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Checking wireless networks

Reading the posts about wireless networks i like to share this info with you all.
A really good way to check wireless networks is to use the freeware program networkstumbler. It works with a lot of wireless network cards in laptops.
This program show's every API in you neighbourhood, show's the channels, and the strength of the signal. It show's ip adresses and the protection of a wap. I used it several times to measure the strength of a signal or to get info about other sources who have influence on the connection with for example a MVP-8400.
You can download this useful piece of software at : http://www.netstumbler.com/downloads/

Give it a try it's for free and works great.
Before you install make sure you read what wifi cards are supported other wise it doesn't work.

Good luck.

Comments

  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    On a similar note, the NetInfo tool is really helpful for examing a network as a whole. I use it constantly to see what IP address are in use on a local subnet, and whether particular devices are online. There is a limited free version, but the full-blown program is very reasonably priced.

    http://netinfo.tsarfin.com/index.html
  • paradigmpaulparadigmpaul Junior Member Posts: 24
    [email protected]

    Another great tool is [email protected] http://www.lookatlan.com/
    -shareware-
    specify scan ranges, proof scan , trapping->email, graphical ping and more
  • Charles LawCharles Law Junior Member Posts: 72
    DHawthorne wrote:
    On a similar note, the NetInfo tool is really helpful for examing a network as a whole. I use it constantly to see what IP address are in use on a local subnet, and whether particular devices are online. There is a limited free version, but the full-blown program is very reasonably priced.

    http://netinfo.tsarfin.com/index.html

    Dave,

    I used this tool for network diagnostic too. It is useful. What is the additional feature and function for paid version?
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Dave,

    I used this tool for network diagnostic too. It is useful. What is the additional feature and function for paid version?
    To be honest, I don't know. I've used the registered version so long, I don't recall how it worked before I did. It's probable they only offer better support and documentation for registered users; I'm just meticulous about registering software. I once was a shareware author with a few utilities to distribute that made me a very modest amount of money, and I sympathize with those trying to actually make a living at it. So I <i>always</i> register shareware and trial versions, unless they just want too much for the product, in which case I don't use it any longer.
  • IP Scanner

    Here is a great free IP scanner that you can use to check for IP conflicts and open ports.

    http://www.angryziber.com/ipscan/
  • sometimes setting a notebook to test areas can get a little fiddly.

    i have a Pocket PC with a wifi card in it. the driver that comes with the wifi card (pegasus chipset) provides detailed info of wireless/lans in the area, very similiar to netstumbler.

    this has been a handy tool for reviewing wifi zones.

    and now i've got my PSP, i can justify taking it to work because it has a great wifi search system as well, with a web browser built in :)

    (just a bit tricky typing urls, but bookmark a few (eg, regular controller ip) and it's real easy)
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Anyone familiar with any test equipment that provides a detailed overview of RF frequencies detected in an area and a likely source? Something I could take to a job and detect frequencies that might interfere with a wireless network.

    Jeff
  • let me know if you find it... would help a lot over and above wifi status.

    with bluetooth, 2.4G video, AMX RF receivers and then wifi it's all getting a bit cluttered around some of my sites.
  • maxifoxmaxifox Junior Member Posts: 209
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    Anyone familiar with any test equipment that provides a detailed overview of RF frequencies detected in an area and a likely source?
    Jeff

    Jeff,

    For Wi-Fi one is "AirMagnet Spectrum Analyzer" or Cognio ISMS Mobile (http://wifi.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000727044139/)

    Others are here http://products.wi-fiplanet.com/wifi/analyzer/recent1.html .

    If you are looking for broad-range equipment, check for Tektronix, Aeroflex, Anritsu spectrum analyzers (some of the items for mil/gov use however).

    If you have a spare oscilloscope and a directional antenna (including home-brew "cantennas") - nice intro is here "Poor Man's Spectrum Analyzer".
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Here is an article that goes over the Cognio offering and compares it to the BVS offering. I like the fact that the Cognio offering is able to identify the sources of interference, now I just have to see if I can justify the cost for our business.

    I'll check out the poor man's version article as well and see how much a used scope runs.

    Jeff
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    I just ordered a little USB device that I hope will provide some use in doing a very basic scan.

    http://www.metageek.net/

    I was getting ready to order an older looking wireless analyzer from ebay when I stumbled upon this little gadget on the net. For the extra $20, I decided to try this one out. I just like the fact that there is some illusion of support :) I also downloaded the software for free and it seems straight forward enough to help me pick channels a little more reliably than the dice roll method I currently use.

    I'll do a complete review of the device as soon as I receive it and have a chance to test it out. I don't expect this device to be as elaborate as the packages selling for 3-5k, but I don't feel that the company I work for would be able to benefit any more from the full blown testers as compared to this device if it performs as advertised.

