MetaGeek Wi-Spy DBx Offers Cheap, Easy WLAN Analysis
With the proliferation of WLANs in businesses and homes, the need to plan and police wireless networks is growing. The MetaGeek Wi-Spy DBx USB device and accompanying Chanalyzer 3.1 software simplify sophisticated spectrum study for the masses.Wireless spectrum analysis typically falls into two camps: free open-source software such as NetStumbler or Kismet, and ultrapricey hardware-software combo products like the Grasshopper. This leaves a huge gap between those who have the time to play with open-source stuff and those who have the budget to play with proprietary tools. MetaGeek is charging head-first into this gap with its Wi-Spy product line of inexpensive (sub-$800) spectrum analysis products. In April, eWEEK reviewed MetaGeek Wi-Spy 2.4x, an earlier product that only covered the 2.4GHz band. The Wi-Spy DBx retains the power and ease of use of its predecessor while adding improved software and coverage for the 5GHz band.
The vast majority of businesses-and homes-are already using a WLAN or are planning on installing a one. With so many networks and devices out there, the airwaves are getting jammed. Organizations need to perform site surveys to plan a WLAN and then regularly scan the airwaves to look for unauthorized or rogue access points. In addition, there are many sources of interference, such as microwaves and some cordless phones, which can degrade performance or outright block WLAN traffic. Wireless administrators are constantly on the lookout for new ways to solve these problems.