Mac Tip: View Advanced Wireless Network Info from Menu Bar

Here’s a quick tip that shows you how to view more information about your wifi network right from the menu bar of your Mac computer. If you had always wondered how to see wifi network details such as signal strength, channel, MAC address etc. full instructions for you after the break.

How to View Wireless Network Info on Mac:

If you normally click on the Airport/Wi-fi icon in the menu bar of your Mac you will see the list of available networks.

Airport wireless network status 1

Now click on the same icon with Alt/Option button pressed on your Mac’s Keyboard.

Airport wireless network status 2

As you can see for yourself in the screenshot above, the Wireless network details are now available. Here’s what each of those mean:

  • PHY Mode: Shows the Wireless Mode your Mac is connected in. My latest Belkin router supports 802.11n so that is what my Mac is using to connect.
  • BSSID: This is the Mac address of the wireless router or access point you are connected to.
  • Channel: The wireless channel that your router is configured to broadcast on. Usually a value between 1-13.
  • Security: The type of encryption used by the network.
  • RSSI: This is your signal strength. The perfect strength is 0. So -100 means a weaker signal than -50.
  • Transmit Rate: This is the max network speed available with the current signal strength. The data rate is measured in Mbps.
  • MCS Index: Short for Modulation and Coding Scheme, MCS is only associated with 802.11n networks.

Note: If you can’t see the Airport icon in your menu bar go to System Preferences > Network > Airport and then select Show Airport Status in menu bar at the bottom of the pane.