Wifi Diagnostics Tool for Macs


On this campus, there are two bands of WiFi. One is a 2.4GHz, the other is a 5GHz. The access points in Overlook and Jasper are only 2.4GHz (named JASPERNET). Access points located in the academic buildings, such as De La Salle or Miguel, and dorms, such as East Hill or Horan are 5GHz (named JASPERNET5).  

The primary differences between the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless frequencies are range and bandwidth. 5GHz provides faster data rates at a shorter distance, whereas 2.4GHz offers coverage for farther distances, but may perform at slower speeds.

  • The 2.4GHz provides 13 overlapping channels spread equally over the frequencies plus a 14th channel that is used in Japan, so you don't have to worry about that. This leaves available only three non-overlapping channels in the 2.4GHz band.
  • The 5GHz ISM band is divided up into sub-bands. This gives 23 non-overlapping channels where four of these have limitations based on location.

The second difference is the number of devices on the frequencies. 2.4GHz suffers more interference than 5GHz.

  1. The older 11g standard only uses the 2.4GHz frequency, majority of the world is on it. 2.4 GHz has fewer channel options with only three of them non-overlapping, while 5GHz has 23 non-overlapping channels.
  2. A lot of other devices are also on the 2.4 GHz frequencies, the biggest offenders are microwaves and cordless phones. These devices add noise to the medium that can further decrease the speed of wireless networks.

Keep these things in mind when choosing a network to switch to.


Here’s how to find the WiFi scanner in OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan:

  • Step 1: Open Wireless Diagnostics

              - Hover over the WiFi icon in your OS X menu bar, hold down the Option key ⌥ (next to the CTRL key) and click the icon. This will show you a secret dropdown menu where you’ll find Open Wireless Diagnostics — click on that.

  • Step 2: Open “Scan” Window

              - Once you’ve opened up the Wireless Diagnostics window, head over to the top left of your menu bar and click on Window, then Scan.

  • Step 3: Find The Best WiFi Channel For You 

              - Scroll down until you find the bolded network name. This indicates the network you are on currently.

              - Scroll all the way to the right until you find the column that says channel. In order to connect to a different network with a smaller channel you will need to disconnect from the designated network and reconnect. Do this until you find a network with a smaller number.


For more information, please visit these articles:

How To Access The WiFi Scanner In Mac OS X Yosemite

How To Access The Wi-Fi Scanner In Mac OS X El Capitan

For more help, please contact ITS at its@manhattan.edu or 718-862-7973.

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Article ID: 14145
Tue 6/28/16 11:23 AM
Thu 8/22/19 1:18 PM