Trilithic 802 AWE- A Star Is Born

802_AWEIt’s not often that a new stand-alone handheld tester comes to market. If I could see into all of your minds, I’d find most of you picturing the Fluke Networks AirCheck right now. And you’d also be likely digging around in the sawdust of your brainpans trying to remember the last time you saw anything that might come close to what the AirCheck can do in a self-contained package. You won’t find much in that sawdust, because short of Berkeley Varitronics’ specialty gear, there really isn’t a competitor out there for the AirCheck.

Until now.

Quick pause, and level-set on where Fluke Networks and myself stand in relation to each other. I have a deep and long-running appreciation for Fluke Networks’ network test platforms. Yes, I use a bunch of their offerings in my day job, but I have also been covering their products in my media role since almost day one of the company’s existence. The first real freelance article I wrote was about the original NetTool (I still have one, sixteen years later). I’ve covered oldies like LAN MapShot, Protocol Inspector, Network Inspector, early OptiView, ClearSight, fiber microscopes, and many more all the way through AirMagnet Enterprise. And yes, I use and have covered AirCheck’s various versions. Like the rest of the WLAN community, I loves me some AirCheck, and I loves me some Fluke Networks.

But I also know value and a good thing when I see it. And I’m seeing value and a good thing in Trilithic’s new baby.

Let’s talk about the good first:

  • The tester costs well under $1000
  • Support is free (software updates for life)
    • Put those two bullets together, and you have low TCO
  • 2-year warranty
  • Trilithic is new to WLAN, but not to test equipment- a mature American company
  • Comes with a snappy case
  • Screen shots, reports, etc
  • Is easy to use (I’m using it!)
  • Supports the same WLAN protocols that AirCheck does (through 11ac, but at 11n speeds)
  • Also supports Bluetooth and ZigBee
  • 802 AWE recently won an industry award
  • You can get familiar with this video
  • Screen shots, reports, etc

I’m really enjoying taking the evaluation unit for a test drive. I’m waiting on a firmware update to unleash all of the few not-yet-available features that will make the 802 AWE the home-run I expect it to be, but am also reserving my full praise for the tester until I see true feature parity with the AirCheck in action.

My early testing has me quite pleased, and I’ll update as warranted.

The following image was brazenly stolen from here.


1 thought on “Trilithic 802 AWE- A Star Is Born

  1. Pingback: A Quick Catch-Up With Some of My Favorite WLAN Toolmakers (IT Toolbox Blogs) –

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