Wi-Spy Spectrum Analyzer
I’m not a whiz at wireless networks, and when mine started acting up a few days ago, it was pretty annoying to fix it. I tried resetting it, changing some settings (that only made it worse), changing IP addresses and odd dances. In the end, I never actually fixed it. I merely swapped the router with another one I had lying around, and fortunately that worked for me. Now, the Wi-Spy Spectrum Analyzer might not have fixed my problem specifically, but it could’ve and I’m sure it can fix other people’s problems.
Size is that of your standard USB key. It’s a 2.4 Ghz spectrum analyzer that was designed specifically for troubleshooting and analyzing wi-fi networks. With the software, you’ll see signal strength of all wi-fi networks, bluetooth, microwaves (hmm), 2.4ghz cordless phones, and a Zigbee. . . The software also helps you decide which channel to broadcast your network on. You can observe how busy specific channels are, making it easy to pick a nice quiet one. Because it also picks up phones and other things, you can also see if your poor signal is the result of interference. I know I switched to 5.4ghz or so phones awhile ago for that very reason.
At $100, you might not want to rush out and buy this thing, as it may or may not solve your problems, but if you’re a person who does a lot of support work with networks, the Wi-Spy Spectrum Analyzer looks quite helpful. And as a bonus, the software works on Windows, Mac OS X, and even Linux.