Since joining MetaGeek about a year ago, I’ve been amazed at the positive following this company enjoys from its user base. While the Wi-Spy products with Chanalyzer get most of the fanfare, our free, open source Wi-Fi scanner application recently hit a nice little milestone. inSSIDer surpassed the 1 million user mark in October. Actually, that happened long before since the numbers we are looking at are only users that have gotten inSSIDer directly from us at www.metageek.net/products/inssider while the application is available for download from hundreds of other sources as well. Since October, we’ve released inSSIDer 2.0 and seen another 370,000 unique downloads from our own site. What’s next you ask? Well, it’s not only our customers that love inSSIDer, we have a company policy that gives each and every employee 20% of their work time to devote to projects that we as individuals think are important but haven’t made it to the company roadmap. One of the team decided that inSSIDer shouldn’t be so biased towards Mr. Gates’ empire. If you want to see the result of his latest 20% project, get your Debian based Linux box out and click here: http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/linux
Why is inSSIDer so great? Did I mention it’s free and it’s open source? It runs on virtually any Windows OS you might find (XP and later, including 64bit operating systems) with more coming as you saw above. It uses whatever wireless network card you have in your PC and shows you all kinds of information about the Wi-Fi access points in your vicinity. inSSIDer isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Wi-Fi scanner either; MetaGeek has been pioneering the personal RF spectrum analyzer space since 2005 with Wi-Spy(take a look at Ryan’s recent blog to see more on this) and the knowledge that has gone into making Wi-Spy the best selling spectrum analyzer in the world has also found its way into inSSIDer.
inSSIDer users run the gamut from IT professionals to high school students. They use inSSIDer to view the name (SSID), power (RSSI), channel and numerous other useful bits of information about the Wi-Fi access points around them. With this information in hand, they can find open access points to connect to or more frequently, figure out the best settings for their own access point(s). If you doubt the value of such a tool even for a second, download inSSIDer and see what’s happening in the Wi-Fi space around you – the number of access points using the waves and stepping on each other while they do will amaze you and you just might find that switching the channel on your own wireless router will let you avoid some of that.