New features aimed at improving performance testing
NetScout AirCheck has been instrumental in helping support technicians and Wi-Fi engineers quickly identify problems with troubled networks.
Keith sat down with Chris Hinsz, Product Manager at NetScout to discuss some of the new features of the AirCheck G2 v2.0 and how these features will assist Wi-Fi professional in solving common problems. (listen to the entire conversation HERE)
Performance Testing on the Aircheck G2
Performance testing is one of the most impactful of the latest features added to the Aircheck G2. This had been requested by the Wi-Fi community for quite some time and has been implemented in the version 2.0 upgrade.
NetScout has integrated IPerf into the cloud onto the AirCheck G2, enabling Wi-Fi professionals, once they have connected the device to an access point or network, to be able to access and select an IPerf Server.
NetScout also understands that at times IT professional might find setting up an IPerf server, can be a real hassle and so in conjunction with the software release for the Aircheck G2 v2.0, an additional accessory was also launched called the test accessory. This test accessory can act as an IPerf Server and is packaged and designed similar to NetScout’s link sprinter. The test accessories are either battery or power over Ethernet which allows you to easily have accessible an IPerf server. The Aircheck tool, will automatically detect these test accessories and once identified, it will automatically list them as well as the IP address for each test accessory.
There are four options you have using the Aircheck G2 tool able to track the test accessory:
- Search the subnet based on your connected wireless network.
- Run an Ethernet connectivity test, it will also check for the subnet of the most recent wired connection.
- Manually enter the subnet
- Using the Link-Live cloud depository. By adopting the Aircheck and the test accessory tools to the Link-Live cloud, by running a query on Link-Live, it will provide information on all test accessories in the organization. It will generate a list of test accessory and also list in order of those that are easiest to reach.
Ability to support Captive Portal
Historically on the Aircheck, if you had a captive portal during a connection test, once it got to a place where the wireless network required the user to accept the terms and condition or input options, the Aircheck tool was incompatible thus the connection test would fail. To provide a solution to this, NetScout added a small browser in the Aircheck G2 version 2 software, so when a captive portal network is identified, a pop-up window will appear to allow for the wireless engineers to interact with the website and provide the required information whereby enabling them to proceed with testing.
NetScout aims to make the Aircheck G2, the “go-to wireless testing tool” for wireless professionals by allowing for ease of deploying, managing and maintaining a wireless network. One of the problems, echoed by Wi-Fi professionals at times, is the inability to be certain of a cable when installing an AP. By plugging the cable into the Aircheck G2 tool, you will able to run a connectivity test. This will allow you to see whether or not you can get access to basic network services such as DHCP and DNS etc. Since 9/10 times the AP to be mounted will be POE AP and you can feel comfortable with the Ethernet jack and know by plugging the AP and mounting it, the network will perform smoothly.
While the hardware for the Aircheck tool remains unchanged, the software upgrades to version 2.0 now enables the Aircheck to utilize its built-in Wi-Fi radio to help identify interfering technology. Within its limitations and it would not be able to perform as efficiently as for example an Airmagnet Spectrum XT, however, it does a pretty good job of identifying interfering technology such as a video camera, wireless zigbee, Bluetooth and microwaves in the area. NetScout goal of this feature is to alert Wi-Fi professionals of impactful interferes, so low powered technologies or with weak interference will probably not be identified.
Accessing the Version 2.0 Upgrade
If you would like to access the software upgrade, if you are a Gold Support member or an active support member with NetScout, you can simply visit the NetScout webpage, select My Account, login in and once you have logged in, download the upgrade. If you are not a Gold Support member, you can contact your local sales representative to assist you access the new upgrade.