interference on your wireless network.

Once you’ve selected the ideal channel, you can flick over to the signal strength meter. With the meter in the palm of your hand, you can walk around to analyze your coverage area, find dead spots and identify interfering objects.

Getting the App

Farproc’s Wi-Fi Analyzer is available for free from the Android Market. It’s ad-supported, but you can disable the advertisements from the app’s settings screen.

Switching Screens

This app has more than one trick up its sleeve. You can open the menu and tap View to view a list of screens, or just flick your finger left and right to switch between them.

Channel Graph

Once you fire up the app, you’ll see the channel graph. Wi-Fi Analyzer graphs each nearby wireless network’s signal strength and channel and displays the information on an easy-to-understand graph.

Here, TELUS2410 has the highest signal strength in our area, but other nearby networks are interfering with it. Note that each network is also interfering on adjacent channels. We’d want to set our network to use an entirely free area, like Gigaset4B6’s owners have.

You can also use the channel graph to find the ideal public access point. Just fire up the app and identify the open wireless network with the highest signal strength and least interference.

Channel Rating

On the channel rating screen, Wi-Fi Analyzer cuts through all the technical information and tells you exactly what to do. First, you’ll have to tap the message at the top of the screen and select your access point.

Once you have, Wi-Fi Analyzer will rate your current Wi-Fi channel and recommend you better ones.

Wi-Fi Analyzer is telling us that our current network gets 7/10 stars — as we can see from the rating list, we’re using the worst possible channel in our area. We’ll want to switch to channels 1, 11, 12, 13 or 14.

Signal Meter

The Signal Meter screen allows you to walk around and measure the your wireless network’s signal strength in different places. Similar to the Channel Rating screen, you’ll have to tap the message and select your wireless network.

After you do, you can walk around and watch the meter move. Use this to detect dead zones and identify interference. If a certain area of your building isn’t fully covered, you may want to move your wireless router to maximize your coverage area. Large, metal objects can also cause interference.

If your screen keeps turning off while you do this, open the app’s settings screen and enable the Keep Screen On option under UI Settings.

Time Graph & AP List

The time graph screen graphs each network’s signal strength over time, but doesn’t show any channel information.

The AP list screen shows the same information as the channel graph, but in list form.

Changing Your Wi-Fi Channel

Now that you know the ideal channel for your wireless network, you’ll have to set it on your router’s setup page. The exact process is different for every model of router — check out our guide to changing your router’s Wi-Fi channel if you don’t have your router’s manual handy.

You may have to look beyond the standard wireless setup page — on my current router, I found the option on an Advanced Settings page.

Once you’re done, you can fire up Wi-Fi Analyzer again and examine the graph — on channel 1, we’re not longer experiencing interference from other wireless networks.

Farproc’s Wi-Fi Analyzer may not have all the features of a commercial Wi-Fi analyzer, but it’s the best you can do on your Android device. Why walk around with a laptop open, trying to stare at its screen and not trip, when you can have Wi-Fi Analyzer in the palm of your hand?

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 02/10/12

Comments (15)

  1. Stijn Verwaaijen

    Interesting! How would one go about this in Ubuntu/Windows?

  2. bluelord

    awesome app.. :D wireless jockey-ing..

  3. Squidward tenticals

    @Stijn Verwaaijen

    try INSSIDER for windows

  4. Stijn Verwaaijen

    Thnx Squidward tenticals (??)!! :D

    It’s available (though in beta) for linux too:

  5. abefroman

    try fing for android

  6. Mukashi

    I used this to tune my router. I was able to see other routers nearby that were interfering with mine. I changed the channel setting and improved my signal.

  7. Steve

    I have been using this app for a month now. Living in a sub-division I was surprised how many routers it was picking up. I can’t imagine what it would be like in an apartment building. Changed the channel my router was broadcasting on for a much improved signal. I have used it at clients homes and they are totally amazed with this wizardry. The best part of this app is that it’s free!! Fing is another good app for mapping wireless networks, also free.

  8. DJSambo

    Is there any free apps compareable to this for iOS? I love this for my personal droid, but at work I have an iPhone and can only connect to the Wifi with my iPhone. I need something for iOS to check signal strength in certain areas to check for coverage.

  9. JP

    Have this on my Fire and love it.

  10. phinney5350

    Found this app a week ago..very handy!

  11. Andrew

    I would also like this on iOS

  12. Robert Moskowitz

    What do you mean by “ideal channel”? I tried every one of my wireless router’s channels and #10 came up fastest. But the android WiFi Analyzer thinks channel 14 is “ideal”. It was way slower than channel 10.

    What’s more ideal than a higher speed?

  13. Chris Hoffman


    That’s very interesting. As far as I know, no channel is actually “faster” than others. The “ideal” channel is the one without interference. I suppose there could be interference from sources other than Wi-Fi networks? I’m stumped, to be honest.

    But, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. What really matters is the speed — use what’s fastest.

  14. Chris Hoffman

    As far as iOS goes, I don’t have an iPhone, iPod or iPad — does anyone know a good alternative for the Apple users out there?

  15. Rickgro

    Thanks this is great…

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