A good wireless analyzer should give you the Access Point Name!

Currently it seems that AirMagnet and Ekahau are the premier wireless analyzers on the market today. I have used both of them and I’m finding favor in AirMagnet over Ekahau due to one reasons.

Both Ekahaue Site Survey 5.6 and AirMagnet WiFi Analyzer (Professional Edition) Version 8.1 have the ability to be placed in the trouble spot or dead spot to analyze the WiFi coverage for a live reading. The Ekahaue feature is called the “Live Network Status”, AirMagnet comes up to this live view by default. AirMagnet will display the name configured on the access point (AP) along with the MAC of that radio. This makes it very easy to identify an AP from a client. Ekahau only gives the MAC and no name of the access point. They both give SSID’s, they both can filter on 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz and each have many more features.

** If you do a site survey with the Ekahaue software, it will give AP names, but will not in the Live view.

My sticking point is the AP name. I have over 300 AP’s in a single facility, they all have names and they are all placed on my maps by name, not by radio MAC. When I get called to a location that has poor coverage, I don’t do a survey, I want the live view of that spot at that point in time. If I adjust power on an AP, I want to be able to see the difference at that point in time and not have to do a survey. Ekahau makes this task very difficult for me. It displays the Radio MAC, not the name, then I have to search for that MAC to figure out what AP it is. This adds a lot of frustration and wasted time when I know that the AP name can be learned and displayed.

Due to AirMagnet displaying the AP name, I prefer this tool over the Ekahau software for this specific troubleshooting. I’m not saying that AirMagnet doesn’t have it’s own challenges, or Ekahau is not a good piece of software, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

I have asked Ekahaue to add AP names to their tablet version, Ekahaue Mobile Survey, and their PC software Ekahaue Site Survey as of version 5.6 they have yet to add this feature.

If you also want AP names in the Live and mobile view, please tell your Ekahau sales and support staff!!

Please post a reply to this with your comments, I would like to know if I stand alone in wanting the AP names in the display!!

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About Scape

Over 10 Years in the networking field. Have worked in the Service provider and Enterprise environments. I have worked with Cisco, Foundry/Brocade, F5, Riverbed, Scientific Atlanta, Routers, Switches, Firewalls, Load Balancers, WAN Accelerators, DWDM, SONET, Multicast etc...

2 thoughts on “A good wireless analyzer should give you the Access Point Name!

  1. I’ve noticed this in multiple pieces of software as well. It’s as if vendors never contemplated the idea that you might name an AP for a reason… and instead assume you have a severe mental derangement which makes base-16 more intuitive to you than your native tongue.

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