How often do you use WiFi connections on your Android phone? For many, it’s a way to keep the phone bills down when you don’t have to use mobile internet. It’s also perfect if you have a mobile data plan and want to stream media to your device.
If you’re a WiFi aficionado, you’ll probably want something a little more powerful than the default Android WiFi tool. Sure, it does its job of connecting to access points quite well, but if you want functionality that goes beyond just listing the WiFi channels around you, apps can fill whatever niche it is you want it to perform.
Here are four manager apps to make WiFi management a little easier.
1. WiFi Manager
WiFi Manager is a very simple tool with some great functionality added to it. At its most basic level, you can open the app and select which network you’d like to connect to. Dive into its settings, however, and you’ll find some great little features within.
If you’re in a populated area and you’re inundated with WiFi signals around you, WiFi Manager can sort the connections by name (for when you know the name of the connection you want) or by signal strength (for when you want to see the best public WiFi connection available). You can also change the listings from “Live” networks to “Known” ones to only show connections you’ve used before. It’s very handy for cutting through the noise and connecting to your favourite access points!
Its automatic refresh feature is also a nice touch. If you’re not so keen on mashing the refresh button to find a network, you can enable auto refresh instead. It’ll then keep updating the access point list until you tell it to stop. The Radar feature is particularly useful if you want to make sure an access point is competing with others on a single channel. Just load it up, and it’ll show you on a graph the channels that each access point uses. This is great for both connecting to a public hotspot as well as tweaking your own router back at home.
2. WiFi Analyser
WiFi Analyser is another strong choice with an optional download if you want to connect to hotspots through the app. It comes with some nice features, all of which are tucked away under the “View” menu. The Channel Rating feature analyses an access point and lets you know what channels it would perform best on.
If you want to analyse the signal strength of the router you’re connected to, you can do so using the signal sensor. This shows you how strong the signal is and can even make beeps related to the current signal strength if you enable the sound.
The Settings menu has even more features to it including turning on/off the WiFi when the app is opened/closed, automatic scanning, keeping the screen turned on, and setting the channels available in your region.
WiFi Analyzer is a free app that uses bar ads and occasional fullscreen ads to cover costs. If you’re not too bothered by advertisements, it can be a very powerful tool to analyse and connect to access points. You can also use the open source version which doesn’t have as many features but still delivers the core elements with zero advertising. Plus, you may even get to add to it if you want!
3. WiFi Connection Manager
WiFi Connection Manager is another powerful entry on this list. At its base it displays all of the access points in range as well as those remembered by the device. When you start looking through its features, however, you can see how much is packed into this app.
Swiping left on the bottom menu scroller will bring you to a spectrum graph where you can see all the access points and the channels they’re on. Swiping to the right gives you access to a lot of different networking tools, such as a ping tool, scanning the LAN for devices, and even turning on computers using Wake-on-LAN.
Even the main page has its own set of tools you can use. You can edit the WiFi scan to filter specific network types, arrange the networks so your favourites are at the top, and even turn your phone into a portable access point.
This app uses small ads at the bottom as well as occasional full-screen ads. You can get the premium version here, but be sure to read the instructions and reviews on how to install it properly!
Perhaps, however, you’re not looking for something packed with features and menus. Maybe you’d like something a little simpler and easy to use. WiFinder does the job very well on this front – it’s lightweight, easy to read, and simple to navigate.
On the main page you can see access points in range, their channels, and their signal strengths. You can have this strength represented in percentage, dBm, or a typical WiFi strength bar graphic, so you can tweak it in a way that suits you best.
There’s a tickbox at the top-right that only shows you access points with no password in case you’re in a public area and need somewhere to connect to. You can also set it to autoscan for access points every five seconds to sixty seconds.
While the default Android WiFi connection tool does its job well, those who want additional information from their WiFi connections can find what they’re looking for using apps. Now you know some of the better ones on the market and what they do.
Do you use an app to handle your Android WiFi? Or does it not bother you? Let us know in the comments.