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WiFi Manager

Since we all need 4 WiFi networks in our homes,
  • 5 GHz Lan
  • 2.4 GHz Lan
  • 5 GHz Guest
  • 2.4 GHz guest

and if you are like me, you might be switching between them. Then we need a good way to know which one we are on and quickly switch to another one.

So, for example, if I'm on my regular Lan, and need to search for movie on my Roku streaming device from my phone, I switch to my guest network. This is necessary because we must treat devices like Roku as guests and not allow them access to our home or office network. But, if I'm on my guest network, and want to copy a file to my office, perhaps a screen capture or a picture, then I need to switch back to my office Lan. The simplest way I know to do this is with WiFi manager's WiFi Widget. This is an Android only app, and I couldn't find an iOS option that seemed to do what this does.

The Widgets come in different styles and sizes. This is the one I use on my phone.

This is what my WiFi Widget looks like on my phone. It's telling me I'm on my 5 GHz office network (OrangeMoon-5) and getting a perfect signal (100%). It also shows my IPv4 address.

If I want to switch, I tap the widget and get this:

Showing the available networks. I'd just tap one of my OCS-Guest network to switch if I want to interact with my Roku.

The WiFi Manager also has very small 1x1 widgets which will connect to a specific access point if desired so if I wanted I could have 4 small widgets, one showing as active and just tap another one to disconnect from the current access point and use another one.

Finding the best network

The WiFi manager also tries to find the best network I use and sign me into that one. It is also smart about it, only switching if there is an appreciable difference. It can automatically choose 5 GHz networks over 2.4 GHz networks even if the 2.4 GHz network is somewhat stronger (this is adjustable). The reason for this is that the 5 GHz network is much faster, so 33% on your 5 GHz network is probably going to be stronger than 50% on your 2.4 GHz network. But this won't be the case if the signal has to go through walls because the slower 2.4 GHz spectrum is better and moving through walls.

Cost and Company

I really like this Russian programmer. He is Kostya Vasilyev and I use his BlueTooth Widget to turn on and off Bluetooth. I keep it off when I'm not using it to preserve battery life. His Bluetooth Widget is free. This WiFi Manager is free for the lite version, but I suggest paying $1.75 for the paid version. It is worth it. I also use his wonderful AquaMail for my email client and paid $4.95 for the pro version which allows some extra features and more accounts.

Date: August 2016

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