War Driving with WifiScan for Android

About once a month I’m going to do a write up on an featured Android Application. I love my Android phone and I have been recommending to all my friends to get one. So The first one I’m doing is called wifiscan. Enjoy.

I’ve been a fan of War Driving for a long time. If your unsure of what War Driving is let me explain. All you do it get a good wifi card (one with external antennas are even better) and drive around town looking for open networks. Keep in mind 2 things. For starts, I don’t actually do this anymore because I have the net on my Android and an actual cell card so I get access anywhere I go. Second. Some consider it illegal to scan for networks. This is not true, as long as you don’t use the network without permission from the owner!

I use this program quite a bit on my phone since currently where I live 3G is not available and I need to use EDGE. It’s not slow, but trying to show a friend the new monitor I was to get on newegg.com takes a while to load. We are usually at coffee shops so I use wifi scan to ensure I’m connecting to the correct wifi. Also the program does have a couple limitations. When exporting a kml file (for google earth) it can cause the Android to think the program has frozen. It hasn’t. Actually the Android is just show at writing files, click wait and deal with it. Also it only scans once every 3 seconds. Most scanners you would use on a laptop scan many times per second depending on what you card can handle. Therefor this doesn’t work well when shooting down the freeway at 70MPh nor driving 25 through a neighborhood. It’s not perfect, but I still like it.

Please note that I have blurred out any information that could compromise the security of anyone’s network or location.

To start I love the speed and direction that is shown. I tried to take a picture when I got to an open stretch of road with no one near me, but the picture turned out a little blurry. I’m sure you get the gist of it.

Just so show how cool this program is I exported the kml file and loaded it in my google earth. It doesn’t exactly pinpoint the exact location (like what house it’s in) of the network, but it does a good job none the less.
The red pins are encrypted networks and green are open. You can even toggle it to show only encrypted or only open networks. Here are 4 pics that should be helpful. Once again I’m sorry that my picture taking abilities are not very good.
Did you see my battery drop? That does happen when I get off a long phone call and start using the phone for other things.

Anyways, even if your not a War Driver I still recommend this program, it’s a lot of fun. You can download it from the Android Market.

Check out the developers website at www.waterflea.com/android.php


  1. DaijoubuKun says:

    UPDATE! This app is no longer FREE! I brought it up in the marker (the version I have installed), and I quote:
    This app scans for Wifi networks and saves their details and GPD positions. You can show them on the built in map or use the KML files with Google Earth.
    Files are save on the SD-Card.
    v. 2.0.9
    * Can use coarce based location service. (No GPS)

    WHAT THE! Always free huh? Not anymore it seems. Time to check out some other programs. I liked this one because of that GPS, but most of the time I just wanted to see what wifi signals were about right quick.

    UPDATED! Check out G-Mon! It does a lot of the same things. The map isn’t as cool or as interactive. However, it does export to KLM for google earth. Honestly is I wardrove as much today as I did a few years ago I would pay for the app.

  2. Haekon says:

    You should check out an app called Wardrive, which is available on the Market. It works as an overlay to a google map, so it can work with satelite or road maps. It also exports to kml files or to an online database. The thing is well thought out and hasn’t crashed on me once. the source code is even available on google code. Did I mention it’s free? I run it on my Moto Droid, and a friend has it on his G1.

  3. DaijoubuKun says:

    Thanks for the tip. I grabbed it, once I drive the same path as I did in this post I will report the results and see what I find. I can’t wait!

  4. Impatient Pete says:

    Well?? We’ve waited almost two months, any comparison YET?

  5. DaijoubuKun says:

    Wow, Thanks for the reply I removed your hateful e-mail and I’m rather surprised at your immaturity in the matter. Ok, here is what I got. Because I don’t have a lot of time and no longer care (because of your distasteful “edited” message), I have found that WarDrive does a better job. There are a few things it doesn’t do, like satellite overlay, but that’s about it. So Mr. Impatient Pete, why don’t you download both and let me know what you think.

  6. steve says:

    Wardrive does satellite. menu -> more -> map.

  7. DaijoubuKun says:

    You are absolutely correct! I completely forgot! Thanks for the comment!

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