WiFiMETRIX – Dual-Band 802.11 Channel Analyzer

The folks at Nuts About Nets have come up with a new small hand-held diagnostic tools to analyze and test your Wi-Fi networks. It operates in stand-alone mode, no computer necessary. Implementing two great features – first, it has full AirHORN capability as well as the features of their WiFiPROBE tool. This tool can do RF signal generation/packet injection (AirHORN) and throughput diagnostics (WiFiPROBE) on each available Wi-Fi channel.

I’ve been using an AirHORN for showing demonstrations on Spectrum Analysis tools for many years, but it was a pain to fire up the specific software on a different computer for a short demonstration. Now this is near instant, turn on the WiFiMETRIX – and you are ready to demo! This includes features to stress test the RF environment around you… as well as visualize the effects when you have a Spectrum Analyzer showing the results.

The AirHORN feature you can set:

  • Band
    • 2.4GHz or 5GHz
  • Tx Power
    • 2dBM to 18dBm
  • Single Mode
    • Channel
    • Raw RF or Packet
  • Traverse Mode – sliding between channels
    • Fast, Slow
  • Pulse Mode – Just like it sounds
    • Channel
    • Duration
    • Interval

Each of these has a different effect on the RF environment – a great way to test your Spectrum Analyzer… but also could be, OK *WILL BE* potentially dangerous to your live working WLAN as you test each feature.

As for the WiFiPROBE functions – the tool scans across channels to find what the current ‘Available Transmit Time’ – in percentage shows how busy each channel is – not from the point of view of an Access Point, but from the point of view of a client device using standard Wi-Fi chipsets. This process entails traversing each Wi-Fi channel, measures the available transmit time and compares it with a reference value. (Reference is calibrated in a clean environment without congestion or RF interference)

It doesn’t tell you how to fix the situation, but does allow for a quick and accurate view of what clients would experience at that location at that time.

For the current pricing of $295 it is a fairly inexpensive tool to add to any Wireless LAN Professional’s toolkit! (Not to mention, you can recharge with simple USB charging cable you already have)