AirMagnet Suite Covers Outdoor WLANs

In late February, AirMagnet unveiled Enterprise 7.0, a management suite that extends intrusion prevention and monitoring to outdoor WLANs and features a new ruggedized sensor for RF interference analysis with support for Power-over-Ethernet. The sensors can be deployed with a range of customized antennas, which is another key feature for outdoor WLAN deployments, said Wade Williamson, product manager at AirMagnet, Sunnyvale, Calif.

“Overall, these are beefier boxes with a wide range of improvements,” he said.

AirMagnet also has added an integrated spectrum analysis tool to its sensors for identifying sources of WLAN interference. The tool was previously available as a stand-alone product but now will be included with the vendor’s outdoor and indoor Integrated Spectrum Sensors. The prevalence of Bluetooth devices and wireless Webcams creates complex interference problems for Wi-Fi, which is why it’s important to have a spectrum analyzer for 24/7 monitoring of all the Wi-Fi bands, said Ron Shaul, president of Smart City Networks, a wireless solution provider in Las Vegas.

Enterprise 7.0 also includes the remote collaboration feature of AirMagnet’s Laptop Analyzer to enable centrally located IT staffs to troubleshoot with field technicians. “Engineers can take a laptop into the field and have it act as a sensor, and the people in the network operations center can then see packets and analyze data,” Williamson said. AirMagnet’s outdoor sensors could be effective, but the vendor will have to move quickly to get into the municipal Wi-Fi space before big players such as Google and Earthlink develop their own WLAN security strategies, said Alex Simonovich, a wireless security specialist at JasNet Consulting, San Jose, Calif. “AirMagnet should push to get their outdoor hardware sensors into some of these deployments,” Simonovich said.

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Enterprise 7.0 now is available starting at $8,995. Integrated Spectrum Sensors cost $2,000.