Network

Airmagnet Wireless Spectrum Analyser

AirMedic is spectrum analysis software designed to help you plan a Wi-Fi network deployment by identifying nearby sources of radio frequency activity which may interfere and affect network per-formance.

Unlike most professional Wi-Fi test tools it doesn’t need a dedicated network tester – but it only supports limited features using a laptop’s integrated Wi-Fi Link 5100 or 5300 wireless adapters, and more advanced functions are only available with specific additional wireless adap-tors (a list of which is at airmagnet.com/products/airmedic/). If you’re going to use it frequently, you may want to buy the AirMedic USB product which comes with a USB spectrum analyser adapter and external antennae.

AirMedic for Intel provides limited information from Wi-Fi chipsets in Centrino 2 laptops, but the USB version offers much more.
AirMedic for Intel provides limited information from Wi-Fi chipsets in Centrino 2 laptops, but the USB version offers much more.

The software lists detected access points (APs) by SSID, manufacturer, Wi-Fi type (802.11a/b/g), MAC address and encryption policy, but also weighs in with customisable views and graphing options to help you optimise Wi-Fi deployments with other equipment in close proximity.

It shows how many APs are on different channels and wavebands, so you can configure new APs onto those ?with the least number of competitors, and also channel by occupancy, speed and utilisation, with first and last timeframes indicating the times of day that specific APs are transmitting.

Alternatively, Netstumbler is a free tool providing basic stats in a clunkier interface, but it works only with Windows 2000 and Windows XP. A better option is Vistumbler, which supports Windows Vista and Windows 7, and detects APs and displays information on SSID, MAC address, status (active/dead), channel, authentication type, encryption, network type (infrastructure or ad-hoc), manufacturer, radio type (802.11 a/b/g) and latitude and longitude if GPS is available.


 
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If you're supporting en users who need to transfer files by FTP occasionally, explaining how to use FTP every time can get frustrating. Map an FTP site as a custom network location and they can do it through the familiar Explorer window. If you only have a couple of machines you can choose Tools >Map Network Drive… in Explorer and click the link 'Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures' to open a wizard that creates a network location. Select 'Choose a custom network location', type in the FTP address and fill in the user name and password. You can also create mapped drives and network places on the Environment tab of the user's Active Directory object - but if you have a lot of users to set up, put it in the logon script for the user profile under Active Directory Users and Computers.
If you're running into problems with Group Policy Objects, check this handy summary of the rules at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555991/en-us. read more

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