macOS Airport WiFi information

For many years the undocumented macOS command-line utility named “airport” (not to be confused with the Airport Utility app) gives detailed information about the current WiFi connection and nearby WiFi APs. This utility is made easily available by setting the alias:

alias airport=/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport

The current WiFi connection details are given by:

airport -I

The current WiFi channel and bandwidth are given like:

channel: 1,20

where “1” is the channel number and “20” is the bandwidth in MHz.

Determining current BSSID requires using “sudo”, which doesn’t resolve the alias. Reveal BSSID and other advanced details like:

sudo /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources/airport -I

Return data in machine-readable XML format by adding option “-x”. This is used in our MozLoc WiFi-based location program.

airport -Ix

Apple laptops from 2023 and newer may have WiFi 6E. Without WiFi 6E hardware, the Apple laptop cannot use the 6 GHz WiFi band.