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AirCheck G2 OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

AirCheck G2 is #7 ranked solution in top Network Troubleshooting tools. PeerSpot users give AirCheck G2 an average rating of 8.8 out of 10. AirCheck G2 is most commonly compared to NetAlly EtherScope nXG: AirCheck G2 vs NetAlly EtherScope nXG. AirCheck G2 is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 56% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 15% of all views.
AirCheck G2 Buyer's Guide

Download the AirCheck G2 Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2022

What is AirCheck G2?

The AirCheck G2 provides fast, simple, and accurate isolation and troubleshooting, thereby reducing the time to resolve wireless issues. A rugged, handheld purpose-built wireless tester supporting the latest Wi-Fi technologies (802.11a/b/g/n/ac). An instant view of test results including network availability, connectivity, utilization, security settings, rogue hunting, and interference detection.

AirCheck G2 was previously known as AirCheck.

AirCheck G2 Video

AirCheck G2 Pricing Advice

What users are saying about AirCheck G2 pricing:
  • "It costs $3,000. It would be nice if its cost was less. I could then buy more. Currently, when we buy one, we make sure that where we need it is big enough, or if it is too small, when a person has a job, they have to get a temporary one mailed to them to use, which becomes a little less convenient."
  • "For a few thousand dollars, you save yourself a ton of time. It's a great deal."
  • "The product has a pretty good price."
  • "Pricing is on par with the rest of the industry and the licensing is decent."
  • "If you find a feature you need, you have to call them and add it, but you should be able to use the product. You spend money on and invested in multiple devices and can't even use half of the features. They should negotiate with large enterprises who buy large numbers of units to provide NetAlly support for all of them at a nominal fee."
  • "It is definitely well worth the price. It is approximately $2,500. It pays for itself since it eliminates troubleshooting costs and labor due to all the money you would spend kind of troubleshooting the device if you didn't have any of these tools with you."
  • AirCheck G2 Reviews

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    RF Engineer at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Gathers the data that we need, and helps in solving problems remotely and centralizing our troubleshooting team
    Pros and Cons
    • "The ability to push data to Link-Live is really important. On the main screen, you can see all the system parameters, and then you can also go and see all the current systems that are operating. They all have different SSIDs or system identifiers, and you can see all SSIDs that are operating in a certain area. Being able to see that and being able to dive into each one and figure out what frequency it is operating under is valuable."
    • "We use these out in the field, and because they're not allowed on our network, we usually have to have the person take them home and provide backhaul to them. In other words, they are not allowed through our firewalls to dump the data. So, we have to have them go to a separate wired network to dump the data. There could be an option to put an LTE and have a phone engine in it so that you can buy a SIM card for it and have it use cellular to download the data. That is something that would be nice to have. That's a little kink in this system right now. Other than using the Ethernet port to download data, it'd be nice if we could use either LTE or some other way to get the data that was collected by AirCheck G2 to our Link-Live portal."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using G2, which is the generation two solution. It hasn't changed since we got it. Other than a few software updates, it hasn't really changed.

    We use it to collect data for our Wi-Fi systems. We collect the data, and we push it up to Link-Live, and then we pull the data down and review it for any remote problems or troubleshooting assistance. We have a number of these units. We've got close to eight or nine of them that are out in the field. They're basically used by our technician staff to do that data collection for us.

    We also have one for engineering so that we can take it on trips to get a better real-time view of the wireless system activity in an area.

    When we do the real-time items, we're just using the data as a real-time tool. When we use Link-Live, it is going to the Link-Live Cloud, which can be called NetAlly's private cloud. It is within an account that we have visibility into. So, it is like a hosted private cloud. It is not publicly available.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have a multiple office situation in our company where we have very geographically dispersed offices. It has allowed us to centralize some of our troubleshooting people because we can collect data remotely and more efficiently.

    It allows our remote site personnel to collect data if they have a problem. They can then push it up. It goes up to the Link-Live portal, and we can then have visibility into it. We can look at the data with their portal, or we can download it to our computer, which is what I like to do, and then use AirMagnet to open and review the data. It allows us to do remote troubleshooting. It allows us to do remote Site Survey assistance, and in real-time, it helps us to do interference detection and find out who's running what in a certain area.

    When we're collecting the data, we're using the AirMapper Site Survey feature. It is pretty easy to use. It is pretty straightforward. I can talk to a technician who is out in the field. I have a one-page write-up that they just follow. When they do it one or two times, it is pretty easy. It is fairly intuitive.

    AirMapper Site Survey gathers the data I need. It does everything I need it for. I'd rate it a ten out of ten in terms of the ability to gather Wi-Fi site survey data.

    We use phone apps a lot. We have a few different ones that we use, but phone apps only give you limited information, and because they are apps, our security posture is different on them. They give us some basic information, but they do not give as much detail as compared to what we get out of AirCheck.

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to push data to Link-Live is really important. On the main screen, you can see all the system parameters, and then you can also go and see all the current systems that are operating. They all have different SSIDs or system identifiers, and you can see all SSIDs that are operating in a certain area. Being able to see that and being able to dive into each one and figure out what frequency it is operating under is valuable.

    It is a cloud-based service. I like the fact that our remote site personnel can push things to the cloud, and I can pull them down. Before all these cloud services, things were not as convenient. I like the convenience of being able to do that for the way I'm using this tool.

    What needs improvement?

    We use these out in the field, and because they're not allowed on our network, we usually have to have the person take them home and provide backhaul to them. In other words, they are not allowed through our firewalls to dump the data. So, we have to have them go to a separate wired network to dump the data. There could be an option to put an LTE and have a phone engine in it so that you can buy a SIM card for it and have it use cellular to download the data. That is something that would be nice to have. That's a little kink in this system right now. Other than using the Ethernet port to download data, it'd be nice if we could use either LTE or some other way to get the data that was collected by AirCheck G2 to our Link-Live portal. That's because our corporate network will not allow them to pass the data through. We do have a special place we can tell them to go and get it, but it is just that when they're out remotely in the field, they typically have to take it home and do it from their home computer.

    My biggest complaint about it is that I wish it was cheaper. It would be nice if its cost was less because we would like to buy a few more. We're an international company. We have some in the US, and some in certain other countries that we could export to. There are a few other countries where we need to go through export control to send them, which is a problem. If they want to scale their product globally, it would be nicer if they have all the import-export items worked out or have good resellers in each country because there are certain places where we cannot buy the unit. They don't sell it there, and it is not allowed for importation because of its approval. That's why we haven't deployed it in some of these other places, and we're going through alternatives for importation.

