Finding Wi-Fi Troubles

RFprotect Mobile from Network Chemistry has been around for a few years, allowing field techs to test networks for vulnerability. Now, the software, which runs with a variety of 802.11a/b/g adapters, will work with another kind of wireless: satellite-based global position systems (GPS) .

“We saw demand from organizations that have a large corporate campus or environment, like military bases or large manufacturers with a significant plant size and universities with a large footprint,” says Joel Riciputi, marketing director at Network Chemistry. “That’s the driver.”

“We found people are using our mobile product to do periodic audits for wireless devices such as rogue APs or laptops with wireless that shouldn’t have it,” adds CTO and founder Chris Waters.

The company describes the new feature as an “automated solution for finding and tracking down rogue devices residing outside facility walls.” Network Chemistry won’t be offering a GPS receiver card itself, but will work with any that you can put into a laptop (it must be National Marine Electronics Association [NMEA]-compliant). The software can integrate a site plan or satellite image and indicate where devices on the network are located.

Because the system uses satellite, it’s hands-free. A tech can put the laptop in a car and not even look at it; as the tech drives around, the software, Wi-Fi and GPS combine to generate a map of the devices it finds.

Also new is a QuickLocate feature for tracking the exact location of Wi-Fi device using the signal that such devices puts out. Using it, RFprotect mobile acts “like a Geiger counter, with sound cues and a graph,” says Waters. “Each step you take, it’ll tell you if you’re warmer or colder.”

RFprotect Mobile is for Windows XP and Vista computers, and the GPS support comes as a free upgrade for existing customers. Base price is $3,999 and includes a wireless card plus one year of maintenance upgrades.

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