MetaGeek launches inSSIDer PCI Compliance

MetaGeek launches inSSIDer PCI Compliance to complete the wireless scanning requirement for PCI compliance.

Recent Gartner research estimated that almost 20% of corporations have rogue APs in their network at some time. Generally these are unknowledgeable or impatient employees. But without scanning your environment you will be unable to tell if this rogue AP is just that, an employee or a malicious intent attacking your wireless network.

For PCI Compliance, the purpose of PCI DSS requirement 11.1 is to ensure you are correctly scanning your network environment to identify rogue wireless devices that could have an adverse effect on the security of your cardholder data.

Working with individuals who are doing these quarterly scans, we have found that many either battle to get the scan done or are using cobbled-together tools that are not doing it correctly, and may actually bring extra scrutiny with their assessor or if they get audited.” says Mark Jensen, our MetaGeek Product Hacker, who has been a part of this new inSSIDer PCI Compliance product team.

With the new MetaGeek inSSIDer PCI Compliance tool, you are able to not only scan your wireless environment but also run and save your report (in CSV or PDF), as well as save your categorizations so you can return to it and run it the next quarter—and every subsequent quarter—in record time.

The ability to save the network categorizations has been super-popular with our beta testers” Mark goes on to say, “this has always been a time consuming process every quarter, but now with this new product our clients are actually able to rerun the scan and most of the networks are already categorized — saving them a lot of time when doing PCI Compliance.”

The MetaGeek inSSIDer PCI Compliance tool does it all for PCI DSS 11.1 audits:

  • Scan 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz bands
  • Remember your network classifications for subsequent scans
  • Export scan results to CSV or PDF

For more information or to purchase a license click here.

inSSIDer PCI Compliance Desktop

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Chanalyzer 5 gets new Device Finder

Sometimes interfering devices are so bad and stomp all over your WLAN you have to do something about it. Those cheap-o security cameras, cordless phones, and so on take down YOUR critical WLAN, or at the very least leave you with fewer channels to choose from making things less optimal.

In situations like these just  avoiding the disruptive signal is not an option, you need you actually put eyes on it and see what you can do, whether it be to respectfully ask the owner to power it off .. or to shotgun the blasted thing. What you do with the device is up to you ;-). Leave the signal tracking to Chanalyzer 5.5.

Redesigned UI. More Sensitive.

Device Finder in Chanalyzer 5.5.0

Device Finder in Chanalyzer 5.5.0

Chanalyzer 5.5 brings a new Device Finder UI that helps you focus on the task at hand and walk right up to the offending device. Also, the accuracy and responsiveness of the Device Finder graph is improved as the frequency range is automatically zoomed giving Chanalyzer more data to give you the best possible reading for tracking. Use with Device Finder Directional Antenna, and your 2.4 GHz device hunting is even better.

Get your Wi-Spy and check it out!
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Notes and AP Aliasing in Chanalyzer 5!

We’ve just pushed a new update to Chanalyzer 5 that has a couple of really cool new features!

First off, we’ve fulfilled one of the most common feature requests for Chanalyzer: the ability to add notes to your recordings!

The "Add Note" Button

The “Add Note” Button

There are lots of times when adding a note can be helpful for the troubleshooting process– when you move between rooms, change a network setting, or test a device. To add a note, move the Waterfall playhead to the right spot, then click the “+” button. If you find an interfering device, you can even include a photo!

Adding a note is pretty straight forward.

Adding a note is pretty straight forward.

The new “Notes” Tab is home to a list of your notes that allow you to quickly jump to the appropriate point in your recording. There is also an option to add your notes to your report. It’s pretty sweet.

The other new feature is AP Aliasing. This feature allows you to add a custom “nickname” for the access points in your vicinity, whether they’re “your” networks or not:

A snippet of the Networks Table showing custom aliases

A snippet of the Networks Table showing custom aliases

This feature is really handy for keeping track of different radios that share the same SSIDs. Also, if you have Cisco APs, the device names will be displayed in this spot by default (but you can still edit them to be more friendly!).

