If you regularly search for a wireless networks,this I the product for you!
While the bundled airport software with OS X, can only give you a rudimentary determination of what networks are available and their signal strength. IStumbler is designed for the nerd that likes to know as much as possible what type of signals are floating in the neighborhood. It gives you the network name and a numerical value of the signal strength. It also tells you what kind of security the network has, the chipset/vendor of the wireless access point, as well as it’s Media Access Controller (MAC) address.
For those that war-dial, the program can also log the connections, thought that option is off by default. Finally,iStumbler can also help you determine and manage your Bonjour (the technology formerly known as Rendezvous) network.
Personally, I use it a lot when I’m in a cybercafe. Knowing the signal strength and noise ratios at a particular spot lets me find that sweet spot where I can both use my laptop on the internet, and effectively keep from spilling it on my Pismo.
In my work as a consultant,I find knowing the channel the base stations
are operating on is critical. Moving your network to a different channel often fixes networking problems and conflicts. Same is true with the chipset. Some routers don’t get along with certain wireless access card, and being able to track down those conflicts really helps. The interface is clear and easy to read. I used to use MacStumbler, but that program started showing it’s age and wasn’t as easy to read as iStumbler with it’s modern brushed metal interface.
The cost of the product is a $10 donation. The author describes it as “subscriptionware” you pay to help the product development continue. The product is not crippled in anyway but not having paid the fee, which is nice of shareware writers. IStumber can be downloaded at istumbler.net.