Diagnosing problems with your Mac’s wireless network can be seriously challenging — average users can’t hope to master the science of examining individual devices for issues, or getting a big picture sense of how everything’s working together. Mac Attender’s Network Radar ($20) isn’t the least expensive way to help you tackle network issues, but it’s the best-designed option we’ve seen. After you choose a wireless or wired network to scan, it presents you with a list of green/yellow/red status devices, their IP addresses, vendor information, ping speeds, and last activity times. One glance lets you quickly determine what each device on your network is, as well as what might be slowing things down or failing to work at all. More detailed information, including the MAC Address, available services, and identifiers, can be found by clicking on any device that interests you.
Network Radar’s shortcuts go beyond just the concise initial screen. You can double-click on devices to automatically connect to their web interfaces, a handy trick that may bring you to an older, unnamed printer in need of a firmware update. Tools such as Whois, SSH, and Telnet can help you identify and communicate with devices, and each device can be named and re-iconed for ease of future reference. A potentially troublesome device can be placed on a monitoring list and watched over time, using OS X notifications to show status changes over time. In addition to the Mac App Store version, the developer offers an unlockable demo version through the Mac Attender web site and Paddle.com.