A few weeks ago I got a nice surprise in the mail: a package from NetScout with a sample unit of their Test Accessory for the AirCheck G2. Since recieving it, I have put it to use in a number of networks to test, measure, and validate temporary and permamnent Wi-Fi installations. It’s proven itself useful just about every time I’ve used it. Here’s the video:
The AirCheck G2 is Awesome, You Should Know That
Now, it’s no secret that just about every Wi-Fi pro has pretty much standardized on the AirCheck G2 as a go-to and a must-have for their toolkit. Anyone that’s looking to troubleshoot, test and prove out Wi-Fi networks has got a friend in this device. Now, I’m not going to dive into the G2 as it is it’s own amazing piece of gear, but instead I want to focus on the valuable addition that NetScout has added to this set.
The NetScout AirCheck G2 Test Accessory can be connected to your network via POE to power it up and begin testing immediately. If POE is not an option you can use 2 AA batteries to provide the juice and plug it into any standard network port. Once it finishes a boot cycle, it negotiates a link, recieves an IP address, calls out to the NetScout cloud service and is ready to go. Now that you’re ready, the next step is to connect your G2 to a wireless network and get testing!
Why the Test Accessory Makes the G2 Better: Practicality
The imporatant gap that I think this tool fills for the AirCheck G2 and the network engineer using it is the ability to give your client results that they will actually understand. I have yet to meet a manager or decision maker who is having prooblems with their wireless network care if they are using 20 MHz or 40MHz channels, 802.11n, ac, wave 1 or wave 2. What they care about is something that they understand, and in this case, the Test Accessory serves that up on a platter: throughput. If they can’t measure their network in “bars”, they will want to measure it in capacity. A lot of times network engineers tend to over complicate explanations to problems or solutions, and this provides a level of practicality that can see and understand.
Here’s how it works: Once the AirCheck is booted up, you choose an access point on the network you are testing and you associate the G2 to it. Once the connection is successful, you will see an option on the bottom of the screen to start the throughput test. When pressed a list of the Test Accessories found on your network appear and you are able to select the one that you would like to begin testing your throughput to and from.
With the tap of a finger you are able to see the PHY data rate that is negotiatied and the upload and download speeds that are you able to obtain.
It’s a simple and quick as that. One of the things that makes the AirCheck G2 such a great tool is it’s ability to boot quickly getting you online and testing immediately. You get the full ability to look at the network from an RF perspective, the conenctivity and persepctive and now you get the network capacity as well. Well done NetScout!