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How to find available WiFi networks using Python?

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 24 Oct, 2020

WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) is a wireless technology that allows devices such as computers (laptops and desktops), mobile devices (smartphones and wearables), and other equipment (printers and video cameras) to interface with the Internet. We can find out the names of the WiFi names with the help of Python. We need to have the basics of networking to help us know what we need and what we do not need.

Module required

  • subprocess: The subprocess module allows you to spawn new processes, connect to their input/output/error pipes, and obtain their return codes. We do not need to use pip to install it as the subprocess module comes preinstalled.

With the subprocess module, we need to use the check_output() method. We will pass a list of the things we will need to know about the WiFi networks. We will need netsh, wlan, show and network. These parameters are passed for storing the outputs in them and then converting it to strings to display the outputs. 

Syntax: subprocess.check_output(args, *, stdin=None, stderr=None, shell=False, universal_newlines=False)


  • args: The arguments used to launch the process. This may be a list or a string.
  • stdin: Value of standard input stream to be passed as pipe(os.pipe()).
  • stdout: Value of output obtained from standard output stream.
  • stderr: also known as standard error, is the default file descriptor where a process can write error messages. Basically the value of the error(if any)
  • shell: It is a boolean parameter.If True the commands get executed through a new shell environment.
  • universal_newlines: It is a boolean parameter .If true files containing stdout and stderr are opened in universal newline mode.

Returns: Information about the networks

Now here is the code for it


# importing the subprocess module
import subprocess
# using the check_output() for having the network term retrival
devices = subprocess.check_output(['netsh','wlan','show','network'])
# decode it to strings
devices = devices.decode('ascii')
device s= devices.replace("\r","")
# displaying the information


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