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I am putting this blog together to cover some of the wireless tools that we use or are highly recommended in the wireless community.
Many of you might already be aware of some of the tools in this blog but there might be some in here that you have not come across before that you could find quite useful.
We will kick things off with the WiFi tool we use the most, which is Ekahau.
If you are a wireless engineer then this is a must-have in your tool bag – we use it for everything – from designing wireless networks to troubleshooting them.
Ekahau is certainly rich in products & features so we will just cover them here quickly:
Ekahau Pro™ Site Survey Tool
“The industry standard tool for designing, analyzing, optimizing and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks. It combines professional grade features with unprecedented ease of use and features a new, ultra-fast user interface which works on macOS and Windows. Ekahau Pro site survey supports all Wi-Fi access points, thousands of antennas and every Wi-Fi standard including 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6).”
“All-in-one, precise Wi-Fi diagnostic and measurement device that contains two Wi-Fi radios and a spectrum analyzer used for professional Wi-Fi site surveys and troubleshooting. It delivers 2x faster site surveys, 4-10x faster spectrum analysis (compared to other Wi-Fi spectrum analyzers) and uses seven factory tested antennas which are placed in the optimum orientation to deliver precise and consistent measurement accuracy. It’s plug-and-plan, works with iPad, MacOS and Windows and supports all Wi-Fi standards, including the new 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6).”
Ekahau Survey™ for iPad
“Ekahau Survey is the first professional grade Wi-Fi site survey tool for iPad. This solution is 70% lighter than using a laptop which helps you keep going all day. It’s intuitive and easy to use which means both Wi-Fi experts and IT professionals can now perform site surveys with ease. It automatically locates all nearby access points and places them on a map and delivers instant post-survey analysis with easy-to-read, beautiful crystal-clear heatmaps.”
“With Ekahau Capture you no longer have to invest into dedicated and expensive equipment or fallback on complex and unreliable methods to perform packet capture. Easily collect the data you need to conduct advanced troubleshooting and in-depth analysis of tough to diagnose Wi-Fi problems without waiting for a Wi-Fi expert. Ekahau Capture makes it possible for anyone to quickly capture Wi-Fi packets using Ekahau Sidekick.”
“Choose a collaboration method that works best for you and your customers and easily switch between offline and cloud modes. Enjoy seamless collaboration between central office and field sites and make project sharing with your entire team simple and easy. Multiple people in the field can now work concurrently on the same project while critical data can be quickly shared with Wi-Fi experts anywhere in the world so they can help troubleshoot tough to solve problems without ever leaving the office.”
Ekahau works on both Windows & Mac.
With Ekahau Connect you can survey on iPad – iOS.
Link to Ekahau website – https://www.ekahau.com
Ekahau does cost money – to get a quote from a reseller in the UK contact Open Reality – https://www.openreality.co.uk/
“Wireshark is the world’s foremost and widely-used network protocol analyzer. It lets you see what’s happening on your network at a microscopic level and is the de facto (and often de jure) standard across many commercial and non-profit enterprises, government agencies, and educational institutions. Wireshark development thrives thanks to the volunteer contributions of networking experts around the globe and is the continuation of a project started by Gerald Combs in 1998.”
Wireshark works on both Windows & Mac.
Wireshark is a free tool
Wireshark website – https://www.wireshark.org/
Twitter – @WiresharkNews
Omni Peek is also a protocol analyser and a very nice wireless tool for protocol analysis – but unlike Wireshark this is not a free tool.
Omni Peek Overview:
Real-Time Network Protocol Analyzer
Real-Time Network Protocol Analyzer
Best-In-Class Network Analysis Workflow
Network Analysis Workflow
Easy WiFi Troubleshooting
Omnipeek only works on Windows.
Omnipeek Website: https://www.liveaction.com/products/omnipeek-network-protocol-analyzer/
WinFi Lite is a new networking program and app for Microsoft Windows devices designed to monitor, analyze, and manage wireless networks. The application is available as a Microsoft Store application and as a classic desktop application.
WinFi Lite Overview:
Perfect for quick Wi-Fi troubleshooting. Your dreams of doing Wi-Fi analysis while mobile have come true. WinFi and a Windows 10 tablet of your choice, makes convenient on-the-go analysis.
Familiar element decoding. No steep learning curve. WinFi leverages familiar structure and naming guidelines found in Wireshark.
Networks are analyzed for standards violations and malformed elements. WinFi will let you know if there are inconsistencies. Plus, you can open networks from WinFi directly in Wireshark.
Outstanding grouping, filtering and sorting capabilities. WinFi has powerful and best in class grouping, filtering and sorting capabilities.
Group, filter and sort by any information you want. Set filter and grouping thresholds for signal values, use regular expressions for text searches, and much more.
WiniFi Lite works on Windows only.
There are free & paid versions of this tool.
Additional viewing options in WiFi Explorer Pro let you organize scan results by SSID, access point or access point radio to better visualize multiple networks per access point.
Simple, intuitive user interface
Resolve Wi-Fi issues
Get a full insight into Wi-Fi networks
Spectrum Analysis Integration
WiFi Explorer works only on Mac.