    Buyer's Guide
    AirCheck G2
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about AirCheck G2. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    620,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We first got an AirCheck back in 2018. It was the first set we bought. So, that'd be four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have never had an issue with it. It is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is a hardware solution, which means you physically have to have a device. It is on par with other hardware solutions. It is not a software solution. That's why I wish it was a little less expensive because then I could buy more of them. If its cost was less, it would be more convenient. Because it is a hardware solution, it is okay, but it is not as scalable as we'd like. By design, it is only going to be about so good. So, we accept it.

    I have bought ten of them, and nine of them are in use. One is for our lab, and the other eight are out in the field. Our engineers and technicians use it.

    How are customer service and support?

    For this device, I've had to call only once or twice. I didn't have any problem with support. We have an enterprise support account with NetAlly. So, we have a number. Their support has been really good. We haven't had a lot of need for it, but we have them under support.

    I would rate them a nine out of ten. In the old days, they published a lot of phone numbers globally, which was really convenient. Now, I have to dig out the information if I'm out of the area or out of the country. I do travel internationally, and sometimes, I try to go online and get somebody, and then I try to call them. That's why I wouldn't give them a ten.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward. I set up a bunch of units, and it didn't take me long for the first one, and then the rest were really a snap. It was pretty easy.

    What about the implementation team?

    We don't buy it directly from them. We bought it through a reseller. We use a company called Anixter. They're great. They're always good.

    In terms of deploying it, we did it internally ourselves. We have a managed contractor who works for us. He helps in deploying it for us, but it is not like a separate company where I put them in a box and mail them to him, and he fixes them. His desk is near my desk, and I just say that here they are, and let's get these put online. He mails them out to the people in the field who work for us.

    What was our ROI?

    Within a year, they justify their expense if you're using them efficiently. We have had two of them since 2018, and we've seen a return on investment with those. We bought some in December, and then we bought some in March. That's the other eight for this new global deployment. We are starting to see a return. By the end of this year, we could justify the entire cost.

    It does save time for the people who need to use it. It does help us solve problems faster because we deploy it in places where we don't have somebody who can do the work. If we didn't have the AirCheck G2 units, we would have to send somebody out to these sites who had the right toolset, or we would have to mail a unit to somebody who was less experienced with it, and they would have to use it. By buying these units, we're proactive and ready for issues, and we're able to solve them quicker. Because we're able to solve them quicker, it creates a better return on our investment.

    We also use AirMagnet, which is software. You put it on your PC, and you can run it with Wi-Fi adapters. It basically puts a similar analytics engine onto your laptop, and that's what I use. I don't use G2s as much because when I have a Cadillac, why would I want to drive a Chevy. That costs more money than AirCheck. These other ones are good and convenient in certain cases. Because we don't provide our field people with a company PC, we can't give them our licensed software. This is a lower-cost way of giving them similar functionality and having them help out in the field.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    It costs $3,000. It would be nice if its cost was less. I could then buy more. Currently, when we buy one, we make sure that where we need it is big enough, or if it is too small, when a person has a job, they have to get a temporary one mailed to them to use, which becomes a little less convenient. 

    It is not cheap, but it does everything you're going to need to have done. We're a customer because it is a well-performing device that we can give our people in the field. They feel comfortable with it, and they don't dread using it. It is very reliable, and it is consistent. We like it, but it is not cheap. 

    I wish it was cheaper. There are some free apps that give me one or two things. I run about three different apps that I can use for some Wi-Fi data, but it is still on my phone. I can't put an external antenna to it. It is RF data, and the RF performance of phones is very much impacted by how you have your hand on the antenna, etc. There is a lot of variability in readings. The readings are more repeatable with AirCheck, and I get better and more consistent data, which is important.

    There are the support fees that you need to pay, or you should pay. We do an enterprise support agreement. So, we get a pretty good deal, but some of the support models are just overpriced nowadays. Companies want to make so much on support. With some network devices, you go on the site, and they have a download. You just download it and put it on your device, and you're done with it. You pay one price, and you're done. With them, they are always putting their hand in your pocket for a download, but you buy three years at once. We pay just a few hundred dollars a year per device. It keeps us in compliance with our own internal processes. So, it is worth it, and we just pay for it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We didn't really evaluate anything else. There was another product. They were the legacy Fluke Networks. They made a lot of Ethernet testers and some other things over the years. They've always had a good reputation, but we didn't really evaluate it. 

    We got a demo of the first AirCheck unit we bought, and we liked it. They made us a deal, and we bought a couple. That's what started us. We bought a couple of other batches of them. We bought two, and then we bought five, and then we bought three. When we bought five, they made us a deal on five, and we didn't really want to change. The price was competitive with others that had as many features. In a big company, sometimes the cheapest one costs you more money in other things. This was the lowest cost one for us. That doesn't mean that I don't want it to be cheaper. The only reason I bought five instead of ten is that it was $3,000. If it was $2,000, I probably would've got ten of these, but I'm happy with them because they do everything we need. As a product, it is a variant of another product that was always really well-respected. So, there was no thought that it wouldn't be good, and they have lived up to that expectation.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would advise focusing on whether it meets your needs, and if it does, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. 

    We don't use its one-button AutoTest feature to identify common problems. We also usually don't use AirMapper Site Survey's ability to create heat maps in the vendor's Link-Live Cloud service. We export it to AirMagnet and use AirMagnet to do it. If I was using it without AirMagnet, it would be a feature that would be nice, but because I have AirMagnet, I do it on my computer. It uses the same software. One is doing it on a dashboard, and the other one is doing it on your computer, and I like to bring it into the computing environment.

    It hasn't reduced troubleshooting time. It still takes the same amount of time. It is just that they've made it more convenient. It also hasn't enabled us to replace multiple other tools to find the same information. 

