We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"The information provided by the solution for resolving connectivity and performance problems is very thorough. The reporting functionality is extremely good as I can pass that information on with little input. The device will identify issues and problems, e.g., the diagnostic material. When you have Internet access, it sends the information to your email address, which is very useful."
"I like the cloud functionality. That's very useful because somebody can go onsite, someone who is not really skilled, and I can see the test results from the office."
"I also like the remote session and the ability to log in to the device remotely. You can log in to the tester with your computer and can see the screen and operate the tester remotely. This is a very cool function, but it's very advanced."
"It is a pretty rock-solid device that is well-built."
"The solution saves us a factor of 10 in time. If a typical WiFI ticket would cost me two hours with AirCheck, then it would cost me 20 hours without it. At 20 hours, you start to refuse to do tickets because it is just too expensive."
"The most valuable features are the WiFi troubleshooting, network validation, and cabling validation, and the fact that it's an all-in-one tool. You don't have to carry different tools. The multi-technology functionality and its ability to do WiFi and wired Ethernet analysis in one device are the best aspects."
"In terms of the solution's full line rate 10-gigabit capability, my other 10 Gb test equipment is much bigger, bulkier, and heavier. One of my ways of assessing the nXG was to compare it with what I knew to be tried and true on 10-gig to make sure that they matched, and they did. It very quickly got my trust. The fact that it can do 10 Gb, without dropping a packet from what I've seen so far — and we used it a lot in that first three months — tells a pretty good story."
"When it comes to that remote troubleshooting perspective of being able to survey an area to see if there are problems, make adjustments, and then have that same individual resurvey that same area, I don't have to send people to a week long class on how to use the device. I know I am getting consistent results, which can verify near real-time, and whether or not the changes that I have implemented solve the problem."
"The most valuable part is absolutely being able to assess existing WiFi networks quickly. You get very powerful details of networks, details that you couldn't see unless you had multiple pieces of software and hardware. This does it all in one thing."
"One of the biggest pros of AirMapper is that you just hit upload to the cloud and you can use anything with a web browser to look at it and manipulate it, view it, and even share it. The fact that you can review it now on any computer that has web access is phenomenal, versus using the client. That's been fantastic."
"Another good thing I really liked was that it would not only tell me the IP address, but it would tell me more info. It would grab the CDP off of the CDP profile and read all the info it could get, so I knew what I was looking at."
"The most valuable feature is the ability to identify the switchboards, when you plug the EtherScope into the network drop, and all other details about the switch. This is very useful because when you are not in that IDF or network closet but far away from that switch, you can identify the board and then configure the board for your needs, remotely."
"One of the key measurements that we use out of the device is the channel utilization measurement, how much traffic is on the air in a given channel. That's the most valuable feature for us. The ability to make a very fast measurement of how much traffic is on the air is a key value. Otherwise we'd have to do a packet capture and do some analysis. It speeds up our testing."
"We use .1x authentication, so I need to download the certificate onto the device. It would be nice to have this functionality through the cloud as well. Right now, you need to do it through the software by connecting your laptop physically to the AirCheck. This is one thing that is a bit slow."
"The battery life needs improvement. For example, when you are doing an Ethernet test, that seems to drain the battery pretty quickly."
"I would love to have a button that pretends that you're an iPhone 5 or an Android Samsung, then tell me what you think the experience is. This is a very difficult thing to do because each of these things has different radios in them and behaves differently. Now, I can go into the user's office, and say, "The tool says everything's green. The WiFI infrastructure is fine, but their iPhone experience sucks." Is it a problem with their particular iPhone or is it a problem with any iPhone model? If I could have this solution emulate an iPhone model so I can walk into that room, and say, "My tools pretending to be your iPhone and it works fine. It must be your particular iPhone that we have a problem with." I found mobile phones in general have lousy radios and the coverage isn't strong enough, but it would be a nice feature."
"There are some inconsistencies in how it uploads the test results to the cloud, but it might just need a minor improvement on the software side. When you don't have an internet connection on the EtherScope when you do the testing, it saves the results into memory. When it has an internet connection, it uploads those results, but it doesn't work all the time. Sometimes, you need to manually push it."
"The one thing that it doesn't do well, when it's doing airtime utilization measurements, is that it will classify things as non-802.11, and that isn't correct. What it could do better is make sure that it classifies all traffic that's in the air correctly."
"The user interface could be a little bit more streamlined, a little bit easier. Sometimes it's hard to find a specific thing that you're looking for. In terms of hardware-based improvement, the battery would be the biggest issue. The battery goes out very quickly."
