Today’s network tool market really isn’t all that big. We love our support tools, sure- but if they don’t bring consistent value, they won’t stick around. Back in 2017, I think it was, the small Nevada company brought the original Netool to market. I wrote about the introduction of the Pro model back in 2020. Now, three years later, we see the company and the product have stood the test of time.
For those totally unfamiliar, all versions of Netool.io are meant to be highly pocketable (or carried in the available belt holster) so those in the field working with Ethernet switches always have it with them. The tool talks via Wi-Fi (or now Bluetooth) to an application on your phone or tablet, and you connect a patch cable between the Ethernet port on the tester and a network switch. Then what? Let’s see some visuals.
There’s a lot more to show, but hopefully you get a general sense of what the little unit offers. Beyond pretty decent characterization of the local environment, there is a switch configuration side as well. Complete feature list stolen from the Netool.io web pages:
The USB-C charging port is handy in today’s world, as is the ability to connect a flash drive for .pcap storage during packet capture. CPU and memory are bulked up over the last version, and run time exceeds a typical busy work day.
I have been playing with the Pro2 in my home lab environment which at current is Meraki and Ubiquiti on the wired side (the Netool is not a wireless tool, remember). It’s peppy, easy to pull information and performance feedback from, and I am a fan of the new Netool.io Cloud service. In my opinion, NetAlly absolutely aced this way of storing and sharing test results with their Link-Live service, and it’s nice to see another network field tool provider follow suit.
My current on-hand cloud-managed switches don’t lend themselves to benefit from the config capabilities of the Pro2, but other environments I do manage could absolutely benefit and I look forward to trying out the possibilities again, having kicked tires a bit on the earlier Pro version. One example of configuration capabilities is here.
It really is an impressive, super portable tool that pretty much any network field technician would benefit from. On my wish list for refinements would be a single app for all models of the tool. Right now there is an app per model- no one’s biggest problem but feels a bit odd. Also, Power over Ethernet has become such a pervasive part of networking that I would hope to eventually see some basic PoE verification in the Netool.io mix.