    I'd rate it a nine out of ten because of the cost. If it was cheaper, it would easily be a ten. I'm a fan of it. We wouldn't have bought $30,000 worth of this product if we didn't think it was good. We tested it. The AirMagnet series of products and these handhelds as well as their software come from a very well-known and respected name. Since purchasing them, NetAlly has done a better job in keeping that image and tradition alive by standing behind this product. I'm very happy with it.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    PeerSpot user
    Stuart Kendrick - PeerSpot reviewer
    Systems Engineer at a consultancy with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Helps to rapidly narrow the fault domain
    Pros and Cons
    • "The solution saves us a factor of 10 in time. If a typical WiFI ticket would cost me two hours with AirCheck, then it would cost me 20 hours without it. At 20 hours, you start to refuse to do tickets because it is just too expensive."
    • "I would love to have a button that pretends that you're an iPhone 5 or an Android Samsung, then tell me what you think the experience is. This is a very difficult thing to do because each of these things has different radios in them and behaves differently. Now, I can go into the user's office, and say, "The tool says everything's green. The WiFI infrastructure is fine, but their iPhone experience sucks." Is it a problem with their particular iPhone or is it a problem with any iPhone model? If I could have this solution emulate an iPhone model so I can walk into that room, and say, "My tools pretending to be your iPhone and it works fine. It must be your particular iPhone that we have a problem with." I found mobile phones in general have lousy radios and the coverage isn't strong enough, but it would be a nice feature."

    What is our primary use case?

    Mostly, this is a WiFi analyzer. I get a report from an end user saying, "Hey, I'm in my office, and the WiFi isn't working." What's complicated about that is it could be the person's laptop or their phone. It could also be the wireless infrastructure or they tried to get to some website that just happens to be down and are confusing the fact that www.company.com is down with local WiFi behavior. 

    What this tool allows me to do is walk up to their office, sit next to them, and turn on the tool, then I've programmed it to do some basic checks. If it succeeds, all lights are green, then I know that it's an issue with their laptop or phone. On the other hand, if my tool has trouble connecting to the WiFi infrastructure, I know immediately that I have problems with the wireless access points or whatever constitutes the infrastructure. Therefore, the tool helps me rapidly narrow the fault domain: Is it the client's device, the infrastructure, or the remote server?

    A common problem in rented buildings is that folks with a little WiFI knowledge, either the manufacturers of the (low-end) WiFi AP or the local IT staff, will change the default channels of their APs to something off the base frequencies. This is a problem for everybody:  once you understand how WiFi works, you don't do this. However, it is a common error. AutoTest picks up this error immediately and helps inform me how I might go around troubleshooting. I might, at that point, go and visit the folks who are running these APs, and say, "Here's a better way to do it where we'll all benefit if you make these changes."

    How has it helped my organization?

    It allows us to support WiFi with our existing staff. The solution has reduced our troubleshooting time by a factor of 10. Without AirCheck, I simply couldn't tackle the problem of, "Hey, I'm in my office. I can't connect."  Sure, I could of course visit with my laptop and phone, and if they also struggle to connect, then I can suspect the infrastructure  ... although I won't be sure, because of course perhaps my laptop & phone are running buggy WiFi drivers or similar.  But what then?  Is the DHCP infrastructure failing?  The authentication infrastructure?  Are there problems with signal strength / noise ratio?  Remember that phones will give you 'bars' for signal strength (which measures how loudly your device hears the WiFi signal), but they don't measure noise (which measures how much background chatter may be drowning out your ability to hear the signal ... recall the metaphor of talking to someone across the table from you in a noisy cafeteria):  you need to know the signal / noise ratio to assess the quality of radio signal.  The AirCheck automates checking all this into its single AutoTest function, and then gives you an easy-to-parse display for checking all the various components of the infrastructure which makes WiFi work.  Frankly, prior to AirCheck, we would mostly ignore WiFi tickets, because they were so time-consuming to tackle.  For VIPs, we would thrash around on their tickets, generally producing unconvincing and unsatisfactory results, degrading our department's reputation and of course wasting lots of time (change the VIPs phone, make random adjustments to the local Wireless Access Point's settings, urge them to 'try again' ...)

    What is most valuable?

    A lot of features are useful.

    AutoTest: You press AutoTest, then in 30 seconds you have an assessment of how well the tool is experiencing the WiFi environment. What I generally find is that the infrastructure is fine, which points me toward end user's device:  that allows me to focus on the phone or laptop. Then I can use the AutoTest tool to perform a packet capture of what the device is doing, giving me more insights:  perhaps the device has refused to roam from a distant Access Point, for example (e.g. bug in the WiFi driver). Often, I find that the end user device simply isn't transmitting anything at all. Then, of course, the user sees everything is broken, but that at least narrows the fault domain to the device and gives me a place to start trouble-shooting it.

    On the other hand, when the AirCheck fails AutoTest, then it gives me a whole range of insights into what might be going on.  For example, it may show a strong signal, low signal/noise ratio, high throughput ... but failed authentication.  This points me toward the Radius authentication infrastructure.  Or failed DHCP address reservation -- this points me toward the DHCP infrastructure.

    One of the things that NetAlly excels at is providing tools which are useful to both neophytes and experts -- someone with little expertise can press the AutoTest button and focus on any Yellow or Red items.  in the hands of an expert, it's even more useful:  it displays a rich, detailed view of the radio environment, in terms of channels, utilization, Access Points, clients, and the various pathologies for all of these.  

    What needs improvement?

    I would love to have a button that pretends that you're an iPhone 5 or an Android Samsung model X, then tell me what you think the experience is. This is a very difficult thing to do because each of these things has different radios in them and behaves differently. As it is today, I can go into the user's office, and say, "The tool says everything's green. The WiFI infrastructure is fine, but their iPhone experience sucks." Is it a problem with their particular iPhone or is it a problem with any iPhone model? If I could have this solution emulate an iPhone model so I can walk into that room, and say, "My tools pretending to be your iPhone and it works fine. It must be your particular iPhone that we have a problem with." I found mobile phones in general have weaker radios, compared, say, to laptops, so they tend to be the devices which struggle first.  I suppose though that this is wishful thinking -- from an engineering point of view, I don't see how NetAlly could pack lots of different radios into a single device.

    And then, they haven't found a way to separate out actual non-802.11 interference from legit 802.11 traffic on channels for which the device cannot hear the device(s) which are communicating on the central channel.  As a result, there is a screen where you can see how busy is the channel, e.g., is it a hundred percent full?  In which case, you would expect devices to have a lousy experience. But because it is hard (perhaps impossible) to distinguish between non-802.11 interference and legit utilization in this situation, they conflate the two.  They know this -- there is a box you can check telling the AirCheck to quit trying to distinguish -- I have this checked now.  Again, asking for more precision in this area is probably wishful thinking.

