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Rollout: AirMagnet Laptop Analyzer Pro

The Upshot

AirMagnet says the Laptop Analyzer 7.0 Pro provides more detail about radio frequency quality than its competitors by detailing both physical and network-level interference problems. It boasts an enhanced feature set to help administrators accurately troubleshoot WLANs and identify security issues. It also claims its new GUI makes the product easier to use.
AirMagnet's Laptop Analyzer Pro adds significant functionality to its wireless analysis and troubleshooting feature set. The GUI enhancements and advanced capabilities offered in the Pro version reinforce AirMagnet's leadership in this arena as compared to AirDefense's Mobile, Network Chemistry's RFProtect Mobile and WildPacket's OmniPeek.
Laptop Analyzer Pro continues to deliver core features, including security and performance alarms; channel, device and traffic analysis; and troubleshooting tools. New features such as interference analysis and IEEE 802.11d/h support make it faster and easier to identify problems. However, a few minor misidentifications suggest the product requires a little more refinement.

AirMagnet Laptop Analyzer Pro

Wireless network management remains somewhat of a black art because the RF medium adds a level of complexity not found in the wired world. AirMagnet's Laptop Analyzer Pro helps materialize the invisible and identify potential security threats and performance problems quickly.

AirMagnet continues to add and expand features and functionality to Laptop Analyzer Pro, making it the de facto tool for wireless LAN troubleshooting and analysis. One would think that any new features found on a product in its seventh major release would be window dressing, but the changes and additions are welcome. The new interference analysis and AirMagnet Spectrum Analysis integration, for instance, are so useful you almost forget about core features like rogue detection and wireless policy enforcement.

Both AirDefense and Network Chemistry introduced their mobile products after rolling out their enterprise products. AirDefense offers many of the same alarms and functionality as its enterprise product in a mobile package, but is targeted mainly as an add-on to an enterprise sale. Network Chemistry's mobile product offers site surveys and Geiger-counter style rogue location, as well as many wireless security features found in their enterprise product. Laptop Analyzers feature set, however, keeps it at the head of the pack. This software loads on any modern laptop and supports a wide range of Wi-Fi cards.

The 7.0 release supports Intel's 3945ABG, bringing the total number of cards supported to more than 30. Note that AirMagnet loads a special driver to access extended features within these cards, as well as to establish a level playing field for variable aspects, such as signal levels.

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