Friday, June 19, 2015

Free Android apps for network technicians

For network technicians, whether you are working on a small home network or a large business network, it can be handy to have access to certain information right from your smart phone, as well as the ability to perform tasks from your phone.  The free Android apps below can all be worthwhile for a network technician to have.

- Wifi Analyzer

This little app can be helpful for improving network performance due to wireless interference issues.  The app will analyze the Wi-Fi channels around you and display graphically the amount of traffic and noise on each channel.  You can then determine the best channel to use to get the least amount of interference.  Wifi Analyzer works with Android version 2.3 or higher, and it has a user rating of 4.4 out of 5.

- Router Passwords

When working with many different customers (especially residential customers) you'll probably see all different brands and models of routers.  With this app, you can have a good database of default usernames and passwords for just about any router.  If the customer forgot their password or can't find their documentation, just look up the router model and find its default credentials.  This app takes up 4.5 MB of space on your phone, and it is compatible with devices running Android version 2.1 or newer.

- Linksys Connect

With Linksys Connect, you can easily manage a customer's Linksys E-Series, X-Series, or Valet router right from your smart phone.  You can access and change router configuration, as well as add new devices and even reboot the router remotely.  Linksys Connect will work with Android version 2.2 or higher, and it requires 2.4 MB of free space on your phone.  (There is also an Apple version of this app for the iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.)

- Network Discovery

For a quick overview of the network you're working with, try Network Discovery.  You can see computers and other connected devices, as well as scan ports and view IP addresses.  This app has a user rating of 4.2 out of 5 and it only takes up 256 KB.  It works with Android version 1.5 or higher, and now includes support for Android 3.0.

- Ping & DNS

With this network app, you'll have the ability to run ping and traceroute from your phone.  You can also do DNS lookups and reverse lookups.  The app can combine ping with GPS tracking for troubleshooting spread-out networks such as college campuses.  The app requires minimal space and it has a user rating of 4.3 out of 5.

(Originally published on, November 2011; updated June 2015)

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