The Canary Wireless HS10 Network Detector is one of the few, reasonably priced wireless network detectors to offer an LCD screen and let you know whether the wireless network is secured. To get a full understanding of it’s usability, and after our last trip to a wifi-dead town, we’re going to find out really what advantage this thing could offer us.
The quick & dirty:
Where you can get one:
Why it rocks:
Durable Simple Usage LCD Screen Know if a network is secured or not
Why it bites:
DOWNLOAD OUR TRAVEL GUIDES
Doesn’t find networks that are “hidden”
Seat-of-the-pants rating: 8 out of 10
Long Winded Version:
I never thought one of these wireless network detectors would be anything other than dorky, or just another thing to carry around. Then, when I spent almost a whole day trying to find a wifi network that I could plop down and work on for 4-5 hours at a time in a town that thought wifi meant going to the library, it finally dawned on me. Then I wished I had one.
Alas, I still did not, so I resorted to driving around trying to find SOMETHING. Which I did, but it would have been way easier to spend my day finding it with a handheld detector than driving around with my laptop on the dash.
There are quite a few different wifi detectors available now, but many are super cheap and have only a little LED light that indicates a wifi network. Is it secure? What’s the network name? What signal strength is it?
All those are answered by the Canary Wireless version. Coming from a brand well known for making robust wireless products, and priced what I think is competitive for a quality product, this thing has only 1 flaw: It won’t detect “hidden” wifi networks. Those are the kind where the network name is set to not broadcast, like at my house.
I suppose, if the network is hidden there is a good chance it has a MAC filter and WEP/WPA encryption too. But still, it would be nice to have that.
Besides this annoyance, the Canary Wireless detector is the best I’ve laid hands on in the sub $75 range. It’s got a neat little loop at the top for some kind of lanyard too, in case you’re prone to losing things.
Wanna buy one? You can get it from here: