I’m very excited to announce the arrival of inSSIDer 5 – the world’s first application to combine Wi-Fi scanning, RF spectrum analysis and Wi-Fi packet analysis into a comprehensive view of the Wi-Fi environment.
We created inSSIDer in 2007 and it quickly became the de facto successor to the original Wi-Fi scanner, Netstumbler. Most Wi-Fi scanners that you see today are heavily inspired by the innovations in inSSIDer. We also have seven years experience in Wi-Fi packet capture and analysis with Eye P.A. Combine that experience with fourteen years experience in RF spectrum analysis as the leaders in Wi-Fi spectrum analysis, and MetaGeek is the right team to combine these different applications into a single unified view of the Wi-Fi environment.
Why Combine All This Data?
Combining Wi-Fi scanning, spectrum analysis, and packet analysis has been a long-time vision of MetaGeek; back in June 2013 I wrote the following company “memo” outlining this vision called “The Check Engine Light of Wi-Fi“:
The Check Engine Light of Wi-Fi
With the development of Eye P.A. and paid versions of inSSIDer we now have three distinct product lines. Following industry practice, our product lines are arranged by data type:
– inSSIDer – Wi-Fi beacons
– Chanalyzer – RF spectrum analysis w/ optional Wi-Fi scanning
– Eye P.A. – Wi-Fi packet capture and analysis
While this is useful, it imposes limits on our software that aren’t aligned with our users’ jobs to be done. Spectrum analysis and packet analysis are tasks users perform to achieve their goals, but the actual user goals don’t contain phrases like “spectrum analysis” and “packet analysis,” they contain phrases like “provide excellent coverage” and “maintain network uptime.”
Another way to arrange our portfolio is analogous to automotive diagnostics:
– Check Engine Light
– OBD-II Vehicle Monitor
– Mechanic’s Diagnostic Computer
This arranges products into tiers based on the level of detail of the information provided and the configuration options available. Novices get basic information that notifies them if a problem exists, intermediate users get basic information regarding the problem and suggested remedies, experts can peek “under the hood” and examine the raw data as well turn all the possible knobs to get just the right information they are looking for. Also, all three tiers are gathering data from the entire vehicle, not just the engine, drivetrain, or exhaust subsystems.
Achieving the Dream
You are probably wondering why it took us six years to realize this dream that we are uniquely positioned for. For a few years our only option for packet capture on Windows was the AirPcap Nx – a very capable tool, but at $700 it isn’t feasible for the Unified Data Model for anyone except for experts, so we put our dream on hold until 2018 when we finally found a low-cost solution for Wi-Fi packet capture on Windows!
Most of this year has been spent transforming inSSIDer from a typical Wi-Fi scanner into the world’s first Wi-Fi packet scanner with RF spectrum analysis. Now the vision is finally coming to life! inSSIDer 5 not only combines all of the data sources into a single interface, it also smoothly scales from Wi-Fi novices to professional Wi-Fi administrators… and the MetaGeek Expert level of inSSIDer 5 is being actively developed. So please enjoy the new hotness of inSSIDer 5 and stay tuned for even more awesomeness over the next few months.
Learn more about inSSIDer 5 at metageek.com/products/inssider