These new features are pretty cool, and will make your job even easier. If you’re not on Chanalyzer 5 yet, there’s no time like the present!


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Announcing inSSIDer Wi-Fi Helper!

When your sister and brother-in-law move into a new house, who do they call for help with setting up a wireless router? When your buddy has streaming issues over Wi-Fi, who’s the one that gets a text pleading for help?

More than likely that someone is you! Keep reading if you want the low-down on an awesome tool that will make you more of a tech hero than you already are.

inSSIDer Wi-Fi Helper is just that.

It tells you (or your less-than-technical relative) exactly what’s up with the network and what to do for it to run as optimally as possible. Just go to each in room in the house, select what kind of wireless activities you do there (web browsing, HD video streaming, etc), and Wi-Fi Helper will scan the Wi-Fi band for congestion from neighboring WLANs. After which, the app will plainly tell you the best channel and encryption to set your gear to to get the best performance and security.

After the channel and security have been changed, inSSIDer Wi-Fi Helper takes it a step further and gives verification regarding the different rooms that have been scanned. Just hit the button in each location and a throughput test is run (upload and download) showing you both the speed in numbers as well as a pass/fail for your desired usage. Dead simple verification.

When done, you get a tidy room-by-room summary with any observed issues that may holding your Wi-Fi back.

We all love our friends and family, we just don’t want to spend all day fixing their Wi-Fi :-). Next time send them inSSIDer Wi-Fi Helper!

Check it out on

-Mark Jensen

Product Hacker

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Put a (Radio/ESSID) Ring on it!

It’s no secret. We like Radio and ESSID grouping. It’s one of the key features of inSSIDer 4, and recently showed up in Chanalyzer 5, too. So it’s only natural that we decided to take Beyonce’s advice, and put a new ring into Eye P.A.!

Radio and ESSID grouping adjusts the data tables and Treepies in Eye P.A. similarly to our other applications.

Grouping by Radio shows which SSIDs are being broadcast from which APs. The radios present in your capture are listed by their MAC addresses (unless you use a Cisco or Aruba AP, in which case you’ll see the Device Name).

Associated Data Table

ESSID grouping provides lists of networks, and adjusts the counts accordingly.

Having the inner-most ring of the Treepies in Eye P.A. reflect either Radios or ESSIDs means you gain insight into your environment even faster than before.

Here’s a .gif of how the Treepies work when grouping by Radio:


…and with ESSID grouping:


Check out the Eye P.A. page for more on optimizing your wireless networks!

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Chanalyzer 5 groups ESSID and Radio

Understanding Wi-Fi topology is dead simple, right? You set up an access point, give the network a name and then connect clients to it. Well, it stays that simple right up to the point you need another AP for more coverage, roaming or capacity, or you need to set up more SSIDs on your APs for different departments, users or guests. One of the inherently cool things about Wi-Fi, IMO, is that it can be scaled and customized this way for your needs by creating Extended Service Sets (ESS) as well as using multiple SSIDs. It’s an awesome example of interconnected cooperation.

How do you know which AP is which? Which network is which?

While these are greatand incredibly necessaryfeatures of Wi-Fi, having multiple SSIDs broadcast from the same radios in multiple APs can get a tad confusing when using Wi-Fi tools. Multiply this by tens, hundreds or thousands of access points in your deployment and it gets complex, to say the least. Additionally, let’s suppose you are not familiar with how the network is set up and you are troubleshooting a problem, or are working on it in some way. In this situation especially, you need all the help you can get to make sense of the scenario.

Chanalyzer 5 now groups by ESSID or by Radio

Taking a cue from inSSIDer 4, Chanalyzer now displays ESSID schemes from the data reported from your wireless NIC. That is, when grouping by “Radio” is selected, it groups them to show which SSIDs are being broadcasted from which APs, which and how many BSSIDs are associated to it and which channels they are using.