    I suppose another area which would be helpful would be NetAlly-certified WiFi training -- training which helps me understand how 802.11 works, so that I can more effectively wield the AirCheck.  We have been hiring Network Protocol Specialists for this, which has worked out well -- they 'look over our shoulder' remotely, as we practice using the AirCheck in our environment, and NPS staff explain to us what we are seeing.  But being able to purchase such a coaching / training session from www.netally.com directly would be helpful.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the AirCheck G2 for ~3 years

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability is rock-solid. Normally, everything that's a computer crashes on you, but I've yet to see the AirCheck crash.  Obviously, it must be possible -- but I haven't seen it yet.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are only three of us who use it. One of them is the network technician (me), then there are two end user help desk folks who are out in the field helping people. I'm the one who uses it most, but they will sometimes take it along and either use the wired or WiFI side when they are delivering a new machine. They use the tool to provide a final check, before they close a ticket, to say, "It looks like WiFI works here, and it looks like that jack I just gave you works here too."

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have used the technical support only occasionally, and they're good:  responsive, technical, drive to solving my problem.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I didn't have a solution before AirCheck. I had to tell people, "There's not a lot we can do for you," besides having me bring my laptop in to check.

    How was the initial setup?

    I wanted to create a service account in Active Directory, with a non-expiring password, so that the AirCheck could automatically connect to our corporate WiFi, without my having to use my personal credentials (and remember to change the password each time I changed my AD password).  Creating a service account in our environment takes some effort, so yes, this took time. Furthermore, as I learned more about 802.11, I started creating more Profiles -- some 'check everything' while others just look for, say, non-802.11 interference or focus just on radio signal health.  So, at the end of the day, I have spent substantial set-up time on the device.  But for basic testing, just out of the box, one needs to do very little:  identify at least (1) SSID of interest and then enter credentials for it

    What about the implementation team?

    Even though the tool is useful without training, I have done a ton of training with third-parties. We hired Mike Pennacchi from Network Protocol Specialists to do both our onsite and remote training. We could log into his device so we were seeing the same screen at the same time. Then, if any questions came up, we could ask, "What does this really mean?"  And similarly, we run VNC on the AirCheck, then share our screen in Teams/Zoom/WebEx/whatever with Mike, who then can guide us through analyzing an actual problem in our environment.  This training has made us substantially more effective in using the AirCheck

    What was our ROI?

    The solution saves us a factor of 10 in time. If a typical WiFI ticket would cost me an hour with AirCheck, then it would cost me 10 hours without it. At 10 hours, you start to avoid a ticket, because it is just too expensive, in terms of my time.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    For a few thousand dollars, you save yourself a ton of time. It's a great deal.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did not evaluate other solutions. I have had such good experiences with Fluke Network, NETSCOUT, and now NetAlly that I didn't bother.

    It combines so many functions in one place that it's hard to find competing tools. Without this, I would have to use a whole range of other tools. I suppose it's doable, but it would take a long time.

    What other advice do I have?

    It has provided tremendous education about how WiFI works. I understand Ethernet fairly well ... but WiFi is remarkably complicated:  I am a novice. But, with the AirCheck, you get this graphical interface which packs a lot of education and teaching into it, as well as diagnostic capabilities.  The UI takes the theory that I've studied and helps me understand, "Oh, that's what they mean." It's sort of like an educational tool in addition to something that helps you solve problems.

    The multi-technology functionality is certainly convenient to have on the wired side. However, I have a lot of tools that to do wired analysis, so I rarely use it. Then again, the functionality is convenient and saves you the time of carrying two tools. For some people that will be a powerful use case. Whereas, myself, I prefer to just carry a lot of weight (i.e. multiple tools).

    I would rate this solution as an eight (out of 10).

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    AirCheck G2
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about AirCheck G2. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    620,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Kevin Portsteffen - PeerSpot reviewer
    Sr Technical Consultant at Bohnen IT GmbH
    Consultant
    Gives me excellent situational awareness and troubleshooting in an easy to use, lightweight tool, with robust functionality
    Pros and Cons
    • "AirCheck G2 gives me an overview of which channels are used by the access points or who delivers the Wi-Fi, which gives me a clear picture of what's going on."
    • "A feature I would like to see is the ability to charge the device via a PoE outlet. Usually, I need to charge it at home. It would be good to leave the device plugged in and charging at a PoE source at the customer site after a quick look at the network when I have moved on to other tasks."

    What is our primary use case?

    AirCheck G2 is my number one pull-out tool when I enter new customer sites because it starts quicker than any notebook or device I own. I use it to get an overview of the wireless LAN infrastructure at a customer's location. I take out the tool and get an idea of what's happening before I even enter the site. I can see which SSIDs the customer has, how they are organized, which channels they use, plus a quick overview of what's occurring on the customer's side. 

    My other primary use is to get deeper insights when troubleshooting. When a customer has a problem with the wireless LAN, I use the solution to get a preliminary idea of the issue, whether it's related to the wireless network itself or something else, like the DHCP or DNS services. The solution lets me see what's going on and understand where the problem originates.

    What is most valuable?

    Wi-Fi is divided into bands: a 2.4 GHz band, a 5 GHz band, and most recently a 6 GHz band. These bands are divided into channels, and for a properly designed Wi-Fi setup, I need to use specific channels to avoid interference. AirCheck G2 gives me an overview of which channels are used by the access points or who delivers the Wi-Fi, which gives me a clear picture of what's going on.

    When it comes to deploying access points, AirCheck G2 can check the internet. I can plug in a cable originating from the access point and check if it is receiving an IP address and if the access point is getting enough power. I can quickly check the basic installation on the customer's side to ensure that everything is correctly set up to accommodate an access point in the environment.

    There's a feature which helps me create a heat map. The product comes with a cloud service called Link-Live, which allows me to import a building plan. I can walk around a building and tap my location on the display to conduct a frequency scan, and see what signals are received. The result is a heat map, where I can visualize where Wi-Fi signals are and aren't received throughout the entire building. 

    We used to work with different tools, but having this solution is an excellent opportunity because it's so compact and ready to go. We don't have to carry a notebook or tablet to run the software. It's a handy device. 

    There are two perspectives to consider; mine and the company's, as the solution is a privately owned device. It isn't adopted company-wide nor used by the entire networking team. Therefore, we have workflows based on other tools, specifically Ekahau, which is why I don't use AirCheck G2 as much as I would like. I would prefer AirCheck G2 for these workflows as it is a more lightweight tool, but that would be a company decision. On the first release, some view modes were missing, but NetAlly has greatly improved their product. There may be other solutions that deliver more information through a spectrum view, but for a Wi-Fi-focused tool, there's nothing I'm missing. 

