31 July 2010

Using a Netbook to Monitor Wifi Distribution

I had an idea recently. With the emergence of almost ubiquitous wireless networks around the world, especially in urban centres, I thought that it would be useful to monitor the strength, intensity, and distribution of wifi networks throughout the city and in surrounding suburbs.

Originally, I thought that I could get a mobile oscilloscope, which would be light and portable enough to carry around with me and measure the intensity of a certain wavelength of signals in the wifi wavelength of about 2.4 GHz. I had thought that technological tools such as oscilloscopes would have dropped considerably in price by now. However, I soon discovered that the cost of such an oscilloscope that could measure in the wifi wavelength was prohibitively expensive, at least for a hobby.

Therefore, I thought that an alternative solution would be just to take my netbook around with me. Since each netbook has a network strength and signal checking function, I could just plot the intensity strength of certain wifi networks through the city and in suburbs. It felt like useful information down the road.


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