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|Clear Choice Test WLAN analyzers|
Network World - In 2004 we tested several wireless LAN protocol analyzers and found two distinct characteristics: Those dedicated and built from the ground up for WLANs, and those that were modest add-ons to what were then labeled classic protocol analyzer products.
Three years later, much has changed, but much has remained the same. The products have grown, some more than others. After subjecting the latest products to several problem-identification tests, we found that AirMagnet Laptop is still the one to beat, as it excels at 802.11-specific analysis. Its rapid analysis and accuracy is clearly at the top of the list. But AirMagnet has considerable and highly evolved competition, so it's going to be difficult for the company to maintain its lead in this area.
We asked for tactical WLAN protocol analyzers, with an emphasis on portability as well as the ability to do spectrum analysis. Three of the four products tested (Fluke's OptiView III, WildPackets' OmniPeek Enterprise and AirMagnet Laptop) use the same card, running the WLAN/Wi-Fi spectrum analysis with largely the same application. None of the vendors that submitted this card (a great one from Cognio) did anything special to relate spectrum analysis to their application.
It's like having a drill and a circular saw in the toolbox; they're important but unrelated to the core WLAN protocol-analysis applications tested. The fourth product tested, Sniffer Portable from Network General, did not provide spectrum analysis.