    I'm happy with the ability to create heat maps in Link-Live's cloud service. All the necessary information is accessible in the cloud service, so anyone who uses the device is synced to Link-Live. On the other hand, a product designed to be easy to use is made more complex by German data security laws, which means we need to be careful where data is stored. This is not a fault with the product, as I love the ease of use with Link-Live. Receiving permission for data to be stored in US-based servers solves this issue. 

    I think the results are accurate and complete. They are in line with the analyses of other tools. So from my point of view, the results are pretty accurate.

    I think it has saved time. I cannot speak for the whole company because I only give the solution to my colleagues when they need it, as I own it. It made me more productive, and I always carry it with me. It doesn't require another tool bag or a tablet like the Ekahau Sidekick. I can use AirCheck G2 to check that the cabling team have done a good job without consulting a tablet or my notebook. The process of checking if network outlets have been patched and if I'm receiving an IP address from the correct VLAN takes about three minutes with the solution, compared to 15 without it.

    It is hard to say precisely how much time the solution saves during troubleshooting. Using AirCheck G2, I can quickly tell if there is an issue with the Wi-Fi or service near the network, such as the DNS or DHCP. This is the first troubleshooting phase, which takes just a few minutes. However, this doesn't mean the issue is necessarily resolved. I know where I have to look deeper in the network. Therefore, I wouldn't say the solution guarantees to resolve issues faster, but it definitely speeds up the initial stages of troubleshooting. I can get a good idea of an issue and where I need to do further analysis in three to five minutes. 

    What needs improvement?

    The display size could be larger. On the one hand, I would like that, but on the other hand, it would make the tool larger and heavier.

    A feature I would like to see is the ability to charge the device via a PoE outlet. Usually, I need to charge it at home. It would be good to leave the device plugged in and charging at a PoE source at the customer site after a quick look at the network when I have moved on to other tasks.

    Another NetAlly product called LinkRunner enables me to spoof my MAC address and avoid different results in testing based on that. I know the focus of AirCheck G2 is Wi-Fi, but it would be a nice feature to see. As security requirements increase, we must authenticate ourselves to access networks, and sometimes we need to use the client's MAC address to access the network. This isn't a required feature as it's outside the scope of the solution, but it would be nice to see.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for five to six years. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have not experienced any stability issues with the solution. I have heard about some battery problems but have not experienced them myself. I own two AirCheck G2s. One is five to six years old and still has a good battery life; the other is two years old with no issues. The stability and quality of the product are excellent from my point of view, including hardware and software.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I haven't noticed any scaling issues in terms of performance. However, as 6 GHz Wi-Fi is becoming more widespread, the solution may lose some functionality, as it isn't compatible with 6 GHz. This is a potential scaling issue moving forwards, as the device will lose the ability to analyze the full spectrum of Wi-Fi frequencies. That's the only issue I can see as far as scalability is concerned.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    There is a smaller NetAlly product called LinkSprinter, but this tool has a different focus as it's only for cable testing and network checking. It tells me if there is enough power and if the access point receives an IP address. I don't use this tool as much since I got AirCheck G2, but as they have different uses, I would not say one replaced the other. AirCheck G2 does a lot more than LinkSprinter, though the latter is still a great tool in its area. 

    I previously used programs like MetaGeek or WindFi on my notebook during my workflow. I still have those installed, but I AirCheck G2 instead as it's quicker.

    How was the initial setup?

    When I got my first device, I had to install the software on a notebook to get some network profiles. This was fixed with Link-Live, which means I can use the device out-of-the-box, and if I want to install some network profiles or predefined settings, I just plug it into any network source where I can reach Link-Live's service to sync. There have been many improvements. NetAlly has done a great job making the initial setup of the solution easier.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I didn't evaluate other options before choosing this solution. I saw it and wanted to have it, and it took me about one and a half years until I could afford it. I didn't look around because this product had all the features I required.

    I would love to try NetAlly's EtherScope nXG because it has even more functions, but considering the balance of features and price, I think AirCheck G2 is still the best fit.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a ten out of ten, I love it. 

    I pull out the device and start it, which takes approximately 30 seconds. On the main screen, I can perform a basic check which lets me know if the cabling and network are prepared for the access points. It's just a click of a button or a tap on the display. Checking which channels the access points use is almost as simple, as it is accessible right from the main menu. There is no searching through deep or extensive menus with this product. The major functions are quickly and easily accessible from the main menu.

    When I first started using the solution, it took some time to adjust to the small display size. Panning in the map is easy, and I had to adapt this to my workflow. The other tools we use to do site or heat mapping tend to have bigger screens, like an iPad or notebook. Once you get used to AirCheck G2, it's straightforward to use, and because it's so small, it's also very light to carry around, which is highly practical. 

    I used phone apps. I use an iPhone both as a personal phone and a company phone, and these devices are relatively limited when it comes to troubleshooting apps. I used to have an Android tablet with the app Aruba Utilities, which is pretty helpful. Regarding the iPad, our company uses Ekahau, which can also be used in combination with their Sidekick device, although that isn't a standalone app. I think the Aruba Utilities app and the Ekahau analyzer perform well, but they're limited to Wi-Fi, so I can't test cables. For cable testing, I would need another tool like AirCheck G2, which also offers the ability to create heat maps, and Aruba Utilities doesn't provide that. Ekahau's license only extends to one person; in our case, a company or tool-based license is preferable. Therefore, AirCheck G2 is the best of both worlds; it's an affordable product with many useful features. 

    I think there is a difference in reporting compared to other products, but this may be because I haven't spent more time exploring AirCheck G2's features. Ekahau, for example, offers custom reports, not just with our company logo, but with explanations for the different viewing modes in German. These are custom reports tailored to our company, not the stock explanations. These can be sent to the customer. This tailored report function is not something I've seen in NetAlly's solution, but this may be because I haven't spent enough time with it.

