⏛ THE TOOL "SHED" ⏛
A list of tools every Wi-Fi Craftsman (or, Craftsperson 😁) should have, or strive to, if they wanna play with the big boys. A true "craftsman" invest in their training, knowledge, and tools. The list is not comprehensive, but it's a start.
As with all the "rolls" I'll update regularly. If you have a tool you think would be good to add to the "Roll" please tweet me!
For list of my day-to-day tool click here →
design , planning & survey tools.
Ekahau Site Survey My personal favorite survey tool and the one my company has standardized on. There is also a free version called "heatMapper" that only does heat mapping of signal levels. [$$$$] [Windows]
NetScout AirMagnet Arguably the most popular, and commonly used survey app around. [$$$$] [Windows]
NetScout AirCheck G2 Wi-Fi Test Tool [$$$] Handheld tool that AutoTests quickly and provides a pass/fail assessment of wireless environment; identifies common problems - for any level of Wi-Fi expertise. The G2 is the all-new version that also has a built-in LinkSprinter, plus uploading results to your cloud account. Fantastic device that should be in every WLAN pros toolbag. [$$$$]
NetSpot is an "entry". level. survey. tool. It's most useful for getting signal strength and such, but it's not going to give you the detail of professional apps like Tamosoft, Ekahau, or AirMagnet. It also has a built-in wireless scanner. Over-all it has limited feature-set for basic Wi-Fi scanning and signal measurement. You get what you pay for with this one. [FREE] [$]
Tamograph Site Survey A very cost-effective entry into professional surveying. Good support and gaining popularity more and more with WLAN pros.[$$] [Windows]
VisiWave Site Survey I;ve personally never used VisiWave, but it's been around for a while, and trusted by many WLAN pros. [$$] [Windows]
WiFi Survey app for iPad [$$] Though limited by Apple's API restrictions, this is a great app for surveying using the iPad. Also, very useful for documenting AP/survey locations using the iPad camera. This is not a replacement for a professional tool, but is great additional for survey, and installation validation. Recently upgraded to provide RSSI using Apple's Airport Utility app.
iPerf iPerf3 is a tool for active measurements of the maximum achievable bandwidth on IP networks. MUCH better than Internet speed tests that dob't give you accurate measurements of you networks throughout. [FREE] [Windows/Mac/Linux]
Tamosoft Throughput Test Utility for testing the performance of a wired or wireless network. It continuously sends TCP & UDP data streams across your network and computes metrics,like upstream/downstream throughput, packet loss, round-trip time, and displays the results in both numeric and chart formats. [FREE] [Windows] [Mac]
WiFIPerf [$$] Gives iPerf3 a a front end to make it easier for testing. [iOS] [Mac]
wireless analysis/packet capture.
AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer PRO Cream of the crop when it comes to WLAN analysis. Streamlines analysis so you can find problems fast. [$$$$] [Windows]
Metageek Eye P.A. Wi-Fi specific packet analyzer. Shows your 802.11 frames in a graphical format for quick on the spot analysis. [$$] [Windows]
Savius Omnipeek Packet analysis, and troubleshooting for 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless networks. [$$$] [Windows]
TamoSoft CommView for Wi-Fi Affordable, professional wireless packet analysis.
Wireshark is a free, open-source packet analyzer used for network troubleshooting, analysis. The most famous packet analyzer of all time! [FREE] [Windows/OS X]
inSSIDer by MetaGeek [$$]
OS X Wireless Diagnostics [FREE]
inSSIDer by Metageek [$] [Android]
WiFi Analyzer [FREE] [Android]
WiFI Scanner [FREE] [Android]
Airtool is a system menu bar application that provides basic functions to check the state and channel configuration of the built-in Wi-Fi adapter, as well as to perform frame captures on single and multiple channels [MAC] [FREE]
Aruba Utilities Aruba Utilities includes a number of tools useful for characterizing and troubleshooting wireless LANs from Aruba Networks. Some tools work with any WLAN, others fetch data from Aruba’s controllers, Airwave management system and location engine. For [Android only] [FREE]
Connect-A-Desk: Mobile Laptop Harness & Desk Everything you need to use your laptop while standing and walking around to perform a wireless site survey. Your back and arms with thank you!
Fluke Linksprinter Handheld network tester to diagnose PoE, Link, DHCP, Gateway and Cloud connectivity. Sometimes the problems aren't wireless. $$
Google Earth We often get floor plans that have no calibrations on them so we use Google Earth to measure the longest straight line of the building and use that to calibrate our floor plans in our surveying software. Google Earth Pro is also now [FREE].
Fluke Laser Distance Meter Sometimes you need to get accurate measurements to ensure that you calibrate you floor plans for use in a planning/design/survey software. A laser distance meter is a good way too check distances & heights. You can find them at all different price points on Amazon.
Wi-Fi Signal System menu bar application that provides easy access to your Wi-Fi connection details, monitors the signal quality of your wireless network [$] [Mac]
totally biased endorsement ★
Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display With an OS based on UNIX/BSD you have the tools right at the command line. Also, with full-access to the wireless NIC you can capture wireless traffic natively in monitor mode - no need for expensive external wireless NICs. Yes, I'm biased - so sue me! :-) $$$$