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TamoSoft Offers New Wi-Fi Network Analyzer

TamoSoft of New Zealand has made available for download the final version of its CommView for WiFi 4.0 software product for Windows 2000 or XP. It has been in trial beta testing since March. The 2.5MB download functions for 30-days; the final version costs $399 or $199 for owners of the regular CommView product.

The company calls this a special Wi-Fi enabled version of its CommView product, which captures and analyzes packets on the main network, but the wireless edition does so on any 802.11b network in range. The software is only tested as compatible with 802.11b cards running the Intersil PRISM 2, 2.5, or 3 chipsets. They have a list of compatible cards on their site, which include products from Cisco, Belkin, D-Link, Microsoft, Netgear, US Robotics, and others. TamoSoft recommends use of the Linksys WPC11 PC Card. No USB-based adapters are currently supported.

Once the software is installed, the drivers take over the 802.11b card and the system in question is then only available for monitoring the WLAN. To use it again as a regular network node requires rolling back to the original drivers. CommView for WiFi handles decoding a number of different protocols, from ARP to 802.1X, and TamoSoft can add more if enough users request it.

The interface provides a look at IP statistics (which only works if you've set up the program to decrypt WEP-encrypted traffic), a listing of all captured packet info, logs for saving info on previous captures, as well as rules and alarms that can be configured to alert you to issues on the WLAN. Capturing starts when you specify, or you can setup repeating schedules, so for example the software can capture packets at night while you're out. It can also be run as a hidden process under Windows 2000/XP.