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 2.37.08 PM

Group by Radio

When group by “ESSID” is selected, Chanalyzer gives the number of BSSIDs and the channels they are on.

Screen Shot 2014-05-09 at 2.40.38 PM

Group by ESSID

In short, it shows you the lay of the WLAN. It’s a simple yet powerful feature that we hope helps you make sense of large WLANs. Download it, grab your Wi-Spy and try it out!

Mark Jensen, Product Hacker

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802.11ac Support Now in Eye P.A.!

Why do we love working with wireless so much? Because it’s always fresh and new and never a dull moment. What’s really cool about 802.11ac–the latest Wi-Fi spec–is that it allows for some pretty damn quick data rates. With the help of extra-wide channels and 256-QAM (among other specs), the theoretical max rate ratchets up all the way to 1Gbps, without having to go all crazy with multiple spatial streams.

RF and Other Factors Still Run the Show

Just because we have potential data rates that are higher than ever, it’s still Wi-Fi and is definitely not magic. All the old rules still apply–and in fact perhaps take on magnified importance.

There are benefits to be gained by making the switch to 802.11ac. However, proper WLAN configuration, RF planning, and spectrum management still make the biggest difference between “meh” and amazing. You gotta get the fundamentals right if you want great Wi-Fi.

Eye P.A. is ready for the next big thing in Wi-Fi

With the latest update to Eye P.A., packet captures with 802.11ac data rates are handled just as smoothly as the others.

Effective Data Rate: 433.3 Mbps. Pretty fast!

Another new feature in Eye P.A. is the inclusion of a bar chart that breaks down the percentage of traffic at each of the data rates in your capture. This chart lets you see at a glance if a majority of devices on your network are achieving the speeds they should.


Most of the traffic in this capture was sent at 433.3 Mbps.

As 802.11ac deployments start to really gain steam, it will become more and more important for you to be able to confirm and prove that your network is working as well as you think it should be. Stay ahead of the curve. Check out Eye P.A. today!

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Chanalyzer 5 802.11ac Update

802.11ac is all the buzz right now in the Wi-Fi world thanks to the very fast data rates it can achieve, as well as other cool advancements. And, its rate of adoption is expected to be much quicker than what was seen with 802.11n five years ago. Currently, consumer and enterprise AP makers are cranking out new models, and client devices are popping up like crazy in the form of MacBooks, Android phones and tablets and a whole host of other stuff. Perhaps you’re already using it, and ultimately we all will be.

So What’s Different When Dealing With .11ac?

Signals from .11ac APs can have extra-wide RF footprints. That’s right. 80 MHz-wide, and in the near future 160 MHz-wide signals, as opposed to 11n’s 20/40 MHz widths. This, along with other cool stuff is how 802.11ac cranks up the speed so high. More channel width = a bigger “pipe” to shove data through. This ultimately means less 5 GHz spectrum to go around for uncongested channels.

When you’re setting up and maintaining 802.11ac networks, you’ll need to be especially mindful of your wireless environment to realize and achieve the new higher speeds that are possible. This is because ac will not actually “kick on” to the fast 80 or 160 MHz bandwidth if it detects Wi-Fi congestion on its “bonded” channel(s). If you want the high speeds, you have to find and keep open the entire bonded channel as much as possible. Again, all this adds up to less 5 GHz bandwidth to go around. As 802.11ac adoption heats up and becomes more prolific, there will plainly be less spectrum space for these wide networks to operate with out congestion from other WLANs.

Chanalyzer Now Displays 802.11ac Info

Chanalyzer now displays 802.11ac network information along side the a/n networks in your 5 GHz wireless environment. It will show you exactly which parts of the band are being taken up by surrounding WLANs, giving you the visibility you need to choose the optimum channel, mitigate congestion and get the best possible .11ac data rates.

802.11ac spectrum overlay

80 MHz-wide .11ac Overlay

Since any 5 GHz Wi-Fi NIC can detect 802.11ac beacons, you don’t even need to have an .11ac card to get this info in Chanalyzer. Just use your dual-band .11n card you’ve already got.

