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test equipment for wireless LAN

What recommended test equipment and tools required for system

maintenance of a wireless LAN system, particularly in a hospital utilizing AP350 series and AP1200 series.


Community Member

Re: test equipment for wireless LAN

You will want to maintain both the RF aspect fo the system (coverage, signal strength, channelization and noise) and the logical infrastructure (WEP, SNMP, filters, addessing, possibly even Intrusion Detection).

There are simple utilities available to measure all of the RF issues (ACU and NetStumbler are a good start), except for non-802.11b traffic. Frequency-Hopping systems, microwave ovens and other devices using 2.4GHz or creating noise there will not show up in detail without a spectrum analyzer.

The important thing is to understand wave propagation well enough to establish a thorough base line - measuring everything from vertical cell overlap and channel re-use to signal levels at the periphery of the building. That is the only way that you will be able to detect degredation in the future (everything from a cable fault to an unauthorized tap).

That sounds like a lot of work, which is why we developed planning and design software. Let me know if you want to look at that.

Then there is the logical infrastructure. If you set it up right, you will keep out all but the well-equipped and determined hackers - and you'll have fewer places you'll have to monitor for intrusion.

It's a shame that so few organizations take advantage of their wireless LAN for Network Monitoring. You can get real-time SNMP information on a PocketPC. You can even get CiscoWorks access while you are in a wiring closet. If it were me, I would make that a basic expectation for your roll-out.

Matthew Wheeler

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