"When it works, I love the AirMapper Site Survey app. Currently, my device has a hardware bug that the manufacturer and I are working on actively, to get it fixed or replaced. The 5 gigahertz radio on my device is flaky at best... It doesn't seem to have anything to do with the product itself, as much as it is some kind of unique hardware problem."
"There is room for improvement in the battery life and price."
"I would love to see port profiles. This is something I've expressed to them. The ability for a technician to plug it into a switch port, and say, "Okay, this port will be an access point or this port will be a phone and desktop PC," thus choosing a profile. It will then push a configuration to the device it's connected to and verify that the switch port is correctly configured, so I can hand this to a phone tech who doesn't have any access to a network switch to be able to make changes. They can go out and plug this into a port, then they are able to push a profile to the switch port through the device. That would be pretty fantastic as a next step for this device."
"The only improvement I can come up with is the battery life. If they could improve the battery life, that would be great."
"If I could reset it remotely, meaning reboot the unit, that would be helpful. One time, the test would not respond; the script would lock up. I had to go and manually reboot it. If I could have sent a command to reboot and it would have automatically connected to the wireless, that would have made it perfect. That was the only thing that it did not do."
"Because I work in a big company, it is a no-brainer. If I were a consultant, I would still buy it, but it would be a huge investment. Overall, it's a good tool to have."
"For a few thousand dollars, you save yourself a ton of time. It's a great deal."
"The price is fairly expensive, if you are a single individual. For me, it's well worth the cost of the unit. Depending on the nature of the work that you're doing, the upfront costs can be expensive. Typically, what happens in an environment is a department might have one device as opposed to technicians having them individually."
"We paid for the additional maintenance on it (for an extra year) to get that extra coverage. This was the first time that we had this solution in-house, and it was pretty pricey. So, we wanted to make sure that anything went wrong, then we could get it repaired."
"It's a pricey device, but I see value in it from a business perspective."
"If you're in the networking world, this product makes great sense very quickly, if you're going to use it more than a few times a week... If you are just looking at a handheld device unit for specific, wireless or wired testing and not much else, the cost may be a little more prohibitive than what you have in your budget."
"The stuff is expensive. I really do wish the price would come down. I don't really call support. I haven't had a problem. But it's really expensive and every year I have to pay them a ton of money. I don't want to make up reasons to justify that cost, but I'm not using the support."
"I don't consider the pricing to be a problem. It's not a cheap device, but it's a very capable device for the money. It's a good value."
"For the average network shop, the cost is a bit high. In a lot of organizations, people don't share test devices between teams. Generally, you need a device for the network team and a device for the system team, the security team, etc. While the cost is a little on the high side, that is offset by the regular updates and continued improvements that NetAlly adds to the device. Those improvements continue to increase the perceived value of the device."
"It's very expensive. I wish I could buy a few more and give them to all the people who could use it, or perhaps send it to a client, given that some of its features are easy to use. But sending something worth $8,000 or $9,000 is nerve-racking. It would be nice that if it were a lot less expensive."
"The cost is not cheap but it totally pays for itself because it can do so much."
The AirCheck G2 provides fast, simple, and accurate isolation and troubleshooting, thereby reducing the time to resolve wireless issues. A rugged, handheld purpose-built wireless tester supporting the latest Wi-Fi technologies (802.11a/b/g/n/ac). An instant view of test results including network availability, connectivity, utilization, security settings, rogue hunting, and interference detection.
Multi-technology, all-in-one handheld network tester that enables engineers and technicians to get more done faster, from deployment to maintenance and documentation of their ever-changing Wi-Fi and Ethernet access networks.
AirCheck is ranked 8th in Network Troubleshooting with 3 reviews while NetAlly EtherScope nXG is ranked 5th in Network Troubleshooting with 9 reviews. AirCheck is rated 8.0, while NetAlly EtherScope nXG is rated 8.8. The top reviewer of AirCheck writes "Enables us to download packet capture info from the cloud, and we can see trends with historical info saved to the cloud". On the other hand, the top reviewer of NetAlly EtherScope nXG writes "Does packet capture at line rate gig or 10 gig without dropping a packet". AirCheck is most compared with AirMagnet Survey, OneTouch AT Network Assistant, OptiView XG, iTrinegy NE-ONE Network Emulator and SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager, whereas NetAlly EtherScope nXG is most compared with OptiView XG, LinkRunner and OneTouch AT Network Assistant. See our AirCheck vs. NetAlly EtherScope nXG report.
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