Three tools to pinpoint rogue access points

Aerohive, Ekahau, Motorola deliver location and tracking services for enterprise Wi-Fi applications

Locating and tracking an object via radio waves has been in everyday use since the WWII invention of RADAR (Radio Detection And Ranging). Today, everybody from automobile drivers to airline pilots to mapmakers to construction professionals rely on GPS, another form of radio-based location and tracking.

It's unfortunate that GPS doesn't work indoors because indoor location and tracking is becoming essential in fields as diverse as manufacturing, logistics, transportation, healthcare, education and retail. Plus, there are emerging opportunities such as location-based services (LBS) - finding, for example, the nearest printer, item on store shelves, or defibrillator, just for starters.

Given the increasing presence (and, we believe, eventual ubiquity) of Wi-Fi systems across the enterprise, and the growing potential for Wi-Fi-based location and tracking services, we decided to try out a few of the leading products in an effort to better understand the capabilities and limitations of today's offerings, and to do a little comparative analysis with as level a playing field as possible.

We chose Network World's offices in Framingham, Mass., to install, calibrate, and use Wi-Fi-based location and tracking products from Aerohive, Ekahau and Motorola. These products are also sometimes called real-time location systems (RTLS) or asset-tracking systems.

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