PC Magazine has published a great review of NetSurveyor Professional on their website. From Neil Rubenking: "NetSurveyor Pro is exactly that, professional software for network pros, but you don't have to be learned in the ways of TCP and 802.11 to master it." Here's a link to the review...
Quantify Throughput Performance And Reliability Of Each 802.11 Adapter and Connection
NetSurveyor Professional is a new type of diagnostic tool that puts a different spin on WiFi troubleshooting -- emphasizing performance metrics over measurements of RF signal strengths. NetSurveyor-Pro is used to test the performance and reliability of a WiFi network and help identify and troubleshoot problems. Furthermore, NetSurveyor-Pro also allows you to concurrently test multiple (up to five) WiFi connections. NetSurveyor-Pro is a software-only product that uses your 802.11 adapter(s) and access point(s) -- no additional proprietary hardware is required. Novices through experts will find NetSurveyor-Pro most useful when installing, testing, and troubleshooting 802.11 adapters and wireless networks. Distributed as a free tool, NetSurveyor-Pro provides a more accurate picture of a WiFi network from a performance perspective than more costly solutions.
Ultimately, the bottom line for any network (wired or wireless) comes down to throughput performance -- that is, how many bytes-per-sec can be transferred from one node on the network to another. The dBm and RSSI values that are often referred to in the context of wireless networks don't mean much if you can't somehow relate them to a performance metric. Before we can really begin to troubleshoot a wireless network we need a way to benchmark its performance, so as modifications are made we can determine whether or not they really make a difference in the network's performance. This is where NetSurveyor-Pro comes in. It is a simple tool that allows benchmarking of one or more wireless networks.
NetSurveyor-Pro allows you to test, concurrently, multiple WiFi networks -- the 802.11 adapters can be connected to the same or different access points. In this way you can directly compare the performance and reliability of different combinations of adapters and access points. NetSurveyor-Pro is also suited for monitoring the performance of a single connection -- and can reveal whether the performance of the wireless network is impacted by RF or multipath interference or is overburdened by other 802.11 traffic. NetSurveyor-Pro can also be used to optimally position the location of access points and as an aid in properly orienting antennas -- by monitoring the effect on performance as you make changes to the wireless infrastructure. By reconfiguring an access point to use a different channel, NetSurveyor-Pro can help you determine which channel results in the best performance. And, finally, NetSurveyor-Pro can be used to benchmark the performance and reliability of a WiFi network when first installed and at some later point in time -- comparing results helps you determine whether something in the RF environment has changed that negatively impacts the performance of your wireless network.
In addition to connection and adapter analysis, integrated in the application software is a full-featured, WiFi Scanner -- also known as an 802.11 network discovery tool. An 802.11 network discovery tool gathers information about nearby access points and displays the data using a variety of graphical charts. The network discovery functionality that is integrated into NetSurveyor-Pro is modeled after our popular NetSurveyor application. Combining connection and adapter performance analysis with 802.11 network discovery, NetSurveyor Professional provides a powerful diagnostic tool that helps you troubleshoot WiFi problems in ways not possible before. The data it presents provides insight into the following areas that impact the performance and reliability of your wireless network: RF and multipath interference, access point location, antenna orientation, and access points overburdened by 802.11 traffic.
NetSurveyor-Pro has a variety of features including the following:
- Easy-to-use, graphical UI with multiple diagnostic views and charts
- Compliant with IEEE 802.11 standards
- Built-in module for performing connection analysis
- PDF report generation
- Low-cost (actually, free) -- uses your 802.11 wireless devices. No additional proprietary, wireless devices are required.
Applications for NetSurveyor Professional include the following:
- Monitor the reliability of a WiFi network using performance / bandwidth metrics
- Optimal AP placement
- Concurrently test and compare the performance and reliability of up to five (5) different 802.11 connections -- employing a variety of combinations of adapters and access points -- that is, adapters can be associated with either the same or different access points
- Test whether the performance of a WiFi network is handicapped by RF or multipath interference or is overburdened with other 802.11 traffic
- As an aid in properly locating 802.11 wireless devices and orienting their antennas so as to optimize throughput, performance and reliability
- Determine which 802.11 channel results in the best performance
- Benchmark the performance of a WiFi network when first installed and at some later point in time -- comparing results helps determine whether something in the RF environment has changed that impacts the wireless network.
NetSurveyor-Pro is distributed as freeware and does not require a license. You are free to download it and use it on as many machines as you like.
- Laptop or desktop PC running Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP3), Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit) operating system
- Microsoft .NET Framework version 3.5 (or later)
- CPU: Intel Pentium 4, 1.2 GHz or faster
- Memory: 2048 MB or greater
- Hard Drive: 1000 MB free space or greater
- Video: 32 MB video RAM
- Display resolution: 1280x1024 or greater
- Internet connection for software downloads and/or initial product activation codes