If you do anything to support, manage, maintain, or secure 802.11-based wireless networks, having a good commercial wireless network analyzer is an absolute MUST. I say “commercial” because like most things IT-related, you get what you pay for. Commercial wireless network analyzers are easy to use, they can do lots of stuff right out of the box, and have good reporting capabilities. Did I mention they’re easy to use?
Anyway, two tools you really need to have on your radar are the following:
I’ve used both tools extensively; they’re solid, proven, and just work. All things considered, they’re not that expensive either.
The reality with wireless networks is that if you don’t have good tools, you’re not going to get good results. Period. So try these tools or scope out some others; just do something to get your hands on one. While you’re at it, take the time to read through the documentation, watch any vendor webcasts and so on to familiarize yourself with the tools. Ideally, you should take a class to learn both the tools and 802.11-based technologies. Doing so will make your job – and your life – much, much easier moving forward.
Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, expert witness, author, and professional speaker with Atlanta-based Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog. He can be reached through his website at www.principlelogic.com.