.11ac Details in Network Table

.11ac Details in Network Table

Download Chanalyzer, plug in your Wi-Spy DBx, and check it out!

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Introducing Chanalyzer Pro with Cisco CleanAir®

In case you missed it at Cisco Live 2013, we just released Chanalyzer Pro with Cisco CleanAir® today, and are excited to tell you about this new development! With today’s announcement, Cisco users can expect enhanced spectrum analysis and ongoing application improvements when using the new tool.

Get Remote RF Troubleshooting and Reporting.

With this new application, you can see and troubleshoot RF interference without leaving your desk! This time-saving feature is only available with Chanalyzer Pro with Cisco CleanAir.

Using CleanAir-enabled access points, you can connect remotely with a CCF file using the router’s NSI Key, or from your Cisco Prime administration page. You may be familiar with Spectrum Expert, but the new Chanalyzer is so much better :)

For example, unlike Spectrum Expert, Chanalyzer fully supports Cisco’s WSSI module, and data can be collected from Cisco CleanAir Access Points in either Local, Monitor, or SE-Connect modes. Chanalyzer also provides an easy way for you to prepare findings into a spectrum analysis report that can be exported to PDF — and you still don’t have to leave your desk!

Double Rainbow! What Does It Mean?

Well – it means you can keep an eye on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands at the same time, and switch between active sessions in just one click!

Our powerful Waterfall Navigation allows you DVR-like playback controls, letting you “skip the commercials” and jump straight to the bright red spectrum events. This makes analyzing your live or pre-recorded capture super fast. The Water Navigation also drives Chanalyzer’s unified time view – so, when you select a time range of a spectrum capture, all of the information panes in the application will update to display data from only your selected range.

Zero-In On Interference.

Chanalyzer’s Device Interferers Table is a filterable list of all the non-Wi-Fi devices that your connected AP detects.

The innovative Density View will overlay utilization and interferes for quick identification. Selecting one of these transmitters will display its shape the Density View, visually representing not only the affected channels, but how severe the impact is.

Fully Compatible with Wi-Spy.

While getting the AP’s point of view on RF interference is extremely useful, there are still going to times where you need to see the impact of interference from the client’s perspective.

With this in mind, Chanalyzer Pro with Cisco CleanAir maintains full compatibility with our pocket-sized USB Wi-Spy spectrum analysis devices, and has the Chanalyzer features loved by Wi-Fi troubleshooters everywhere.

Find out more, and get a free trial here!


Introducing inSSIDer for Office

You’ve seen how inSSIDer for Home makes troubleshooting a single Wi-Fi network easier –
but for those of you who are Wi-Fi administrators or installers, the Home version of inSSIDer isn’t quite powerful enough for your needs.

inSSIDer for Office and the brand new Wi-Spy Mini build upon the feature set in the Home version and gives you a feature-rich affordable tool that helps customize your wireless network to fit your environment.


Why inSSIDer for Office is AWESOME

  • Track and Troubleshoot up to 8 SSIDs for Multi-AP Deployments
  • Get more accurate Link Score calculations with a Wi-Spy Mini
  • Better channel placement recommendation from more accurate Link Scores
  • In-depth measurements for every Wi-Fi channel with the Channels Tab
  • Expert tips for fixing detected issues in the Analyze Tab
inSSIDer for Office includes a Wi-Spy Mini

The new Wi-Spy Mini is included with every purchase of inSSIDer for Office.

This coin-sized USB device is used to collect information about RF activity in the 2.4 GHz band. The data is then used along with readings from your Wi-Fi card to populate the table in the Channels Tab.

In the Channels Tab, you’ll be provided with measurements of how saturated a channel is by both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi devices, along with details about surrounding networks.

Analyze Tab within inSSIDer for Office


Designed for network admins, managed services IT, and anyone who wants to take guesswork out of increasing network performance – inSSIDer for Office hits the sweet spot of price & feature set when you deal with Wi-Fi regularly.



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