WIFIPROBE -- Channel Analyzer
"Using The (802.11) Infrastructure To Troubleshoot The Infrastructure…"
Being surrounded by wireless devices creates a hostile RF environment for most Wi-Fi networks. RF interference and channel congestion can have a serious, negative impact on network throughput. The RF environment is dynamic and constantly changing -- transmitters come and go, wireless traffic ebbs and flows, physical barriers appear and disappear. Inherent in the 802.11 standard is the ability to configure a Wi-Fi network to use one of multiple available channels -- so, it follows that some channels will work better than others. To maintain a healthy Wi-Fi network, the goal is to use the best Wi-Fi channel.
The WifiPROBE feature of WifiMETRIX is based on the patented IMMI Technology. IMMI stands for 'Indirect Measurement of Microwave Interference'. It uses the built-in capabilities of a Wi-Fi chip and the 802.11 standard to compute the best Wi-Fi channel. That is, it let's Wi-Fi tell us what Wi-Fi thinks is the best channel.
IMMI Uses The 802.11 Chip To Compute The Best Channel
Though RF spectrum analysis remains a popular tool for troubleshooting interference-related problems, IMMI technology holds greater promise since it excels at computing the best Wi-Fi channel — that is, the channel with the greatest available bandwidth and least affected by RF interference and congestion from other wireless devices. IMMI technology employs 802.11 hardware and sees the RF environment through the same eyes as the wireless devices in your Wi-Fi network.
As an example, consider the hypothetical 2.4 GHz spectrum trace above with several moderate-size peaks of interference in the area of channel 1, a low, broad peak of interference in the area of channel 6, and a tall, narrow peak of interference in the area of channel 11. Which is the best channel -- 1, 6, or 11? And if one is better, then by how much? Using RF spectrum analysis alone, all we can do is guess.
When it comes to determining the best Wi-Fi channel, an instrument using a Wi-Fi chip makes a better diagnostic tool than an RF spectrum analyzer. This is because an RF spectrum analyzer knows nothing about the 802.11 standard, its internal protocols, or the methods it employs to mitigate interference from other wireless devices.