8 free Wi-Fi security tools

Free Wi-Fi tools come in handy. Here are several free programs you can use to do Wi-Fi stumbling and surveying on all the popular platforms.

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1. NetStumbler

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NetStumbler is one of the oldest and most known Wi-Fi stumblers and runs on Windows and Windows CE/Mobile. It lists nearby APs and displays their basic details: SSID, channel, speed, MAC address, vendor, and encryption. Unlike most other stumblers, it also shows the signal, noise, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) levels.  Additionally, it has GPS support to record AP locations when wardriving.

Keep in mind, NetStumbler hasn’t been updated since 2004. It may not run well on Windows Vista or 7, or even 64-bit Windows XP. Additionally, it doesn’t show the real encryption methods of APs. If an AP has encryption enabled it’s always marked as WEP, regardless if it’s WEP, WPA, or WPA2.

NetStumbler can be useful when doing basic signal reading or wardriving, but the limitations I mentioned prevent it from being a go-to tool for other situations, such as when doing a security audit to look for misconfigured or rogue APs.

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