WildPackets Upgrades AiroPeek NX

It’s been a busy month for WildPackets. The Walnut Creek, CA-based creator of the AiroPeek line of wireless analysis tools has announced various milestones: they are now in the hardware business, as beta testing began on their RFGrabber probes, they added support for Agere Systems drivers to AiroPeek; and yesterday they announced the upgrade to the expert edition, AiroPeek NX, at version 2.0.

Chief among the changes to NX, is the added support for 802.11g networks, along with 802.11a/b.

“It’s important to the industry to have 11g support,” says Dovid Coplon, product marketing manager at WildPackets. “When we ship, we’ll support Atheros’s A/G card.”

AiroPeek NX 2.0 will also feature support for 802.1X and WPA, and a new feature called the SSID Tree a display to show every ESSID on the network, and the SSID of every access point, plus the clients associated with those access points. The program can analyze data from different channels or 802.11 standards simultaneously because it supports multiple adapters — now including cards using Agere’s WaveLAN chips.

They company is working with Broadcom, Intersil, and Texas Instruments to eventually support cards based on their chips.

The program’s view will have columns showing encryption scheme use, and adherence to security policies. Using the SSID Tree, access points and users can be set to a “trusted” state, so that any rogues or intruders popping up can be quickly identified. There will be 23 new wireless-specific “experts” in the system, which can analyze wireless conversations to determine network performance.

This will happen because of the products new distributed analysis feature, courtesy of the RFGrabber Probes.

Coplon says the RFGrabber unit is essentially a “rudimentary device made in Taiwan [and we are] altering it through minor hardware modifications and firmware.” The products gather all 802.11b wireless traffic, which AiroPeek NX can then analyze in real-time.

The company’s Enterprise Solutions bundle, which includes AiroPeek NX 2.0 and four RFGrabber Probes, is $5,499 until the end of June. AiroPeek NX 2.0 will reach its first customers as of May 14.

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