Naina KhedekarSep 08, 2012 16:30:36 IST
Google’s mobile app market has been growing by the day. It is inundated with apps for just about everything – be it health, music, movies and or something silly and worthwhile. The Google Play is also loaded with apps to assist professionals. If you are a computer engineer or networking professional, your Android phone can serve as a tool for administering computers, remote access and more. Some of these apps could come handy if you are usually travelling around the clients site for troubleshooting or to set up a new networking environment. We have jotted down 10 such must-have, free Android apps for any computer engineer or networking professional.
Wifi Analyzer - Free
This is a must-have app in your Wi-Fi tool kit. This app lists and analyses the Wi-Fi networks available around you. It informs the user about the network channels being used and recommends which one is less crowded and apt to use at that point of time. What we liked is the way this app shows graphical analysis of the Wi-Fi networks in the vicinity for a clear understanding; you can pick the option depending upon the signal strength. The app also lists out the signal strength, the SSID and BSSID addresses along with the entire list of securities involved. You can also check the signal strength on an individual Wi-Fi network using the built-in dBM meter.
List and analyse Wi-Fi networks
Fing - Free
Those looking for an easy and simple way to list out all the PCs or devices connected to their Local Area Network can install the Fing Network app. It is quite similar to the Angry IP Scanner for Windows. Basically, the app scans your entire network and lists out every machine connected to it. It vertically stacks all the IP addresses along with machine names, IP addresses and MAC addresses. As you see in the screenshot, it lists out name of the device or network card, IPO address, Mac address and icons. Tapping any device on the list will further provide additional details such as NetBIOS name, domain name, services and few more more. Additionally, you can ping as well as trace route of a device.
To list the PCs on the network
Wi-Fi HotSpot / Wi-Fi Tether - Free
This is a cool, handy app to convert your Android device into a full blown portable Wi-Fi hotspot. It allows you to share your Android phone's Internet connection with other wireless-enabled devices such as mobiles, notebooks, PSPs and more. It is also beneficial for creating a wireless network whilst outdoors to share data, transfer files or stream media to other devices.
To create a Wi-Fi network
Ping & DNS - Free
This app combines a slew of features that are essential for network diagnosis. It can ping a server, lookup DNS (with geographical lookup of IP addresses), trace routes (also with IP address geo lookup), inspect HTTP response headers, query WHOIS records and scan for open ports. It remembers recently used servers/IP addresses for auto-completion. Several other options such as using an alternative name server, Ping TTL, Broadcast Ping, HTTPS, HTTP port number, selection of DNS record types to query and more are available through a long-click on the "Go" button. Moreover, this free app is ad-free and a must-have for networking professionals.
To check connectivity of an Internet connection
X-plore Manager - Free
This app is beneficial for cross-transfering files between two PCs, different servers, online servers, local networks and even different subnets. X-plore Manager is a dual-pane file managing app that offers tree view, Root, FTP, SMB, Sqlite, Picasa, Zip, Rar explorer and more. Its main operation is managing files and folders – viewing, copying, moving, deleting, compressing to Zip, extracting, renaming, sharing and more. With dual-pane explorer, it is capable of showing two folders at same time; common operation such as copying files are done from one pane to another. The folder hierarchy is displayed in a tree view. It allows cloud storage access to Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, Box.net and SkyDriv.
Checking or transferring files over networks
Wi-Fi PPPOE - Free
This app can make a PPPOE (Point To Point Protocol over Ethernet) connection via Wi-Fi, which means dialing through ADSL Modem with user name and password provided by some Internet ISPs. Basically, the app allows your Android device to connect to Internet directly via PPPOE dialing through Wi-Fi, without the need for another Wi-Fi router. A great app for testing Internet connectivity problems on the client's site.
To login into a PPPOE broadband for testing
VNC Viewer - Free
The VNC Viewer is a quite simple and convenient app for controlling a PC on the network. The app lets users see and control their computer's desktop from their phone. It is an Open Source (GPL) remote desktop program and connects to most VNC servers like incl TightVNC, RealVNC on Win and Linux, x11vnc, and Apple Remote Desktop on OS/X. The current updated version allows to preserve sent text from session to session, import/export settings to a file on SD card and adds button in zoom control to bring up keyboard. This app is beneficial especially on tablets when you need to access a far away PC or server in a local LAN or WAN environment.
Controlling a pc on the network
TeamViewer - Free
TeamViewer is the most popular remote access application. The TeamViewer Android app is a mobile and flexible way for those who want to remotely access computers (Windows, Mac and Linux) from their phone via Internet. So you can edit documents or use particular software on your desktop even while you are on-the-move. It can control remote computers using the multi-touch gestures like left click, right click, drag & drop, scroll wheel and zoom. It gives complete keyboard control, including special keys such as Ctrl, Alt, Windows, and meets the highest security standards of 256 Bit AES Session Encoding, 1024 Bit RSA Key Exchange. It is capable of effortlessly accessing computers behind firewalls and proxy servers too. A very beneficial app for remote assistance to clients when you cannot visit the client's site, if you are out of town or want to give remote assistance urgently
Controlling a PC on the Internet
Wire Reference - Free
This app is extremely handy for rookies in the networking field and also those engineers who don't really make networking cables on a daily basis. The app serves as a guide for these users to make network patch cables like TIA/EIA-568-A Cat5A, TIA/EIA-568-B Cat5B, RJ11, RJ14, Crossover 10Base-T, Crossover Gigabit T568A, Crossover Gigabit T568B and Power over Ethernet. The app shows diagrams displaying the cable coding and also includes descriptions, overview and pinouts.
Good for rookies in the networking field
Tiny Flashlight + LED - Free
This app is beneficial for illuminating area inside the PC cabinet or network cabin. It not only supports the widest range of devices with camera flashlight (led flash), but also serves as the brightest flashlight / torch because of the camera flashlight, emitting intense light in the dark. With different widgets and diverse screen lights, it comes with the best flashlight support.
Illuminating area inside the PC cabinet or network cabin
While these are a bunch of great apps shortlisted by us, there are quite a few more apps on the Play Store that can come in handy for you as a networking professional or computer engineer. Do let us know what you think about them. You can list down some of the apps that you have used and how they benefitted you. This list will be great for those who don’t know about the existence of these apps.
Main Image Credit: Getty Images
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