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    reviewer1910559 - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Engineer at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    A quick informational tool that is easy to learn
    Pros and Cons
    • "AirCheck made a lot of children and caregivers quite happy. While I might not have resolved everything, I have reduced the problems that we had every night. During the day, they would do visible checks and not always rely on the monitors, but every night, they had at least three or four of those alarms. I was able to reduce it to once or twice a week since those appliances are still limited in their wireless capability."
    • "I would like them to modify the interface. The button to change profiles is fairly small. When you have interventions, it is not always possible to have a ballpoint pen or perfect precision touch with it, since sometimes you need to touch it quite a lot when your hands are very dirty. I would like a special pen that is compatible with that responsive screen. That would make it easier."

    What is our primary use case?

    Working in this company for a year and counting. I received the task of being mostly responsible for an extensive > 250 id. wireless environment, where there were quite some existing issues. These are mostly related to an ongoing vendor migration going on from one vendor to another.

    The Wireless network is both responsible for work-, medical-, client-, and public-related converage (access).

    As medical devices are included in this, it's important to have a reliable connnection.

    (I am using the latest version. I update it quite frequently.)

    How has it helped my organization?

    In a child-treatment area, quite some issues existed on medical monitoring systems, where they would frequently lose connectivity.  As these resulted in alarms and an increased personnel workload, these had to be minimalized.

    Quite a hard hard task to troubleshoot, especially without anaylizing tools.

    While we could do some basic monitoring, AirCheck really helped me out. I could simulate the medical devices. I can connect to the device and do a full check of the area to troubleshoot what is happening. In this case, I noticed that we had some interference and overlapping channels. So, the device was immediately useful.

    In a way AirCheck made a lot of children and caregivers quite happy. While I might not have resolved everything, I have reduced the problems considerably.

    Where there were about three or four of those alarms daily. I was able to reduce it to once or twice a week.

    As the appliances are quite limited in their wireless capabilities, a complete avoidance is mostly impossible here.

    What is most valuable?

    I use a lot of its functions. 

    The most used feature is the AutoTest. This provides quick verification and troubleshooting options. It also offers the possibility to go quite in-depth. It goes through everything with a profile that you can define. It creates a profile and connects to our network, then it tries to make an outside connection. It goes through all the steps, and you can dig in through all the steps. So, you can go into the first step of the authentication and connection. Then, in the second phase, you can see the neighboring access points, possible interference, and overlaps. In the end, you can see if your final connection was successful, e.g., a connection to Google. You can see the delays and time. The final step is that you can integrate a report automatically, uploading that through either one of your systems or a NetAlly online portal.

    Overall, the complete appliance is quite easy to use. Even without going through a manual, you can figure it out quite fast. It is quick and easy. On the device, there is a help function that also relates to the navigation you are on. There are predefined profiles, so you can compare.

    It is a very quick informational tool. If you go to an unknown location, and you don't know that location, you can immediately see which access points are there. So, if you have to replace one and don't know which one it is, AirCheck will tell you. If it is a known vendor, like Cisco Meraki or Ubiquiti, then it will show you that information.

    AirCheck provides in-depth information for resolving connectivity and performance problems. You can do a full analysis on the web interface. You can also download reports into a spreadsheet. I couldn't imagine it being more in-depth.

    What needs improvement?

    I have used AirMapper twice, but it was mostly just to try it out with a test case. It works, but it is limited for gathering WiFi site survey data. For quick, small, and easy things, it is great and useful. However, it is not for a complete environment, which shouldn't be your main task with this appliance. For example, instead of relying on this tool to do a complete hospital, you should use a more specialized device, and they offer that too.

    I would like them to modify the interface. The button to change profiles is fairly small. When you have interventions, it is not always possible to have a ballpoint pen or perfect precision touch with it, since sometimes you need to touch it quite a lot when your hands are very dirty. I would like a special pen that is compatible with that responsive screen. That would make it easier.

    I have used a simulation of the phone apps software on my laptop, but it was more of a hassle.

    The battery requires current charging in between longer usage as it'll not be able to last through a whole day of using it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for six to seven months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There are some glitches, but that is mostly with the unresponsiveness of the screen. However, that is only if you have gloves, dirty hands, or applied some moisturizing cream. Apart from that, there are no stability issues.

    How are customer service and support?

    In the beginning, I asked for the possibility to export to flash drives. They have since fixed that with software. Their support is very fast.

    I would rate technical support as seven out of 10. In the beginning, there were some delays.

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Neutral

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We replaced an old Fluke tool. It wasn’t a bad tool, but as it was outdated and new devices are considerable higher priced (and complicated?), they were not really in scope for our use case.

    NetAlly gave me a comparison of three tools, depending on what would best suit me. I was impressed at first sight by the overall build quality of the device and all it accessories, including a decent charger, locator antenna, sturdy rubber casing, and nylon bag. (I can’t say this is “standard” though, but we bought a cable tester at a later time and that included such extras as well.)

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup for the product was straightforward. You can grab it out of the box and figure it out.

    It took five minutes to get it up and running, excluding any software upgrades, but those aren't required. I did those later on. Those upgrades took me about an hour to create an account and change all the settings to my preferences. However, it depends on what your preferences are. If you want quick and easy preferences, then it comes out-of-the-box. You just turn it on.

    To implement it, you connect with your laptop or cellphone to a public access point.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI. I have found lost access points, and an access point can be quite expensive.

    AirCheck has made our networking staff more productive. I am able to remain at my desk for a much longer time. Whereas, in the beginning I was being called away by problems every day. Back then, I had four or five tickets assigned to me every day regarding wireless. Now, it is that same amount but in a month.

    The solution has reduced troubleshooting time by a lot. You don't need to go into your installation plans, etc. If the office is a couple feet away, you can simply go there. Or, if it is remote, you can have someone with the appliance go there, boot it up (taking 10 seconds), and it then will tell you which access points are there. You can then do the reverse by going into your reports. This will give you an overview of whatever you have and you don't have to search for anything anymore.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The product has a pretty good price. 

    If I oversaw all the budgets, I might even pay double for it. Not that I want that, then I couldn't get it approved. I hope they don't increase the price with their future models. However, it is worth its price.

    It comes out-of-the-box, even with updates. There are no requirements. You only need an account for any software updates, but those are free and easy.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We also evaluated Fluke. AirCheck is more user-friendly as a tool.

    What other advice do I have?

    It can be seen as the perfect, all-in-one solution. I would recommend AirCheck. Based on my experience, we bought a second one for cable networks.

    I use the product along with some colleagues who use it. It was very easy to train them. I just told them that I created a predefined profile, pressed AutoTest, and voila.

