Scanning Mac WiFi networks from the command line

Thanks to osxdaily.com for this tip.

First, do this (one-time operation):

$ sudo ln -s /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport /usr/local/bin/airport

Then, anytime you want to query the nearby Wi-Fi networks, make sure Wi-Fi is enabled, and do this:

$ airport -s

This will create output that looks like this (B/SSIDs changed to protect the innocent 🙂 ):

SSID BSSID             RSSI CHANNEL HT CC SECURITY (auth/unicast/group)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -66 149 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -68 6 Y -- WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -43 6 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -65 6 Y -- WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -84 1 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -70 1 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -58 1 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -86 11 Y -- WPA(PSK/AES/AES) WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -85 11,-1 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)
XXXX 1a:2b:3c:4d:5e:6f -58 11 Y US WPA2(PSK/AES/AES)