WiFi scanning

I received quite a few questions regarding the possibility to add WiFi scanning to NetworkToolbox that displays the SSID (WiFi name) and RSSI (signal strength) of WiFi networks around you.

Unfortunately (or I would call it fortunately) Apple removed the possibility for developers to access the WiFi network device from inside an app (at least for non-Apple apps).

For this reason, there is no app available on the AppStore that can do these kind of things. There used to be a few apps in the past which were able to provide this on a very limited basis but they don’t run anymore on iOS 8 and can’t be updated by the developer as it would then not pass the App Store review process. Such apps have been submitted to Apple by the time when it was still possible to access the network device.

However, what a “regular” developer can’t do seem to be possible by apps developed by Apple.

See how you can still scan WiFi networks

There is still a way to scan your WiFi network although it’s a bit tricky to enable it.

The solution is, to use Apples AirPort Utility app and to enable a hidden feature for it. This works, even if you don’t have an Apple WiFi router.

Here is, how to enable WiFi Scanning:

  1. Install the Apple AirPort Utility app from the App Store
  2. Start the app one time and then close it
  3. Go to Settings (of your iPhone/iPad) on the main screen, scroll down until you see the AirPort app and select it
  4. Enable “Wi-Fi-Sanning”
  5. Start the AirPort Utility app again
  6. Tap on “Wi-Fi Scan”
  7. Tap on “Scan”

WiFi-scan

After a while, you can see all WiFi networks around you even with Channel information, BSSID (Mac address of the device) and RSSI (signal strength). If you tap on an entry you can even see the more information like the signal strength history.

I think that’s a not-too-bad workaround.

Stay tuned!

Best regards,

Marcus