    Jeff
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Just received an e-mail ad for this piece of equipment by Test-Um: Wi-Net Analyzer. It's a handheld wireless network tester that retails at $229.95. I haven't tried it before, but I just wanted to post it in case anyone was interested.

    -- John
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Just received an e-mail ad for this piece of equipment by Test-Um: Wi-Net Analyzer. It's a handheld wireless network tester that retails at $229.95. I haven't tried it before, but I just wanted to post it in case anyone was interested.

    -- John

    I just took a look at the specs on the tool, but I would only consider it if I didn't have a laptop. I believe you could easily accomplish everything this tool provides with a laptop, a wireless ethernet adapter and netstumbler.. or any other software package you prefer. But this is strictly my first opinion as I haven't tried this tool out personally.

    Jeff
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    I just took a look at the specs on the tool, but I would only consider it if I didn't have a laptop. I believe you could easily accomplish everything this tool provides with a laptop, a wireless ethernet adapter and netstumbler.. or any other software package you prefer. But this is strictly my first opinion as I haven't tried this tool out personally.

    Jeff

    That's true. Netstumbler is pretty powerful. The main advantages that I see to the Test-um piece is that it's a little easier to wield than a laptop especially if you're waving it around, plus it boots up quickly (I assume), and is easy on power consumption and weight. Plus you can give it to a secondary tech to troubleshoot or verify conditions without the expense of an additional company laptop. Then there's the wow factor to the client when the installation crew starts pulling out all sorts of specialized test equipment that the customer hasn't seen before. That always adds to the professionalism and appearance of the company. With that said though, I haven't rushed out to order one yet :).

    --John
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Well, I just got the USB Stick tester in today and so far it's cool.... Gonna try it at the office tomorrow (today technically). Also, have you seen some of the testers from Test-um??? They don't really scream SPECIALIZED HIGH-END TESTER. It's more along the lines of: TOYS 'R US YELLOW PLASTIC BOB THE BUILDER TOY :) ..... but that's just IMHO.

    Jeff
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Old Timer Posts: 4,584
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    Well, I just got the USB Stick tester in today and so far it's cool.... Gonna try it at the office tomorrow (today technically). Also, have you seen some of the testers from Test-um??? They don't really scream SPECIALIZED HIGH-END TESTER. It's more along the lines of: TOYS 'R US YELLOW PLASTIC BOB THE BUILDER TOY :) ..... but that's just IMHO.

    Jeff
    I use the Test-Um CAT5 wire tester, and I love it. The bright yellow is helpful finding the dongles in a bowl of wiring spaghetti (it's not like all the network wiring I have to deal with is my own work).
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    First, on Testum equipment, I can't say that I have ever had a problem with the functionality of their products, I'm just not fond of their look.

    Now, the important stuff.... Just tried out my little WiSPY device here at the office and it seems to work well. I definately noticed a big jump in activity when I used the Panasonic wireless phone. I can also clearly see the activity generated by our wireless network. I tried using the microwave and it is also showing up in a similar fashion to that described on the website. I was also surprised to find an update to the software available online that adds a spectrogram view option. Overall, for what I need, I think this device is worth the $99.00 price tag.

    Ohh and it also helped me pickup a lot of interference in my house from a neighbor. I switched to a different wireless channel and things are working better.

    Jeff
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Hi Jeff
    Could you post the Make/model and other info in the tips and tricks section. I maybe interested in this unit.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    I'm sorry Jeff, was this already in the tips and tricks section? Long year 2006 :(
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Thomas,

    As far as I know, this has always been in Tips/Tricks section. For info on this unit, go to: http://www.metageek.net/ .

    You can download the software for free and view some of the sample scans they have on the site to see what the unit looks like in operation. I ordered a unit during the New Year weekend and it arrived last Thursday (They weren't shipping until Last Tuesday) so they ship out very quickly.

    I hope this info helps, feel free to ask if you have any other questions.

    Jeff
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    Now that I've had a second to test this, AMX might want to check this unit out and do some testing of their own... this might be a good item to try and buy in bulk and resell (at $99.00) with the AMX logo on it :) .... or even give it to dealers that succesfully complete a training course that deals with wireless installations.

    Just some suggestions ;)

    Jeff
  • i just went and had a look at Wi-Spy. it looks perfect for what is needed to get this problem managed.

    we wanted to order one, but they don't accept orders outside of USA (at least from their website). trying to find a way to get one to australia now :(

    thanks heaps for the info.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Junior Member Posts: 1,164
    Sorry Jeff
    I took a quick glance and thought it was in the general section. Like I said this has already been a long year. Can we skip 2006 and move directly to 2007?
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