    Now, AirCheck is mostly used if there is a problem case, which is about once a week.

    I used AirMapper once, and it works, but it requires a bit more preparation prior to using it. It is not something where you would go onsite and immediately start doing. It is best to create a floor plan and have the settings a bit predefined prior to going somewhere. It requires some preparation, but that is always required, since you would want to know the area that you were going to. However, it is straightforward. It will ask you to create a simple floor plan and have a description for it. You can then select the size of the room and do a passive or active test. 

    The passive test will do a rather quick overview to see all the broadcasts. Whereas, the active test will be roaming and connecting to each access point, which is more in-depth but takes a longer time.

    I would give it an eight out of 10.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
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    Samuel Clements - PeerSpot reviewer
    Engineering Director at Presidio Networked Solutions
    Reseller
    The auto-test feature enables us to distribute our staff resources more efficiently
    Pros and Cons
    • "The auto-test, channel scanner, packet capture, and Link-Live integration are all crucial features we use regularly. The wired cable tester is also indispensable. We frequently run into problems during cable testing that are hard to pin down. When tracking down a cable problem, you usually need to plug something into the cable and ensure the cable plant is reliable."
    • "NetAlly has been behind the curve on visualization, Wi-Fi design, and heat maps for a little while now. They're perfectly aware of this deficiency, but what they offer is good enough for a lot of people. It's not suitable for larger shops, but it works in a pinch. The AirMapper and subsequent AirMagnet integration is an afterthought."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a VAR, providing intermediary services and troubleshooting to customers. AirCheck is a tool we use for installing, testing, and troubleshooting Wi-Fi or wired networks. It's something we leverage while installing access points and identifying problems. 

    Our company has around a dozen AirCheck units shared by about three dozen engineers. Their roles range from sales and design to implementing and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks. All the people using AirCheck on our teams are primarily focused on Wi-Fi, and AirCheck is an excellent tool for supporting those roles.

    We use AirCheck as much as possible because we try to use technology relevant to our internal professional services. It's definitely a tool that we don't hesitate to invest in. Every once in a while, we'll have to pick up another unit or two to backfill a new team or something along those lines. We've had some units break, and those need to be replaced, but those units have been abused, so I don't think that reflects the reliability of their devices. If it's dropped 300 feet onto concrete, we must buy a new one. We continue to invest in them. We continue to pay maintenance and support and love what NetAlly has been doing with them.

    How has it helped my organization?

    AirCheck allowed us to replace some lower-end tools from MetaGeek and other smaller players. We've consolidated a few entry-level tools from a couple of different vendors and two features out of a single product. This was a long time ago, but AirCheck allowed us to give our engineers better tools. For example, a junior engineer might request a super-cheap spectrum analyzer, but we'll give them an AirCheck so they can see what a real tool looks like.

    They're also affordable enough, so we can be casual with how we distribute them, while they're powerful enough to hold their own against some of the bigger tools. They consistently outperform entry-level tools.

    Troubleshooting is often a process of elimination. In some situations, we use AirCheck to do packet captures and ensure the protocol functions properly over the air. Next, we use it to scan channels to see if the channel plan looks correct. We might use AirCheck to do a performance test to determine if there's anything ongoing. It allows us to test all these aspects of a Wi-Fi network, but it also gives us the next step. Once we've confirmed that the Wi-Fi is functioning correctly, we know there is no interference or channel overlap in the area.

    If everything else is appropriately configured, the process of elimination prompts us to consider whether there's a bad cable. We can do that ourselves instead of engaging the cable vendor to get somebody on site to plug something into a cable and do a plant test. My engineer needs only to spend 15 or 20 seconds testing that cable. That potentially saves hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the location, union rules, etc.

    Having that in-the-field ability to do that is invaluable. I am able to take that and then have all of those tests roll up to the cloud so that it doesn't even need to be me on site doing the work. It allows me to put more junior resources on site. It will enable them to solve more problems than they would otherwise. As a manager and administrator, I get a holistic team view of what's happening in the field as my engineers are moving about troubleshooting and deploying wireless networks.

    The auto-test feature enables us to distribute our staff resources more efficiently. Auto-test doesn't mean I can send anybody out into the field, but it certainly allows me to send someone who lacks the same comprehensive understanding of Wi-Fi that I or some of my peers have. It will enable us to send a junior engineer who can press one button to get feedback about what's happening. They can forward it to me through Link-Live, so I can assist them if necessary. They can see all sorts of data about what's not working correctly on the infrastructure, and it gives them a safety net.

    If everything is good, and they're still having a problem, I can validate those assumptions that they have made. If they run into a problem identified by the auto test, they can call me for advice, or the auto test will point to what they need to do. It allows them not just to identify where that problem is coming from but also gives them actionable information they need to figure out the problem box.

    It's just the "easy" button that allows us to build profiles to configure the tester, so our engineers don't have to fuss with building out the profiles or how the test functions. I can give my engineers a straightforward tool, and that's the holy grail. The device is not only easy to use but also rich and comprehensive enough to provide meaningful data. 

    What is most valuable?

    The auto-test, channel scanner, packet capture, and Link-Live integration are all crucial features we use regularly. The wired cable tester is also indispensable. We frequently run into problems during cable testing that are hard to pin down. When tracking down a cable problem, we usually need to plug something into the cable and ensure the cable plant is reliable. 

    Nothing else would work in those situations. A bad cable could affect performance in a number of ways, and troubleshooting Wi-Fi networks is complicated enough already. AirCheck G2 provides a simple-to-use tool that allows my field teams to plug an AP cable in, and I have a good idea whether that cable's problematic or not.

    What needs improvement?

    NetAlly has been behind the curve on visualization, Wi-Fi design, and heat maps for a little while now. They're perfectly aware of this deficiency, but what they offer is good enough for a lot of people. It's not suitable for larger shops, but it works in a pinch. The AirMapper and subsequent AirMagnet integration is an afterthought. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using AirCheck products since they launched, so it has been many years. We transitioned from the first generation to G2 several years back. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We've never noticed stability issues. We don't pay attention to these things unless it's a significant problem. We've never had our production units break or die in the field. I think we still have original units around here. They're built like tanks. 

    How are customer service and support?

    NetAlly support is highly responsive. They've always immediately addressed my concerns. I'd say their support is top-notch and it is 10 out of 10. 

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    How was the initial setup?

