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Network World - Company: VisiWave
Product: Site Survey SO
Verdict: Strong 3D features
VisiWave Site Survey allows the user to import graphical floor plans of the area under consideration, and to manually place access points in the model. Once you've imported your floorplan into Visiwave Site Survey, you can capture site survey data point-by-point (manually marking locations, continuously, or via GPS - if outdoors). Integration with Google Earth is also provided. Reports are generated via a separate application (VisiWave Site Survey Report), and it's possible to produce detailed tables, graphics and charts. Most useful are the 2D and 3D contour graphs of signal strength, and it's also possible to view coverage by access point, channel and data rate.
Visiwave comes in a number of versions. The SO ("Software Only") version we installed differs from the Pro version ($2,495) only in that the latter includes a hardware "navigation unit" that automatically tracks the user's location, although both collect sampled data in the same format.
The reporting application is included with both. Bundled versions that include select 2.4 GHz. models of Metageek's Wi-Spy spectrum analyzer are also available, enabling integrated interference and signal-to-noise calculations. It's also possible with this configuration to capture spectral energy relative to the floor plan for careful analysis of this data. Given the small differential in cost (only about $250 to $500, depending upon Wi-Spy model) and the huge range of additional functionality enabled, we'd recommend this option.
Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.