Tag Archives: Access Agility

WLAN Book/Access Agility: Some Cool Wi-Fi Tools You May Not Know About

Always on the prowl for new WLAN tools, my spider sense recently went all tingly when I saw this come across the Twitter feed:

Image

The full link for the scanning utility is  http://wlanbook.com/free-wifi-scanner-for-windows/ and is worth checking out (bearing in mind that it’s still very much a beta tool and that your feedback is appreciated). But interesting beta code isn’t quite the point of this post; let’s have a quick look at an interesting (and accomplished) Wi-Fi guy, a company, and a website that are all tightly coupled. If you’ve not heard of Zaib Kaleem, Access Agility, or WLAN Book yet, you may not quite realize that they are all (essentially) one and the same, and are worth getting to know if you’re in the business of wireless networking.

Getting Acquainted

Zaib Kaleem is the brains behind the WLAN Book suite of wireless tools and website/blog. He’s also the vice president of DC-area Access Agility. Though Access Agility is about more than wireless tools as you can tell by the services listed on their site, for the purposes of this blog and getting familiar with the offerings we’ll say that Zaib Kaleem = WLAN Book = Access Agility and leave it at that for now. It also helps to consider the utilities sold by Access Agility to be perhaps a bit more “Enterprise Grade” than those offered through WLAN Book, but even this distinction isn’t quite accurate as many of the tools are compatible and complimentary.

My first brush with Zaib’s utilities came in March 2013, when I was putting together a blog for Network Computing on free or low-cost tools for wireless troubleshooting. “WiFiMedic” from WLAN Book made my list, and I became aware of Kaleem’s other tools back then as well. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Zaib in person and talking on the phone with him about a tool he had in development. A true gentleman, you can tell that Zaib not only knows wireless, he lives and breathes it.

The Lineup

Between the WLAN Book and Access Agility web sites, there is an interesting range of Wi-Fi survey and troubleshooting tools to consider:

  • Online tools that include Virtual Access Point software and a Rogue AP Scanner
  • Downloadable Apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows
  • An interesting group of survey and analysis tools and utilities (I wish all operating systems came with the functionality of Access Agility’s BridgeChecker built in)

Zaib doesn’t strike me as the kind of gent that lets grass grow under him, so check back now and then for additions to his offerings.

Taking the Message To The Wi-Fi People

The WLAN Book blog is particularity excellent for a few reasons. First, Zaib includes LOTS of pictures of whatever he is blogging about. Also, he gets around, and is a real-world practitioner (and not just a developer) as evidenced by his posts. To round it out, Zaib is one of those treasured people that gets the value of the greater Wi-Fi community. He mixes it up at conferences and via Twitter, he’s quick to respond to email and such, and is as active as anyone today trying to make our wireless world run smoother.

I was fortunate to catch Zaib speak about his Cloud WiFi Scanning tool at this year’s excellent WLAN Pros Summit, and the video on the session is here.

Though WLAN Book and Access Agility may not have the name recognition of Metageek or Fluke Networks, there are several fresh, innovative tools to be explored here. Having done so myself, I encourage you to kick the tires on Zaib’s tools that interest you as well as bookmarking the WLAN Book blog and following Zaib on Twitter. There’s a lot here to appreciate, and it’s obvious that there is more to come.

 

Please note: I have no relationship with Zaib, and there was nothing more to writing this blog than my own desire to let others in the WLAN community know about a sharp dude with some cool tools. if you got a problem with that, I'll fight ya.

 

 

Those “Other” Wireless Tools: Access Agility, Wolf WiFi, and Rat River Technologies

In the realm of Wireless Tools, there’s a bit of a bulls-eye effect. We all have our own versions of that bulls-eye, and my own has Fluke Networks/AirMagnet, Ekahau, and Metageek in the dead center. These are the tools I use most often for various functions, and I see my own value in each of them. I’ve also bought them.

My next ring features the likes of TamoSoft and ColaSoft, These are also nice tools, but they haven’t made it to my own inner ring. I use them and appreciate them when free copies come my way, and perhaps if my own Big 3 wasn’t already payed for, I’d invest in these other tools. 

Now, at the inaugural Wireless LAN Pro Summit I find myself contemplating another ring in my bulls-eye. I have just requested my eval copies of tools from Access Agility and Rat River Technologies, and am soon to try Wolf WiFi Pro. Because I’m just getting started with these, I can’t vouch for their values to me. But what I can say is that this trio is interesting because they largely run on mobile devices- the very devices that are exploding and becoming a huge part (and frequently the most resource constrained) part of our client bases. To see the WLAN world through their eyes will certainly be interesting, and I look forward to using them.

As I give each the once over, I have to say that for me, the RF Toolbox app from Rat River jumps out as the most immediately interesting. I only have a around a dozen point-to-point bridges in my wireless world, but I also do enough with Amateur Radio and other hobby-oriented RF that I can see enjoying this utility in a number of directions.

How about you, the reader of this post? Do you use or have you tried any of this group of tools? What’s your opinion?