• I come from the 802.3 side of networking and although I have a fair amount of experience with the 802.11 side, it has all been "seat of the pants". I have been able to do a pretty good job with it because I have an extensive background in construction and physical plant build-out, including satellite dishes; and I have fairly high level understanding of math & physics for someone who doesn't directly make his living in those fields.

    Recently I decided to take a deep dive into the 802.11 side and was amazed by how much I did NOT know. Still, I have been studying hard and I'll be sitting for the CWNA in about a week or so; with plans to follow that with the CWAP and CWDP later this year, as my schedule permits.

    I mention all that just for background, so that you understand that I am making a long term strategic move career-wise and I want to do it right.

    I am looking at buying myself a good entry level RF Analyzer and am looking hard at both the Chanalyzer and AirMedic USB; which are fairly close in price, both being in the vicinity of $1,000.  Since this is coming out of my own pocket, price matters.

    I would be very interested in what you all think of those two options, and I don't really want to narrow the question any more than that because I don't know what I don't know, so I am interested in ANY thoughts.

    As a side note, I was looking at the WifiEagle analyzer and the WiPry Combo as well, but that would be in ADDITION to a Chanalyzer or AirMedic, not instead of. Obviously the WiPry is behind the curve a bit, being that it's only a 2.4gHz analyzer, which may well be a deal breaker, but I would still be interested in what you all had to say.


    Do NOT be afraid to suggest a completely different product(s) from what I have already mentioned. I am very much interested in having the benefit of experienced advice.

    Thank you in advance.

  • I have used Chanalyer and found lot of false positives in detecintg non-WLAN devices

  • By Howard - edited: April 28, 2014

    I have used all three versions of the Chanalyzer (free, Pro, & Lab), in all three frequency bands (2.4 &  5 GHz, & 900 MHz) and have not had any problems with any of them.    I like them all. 

    I have compared the (radiated) signal levels they report  with some very expensive pieces of RF & WLAN gear, and they correlate extremely well.  If I want more detail, I use the Lab version.    The lab version may not do everything the guys in the (FCC) compliance lab want, but it works very well for me.  For example, I have successfully used it to identify spurious signals caused by a bad (non-radio related ) component on a PCBA.

    That is not to say that I could always interpret what was on a Chanalyzer screen, but I chalk that up to the operator (me), not the device

    I have not found it especially easy to confirm the identify of a signal by superimposing one of their supplied "signatures" over a complicated screen.    But I have found that the signatures do match-up with the selected device when I test one in a screen room (Faraday cage).   Once I have for sure identified it, I can line it up on the screen pretty easily.

    Like any Spectrum Analyzer, I think it takes a lot of experience to get especially good at it.   Given their relative low cost and  the excellent results I get, I think they are well worth it.  

    I haven't used the WiFiEagle  from Nuts About Nets, but I have used their AirHorn Product.   It works well for what I want, but their support does not come close to the excellent support that MetaGeek provides.

    When the WiPry came out, there were some pretty questionable claims in their advertising, but I have not looked at it since.    As I recall it did not seem to have very good dynamic range either.

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