The Bottom Line
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor is much more than your standard wireless network monitor and certainly more complex than most system monitoring gadgets.
The Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget for Windows 7 and Windows Vista can search for wireless networks, verify wireless coverage, show details about your current wireless connection, and much more.
You can even manage your wireless adapter and connection, right from the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget!
This gadget is a bit over the top for my tastes but I certainly see how it could be a useful and entertaining addition to your Windows 7 desktop or Windows Vista Sidebar.
- Unique radar/sonar display of available wireless networks
- Clear and detailed signal strength display and history
- Several configurations available including many skin colors
- Displays currently connected network's SSID, channel, data rate, and more
- Supports standard levels of opacity and two size options
- Size and constant radar/sonar motion could be distracting
- Current version suffers from bug that creates color problem
- Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor shows available wireless networks in your vicinity.
- Gadget also displays current wireless signal strength and a recent history of that strength.
- Your current IP and MAC addresses are displayed on the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor gadget.
- Several configurations are available from within the gadget options, including many skins.
- Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor allows direct management of your wireless adapter and current wireless connection.
Guide Review - Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor Gadget
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor is quite the Windows gadget. It certainly resembles a full fledged program more than probably any other Windows 7 or Windows Vista gadget that I've seen.
The obvious killer feature in Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor is the large radar-like display, showing available wireless networks. The further away from the center the labeled wireless network is, the lower the signal strength. If nothing else, it's a very cool way to show a list of wireless networks.
The rest of the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor contains information on your current wireless connection including your current SSID, wireless network channel, data rate, and signal strength. There's also some wireless adapter information including your current IP and MAC addresses.
The biggest problem I have with Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor is completely subjective - I think it's too much. It's too big, the radar display is distracting and not overly useful, and the Xirrus logo is huge as far as gadget logos go.
You, however, might love Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor and might find it very useful. For example, if you regularly connect to different wireless networks or are having some signal strength issues you're troubleshooting, this gadget could be just what you're looking for. It's a very unique gadget, I'll give you that.
The only technical issue I saw was a big orange circle when using the gadget in Windows Vista. The fix involves moving Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor away from the Sidebar and then back, but it's certainly a problem that needs to be fixed.
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor is freely available from Xirrus. After you click the Visit Their Website link on this page, scroll down a bit on Xirrus' download page to find the download. See How to Install a Windows Gadget if you need help after that.
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor is certainly a one-of-a-kind wireless network gadget for Windows 7 or Windows Vista and you should give it a shot if only for a few minutes of geeky entertainment!