There are free & paid versions of this tool.
Kubicon system consists of two components- cloud based dashboard and a hardware Wi-Fi sensor which basically mimics end user Wi-Fi behaviour.
All that needs to be done in order to deploy the solution is to perform configuration on cloud console which is central point of management and reporting and to deploy sensors across desired environment.
The solution monitors number of important factors such as Wi-Fi signal quality , bandwidth capacity, network service, web applications, etc. from wireless end user perspective. Additionally it calculates overall Wi-Fi client experience score, based on these values. All metrics are available in real-time on cloud dashboard or on demand in form of reports which in turn can be exported to multiple easy to read/use formats. Based on the mentioned architecture and features, we are able to detect current issues and predict possible problems in the future.
One of the most frequent issues we have experienced in Wi-Fi environments was related to Guest Wi-Fi networks, particularly lack of (proactive) monitoring and analytics of Captive Portals.
That’s why we are very proud that we managed to develop comprehensive Wi-Fi captive portal testing and monitoring, with the features such as:
Since then, it has been widely embraced in the awesome wireless community and after many contributions, this tiny box has evolved well beyond a network performance testing device.
Today, it can also be used as a remote Wi-Fi scanner, packet capture tool, portable Wi-Fi signal generator and much more! These capabilities assist wireless professionals with designing better wireless networks, troubleshooting issues more quickly, and validating wireless network performance.”
WLAN Pi | Handheld Edition
AirCheck G2 offers a one-button AutoTest function that quickly provides a pass/fails indication of Wi-Fi network quality and identifies common problems.
Test the latest Wi-Fi standards (including 802.11ax), with a rugged, handheld, purpose-built wireless tester.
See all networks and devices in your location immediately upon power-up.
View test results, including network availability, connectivity, utilization, throughput, security settings, possible rogues, and interferers.
Automate reporting and enable collaboration with upload and management test results via Link-Live Cloud Service.
Powerful Dual-Band Spectrum Analysis
Chanalyzer Essential includes Wi-Spy DBx, a powerful dual-band spectrum analyzer that measures WiFi and non-WiFi activity in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Chanalyzer utilizes radio frequency data from Wi-Spy DBx to provide you with a real-time visual overview of your WiFi network environment.
Locate Sources of Interference
Once you’re able to see interference, the next step is to eliminate it. Unlike the omnidirectional WiFi antenna in your laptop or wireless adapter, a directional antenna is highly focused to pinpoint non-WiFi sources of interference. This allows you to actively seek out and remove loud transmitters from your WiFi environment.
Monitor Channel Saturation and Intermittent Interferers
By graphing every access point within reach and pairing it with the raw RF information provided by Wi-Spy, Chanalyzer provides you with all the information you need to monitor and manage saturated channels. The built-in recording feature even allows you to track the most frustrating WiFi problem – intermittent interference – and come up with a plan to eliminate it for good.
We found this through Dan Jones so thank you to Dan! His twitter is: @UKDanJones
You need to install the developer profile from here: https://developer.apple.com/bug-reporting/profiles-and-logs/
This profile gives you access to previously hidden/inaccessible menus & functions in your iOS.
This is a great app on iOS to show you the RSSI from the device perspective but once you have installed the application you need to go into the settings and enable the WiFi scanner:
Example of the information we can see using Airport Utility:
Aruba Utilities includes:
• A Wi-Fi Monitor showing the Wi-Fi environment, including the current access point, dynamic signal strength and RSSI measurements, other access points audible to the device and handover events.
• A Telnet/SSH client that works with Aruba mobility controllers, allowing network configuration and monitoring from a mobile platform.
• An AirWave client that downloads the floorplan image and AP details from the network’s AirWave WLAN management system. See where APs are located relative to your position, and touch AP icons for details of current loading, channels and power.
• The AirWave client also offers a locally-generated estimated heatmap and a site survey function that links actual coverage measurements to locations on the floorplan.
• Device information (Wi-Fi, IP, DHCP, cellular status) is displayed along with an implementation of the Airwave Management Client (AMC) that reports device information and scanned APs to your AirWave WLAN management system.
• A Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) scanner reports nearby iBeacons and other BLE devices with UUID, index values and signal strength measurements.
• Android versions of iPerf, Ping, DNS and mDNS offer network test functionality.
• Measurements are written to a plain-text log file and various csv report files that can be emailed for use later.
WiFiman helps you locate a less crowded channel for your Wi-Fi Access Point. It lists nearby Wi-Fi channels and Bluetooth LE devices and shows you the details of those channels.
With the app, you can easily list and analyze devices connected to your current network. WiFiman scans the whole network subnet and shows you all of the available devices with the applicable details, using Bonjour, SNMP, NetBIOS, and UBNT discovery protocols.
Another core feature is the network speed test. You can test the speed of your internet connection and save the results for later comparison – or quickly share the results.
‘How Many APs Do I Need?’
No more guessing based on device counts
or rule-of-thumb cell sizing
That’s all the WiFi Tools for now that we are going to cover – if you use any WiFi Tools that we have not included in this blog post please leave a comment or reach out to us and we will update the post to include!