Wireless site survey

Review of eight tools that help IT execs set up and monitor WLANs

AirMagnet

Company: AirMagnet
Product: Survey 6.0
Price: $4,695
Type: Predictive/Analytical
Skinny: A combined predictive/analytical powerhouse.

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Berkeley Varitronics

Company: Berkeley Varitronics
Product: Swarm 1.5
Price: $2,500
Type: Analytical
Skinny: A set of applications that implement a fairly complete site survey tool.

Ekahau

Company: Ekahau
Product: Site Survey Pro 4.5.3
Price: $3,995
Type: Predictive/Analytical
Skinny: The application is more oriented towards analytical, walk-around surveys.

Company: Motorola
Product: LANPlanner 11.0
Price: $12,000
Type: Predictive/Analytical
Skinny: Robust product, perhaps a bit intimidating to non-engineers.

Motorola SiteScanner

Company: Motorola
Product: SiteScanner 2.0.3
Price: $2,500
Type: Analytical
Skinny: Cousin of Motorola’s LANPlanner, but designed just for analytical measurement and visualization.

Nuts About Nets

Company: Nuts About Nets
Product: Airhorn 2.0
Price: $135
Type: Special
Skinny: Signal generator packaged as a USB dongle with external antenna

Psiber

Company: Psiber
Product: RF3D WiFi Planner 1.0.21
Price: $795
Type: Predictive
Skinny: Offers simulated 3D radio-wave propagation
Art: RF3D

VisiWave

Company: VisiWave
Product: SiteSurvey 2.0.6
Price: $549
Type: Analytical
Skinny: Can import site survey data manually or via GPS, Integration with Google Earth is provided.

Meet the tester. Craig Mathias is a principal with Farpoint Group, an advisory firm specializing in wireless networking and mobile communications. He is also a regular columnist for two publications, including Computerworld, and his blog, Nearpoints, resides at Network World. He can be reached at craig@farpointgroup.com .

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