    AirCheck requires minimal setup. We fire up the unit and register it on the dashboard, which we would expect from any really cloud-enabled product. The firmware updates are all done on the device, and the units require minimal configuration. Any configuration we need to do is straightforward and easy to distribute to multiple devices. It's easy to make the changes and ensure that everybody's doing the same thing.

    The Link-Live dashboard lets us keep the firmware revisions uniform across devices. We can see who is using them and when. It also allows us to understand the test results, so we can integrate them into other teams' work. The out-of-the-box setup was very straightforward. I think I had to type six numbers into a dashboard after I logged in. From there, everything is done on the dashboard or the device itself. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    AirCheck is appropriately priced as an enterprise-grade tool for professional work. It's not the most expensive tool in the industry, so it's more affordable than many other competitors in the market. Each unit is a couple of grand, which a large organization can absorb because we use these tools to benefit our customers in tangible ways.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Few products provide an all-in-one platform like AirCheck. A lot of companies have competing products that might address a feature or a use case, but no vendor has packaged all those features into a single product like NetAlly. For all intents and purposes, there's no competition in the space. No other enterprise-quality handheld testers do Wi-Fi and wired testing so comprehensively.

    The phone apps are garbage. It's like comparing a BB gun to a bazooka now. Those consumer-grade mobile app tools are inconsistent, inaccurate, and unreliable. 

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate AirCheck 10 out of 10. It's awesome. Consistent tools are critical. When we transitioned over to AirCheck, we had several tools from various vendors, and each engineer was doing something slightly different. AirCheck allowed us to standardize operations because everyone uses the same tools, so my engineers can learn from each other.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller
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    Sr. Telecommunications Engineer at County of Hillsborough
    Real User
    AirMapper creates heat maps to help us visualize a network and check for correct layout
    Pros and Cons
    • "The one-button AutoTest feature is an amazing tool. It works well. It tells you whether or not you have shorts in your network, your PoE+ is running low on voltage, and shows you your link speed."
    • "The only thing that would be an improvement would be the ability to do MPO/MPT testing, which is another mode of fiber, along with more options on the SFP to do that testing."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for multiple purposes, but it's primarily to test link speed, whether on a workstation or a switch. We also do a point-to-point from building to building and from point A to point B, which is a data center to data center check. It's fiber- and copper-based, so we can do multiple things with it. It's a good tool that gives us a lot of information.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It brings a lot to our organization. It helps us check for bit error rate loss, if someone has complained about a low wireless signal. We can prove to them that there's nothing wrong with it and usually it's an issue on their side. We can check the data port connections and that everything has been done correctly and we can make sure the layout is correct. There's just so much this device does that it's unbelievable sometimes. You don't realize what it can do until you start to play with it.

    When it comes to resolving WiFi connectivity and performance problems, the information it gives us is excellent: complete and accurate. It provides the results we need and the ones we go by.

    And the AirCheck helps quite a bit for our monitoring purposes. Our team is the smallest one in our organization, but we're also the busiest, and it saves us time. Our network is pretty resilient and pretty diverse and we don't have too many issues, but it helps out quite a bit. It saves us 10 to 15 hours a week. It has also reduced troubleshooting time, knocking it down by 15 to 20 minutes per job.

    What is most valuable?

    What I like about it is that it has a bigger touch screen now. The old LinkRunner was not a touch screen. It's a lot faster than the old one.

    We can send the results to their Link-Live cloud and then find people to look at them. We can give the results to our clients or our contractors and they can look at whether it passes or fails. You can save it to both the cloud and the local machine. And, if you save it to the local machine, when you plug it in, as soon as there is an internet connection it automatically uploads to your account.

    And the one-button AutoTest feature is an amazing tool. It works well. It tells you whether or not you have shorts in your network, your PoE+ is running low on voltage, and shows you your link speed.

    We also have the AirMapper Site Survey feature to go along with that. We can upload things and check them. We can download from it and walk through a building to make sure all the WAPs are working correctly and to check the bit rate error. I like AirMapper because it makes things a one-suite deal so that everything is together. It makes it easier to upload, download, check, and test. It's also excellent for gathering WiFi site survey data. It's a good feature and we're really impressed with it.

    Another function of the AirMapper is creating heat maps in Link-Live. It's great at helping us visualize a network. We use it to double-check that things have been laid out correctly by our contractor, and it provides excellent results. If we need to move something a few feet here or there, or add something, it helps out quite a bit. AirMapper is quite similar to site survey software products. It depends on what you're familiar with. We're very familiar with AirMapper and that's usually what we stick with. We like how it responds and it's easily uploaded into our monitoring tools.

    In addition, the small form factor of the units is one of the big features.

    What needs improvement?

    The only thing that would be an improvement would be the ability to do MPO/MPT testing, which is another mode of fiber, along with more options on the SFP to do that testing. It requires a multiple link fiber test, it doesn't use just one or two strands. It depends on whether they're base-8, base-16, base-12, or base-14 MPO/MPTs.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using AirCheck G2 for between a year and a half to two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's very reliable. We had their original product and it's still going strong. We'll continue to use it until they no longer service it. We're really happy with the reliability and durability of it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    With the new formats that are coming out, it will likely be more scalable. 

    However, it's not ready for WiFi 6 unless they are going to do a software upgrade. They recommended a new unit to do WiFi 6, but I would be happy if they would just provide a software update for it.

    We use the AirCheck pretty extensively, every three to four days out of a five-day work week. We plan on adding more. I've added new equipment every year, but it depends on our fiscal period. I try to keep my team on the latest equipment, so that they don't have issues.

    How are customer service and support?

    When I have had issues I have reached out to NetAlly and they have responded very quickly. They're very good. They usually have a quick solution and, if they don't, they keep you updated on what they're working on and they get back to you in a very timely manner.

    They reach out to me every now and then, every time that we need an upgrade, or if they want to try to sell me an upgrade. 

    How would you rate customer service and support?

    Positive

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using the LinkRunner, the original AirCheck, and the original EtherScope version from when NetAlly and Fluke were partners. We're pretty satisfied.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very simple to start with. They send it to you, they give you the information, you put in the serial number, claim the unit to your account, and it automatically uploads it to your account. It keeps you posted on when it's time to do a software upgrade and when to renew your AllyCare.

    What was our ROI?

    We see ROI very quickly, within the first year.

    The cost of the solution, versus its ability to save time or solve problems is excellent. It's a wonderful tool.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Pricing is on par with the rest of the industry and the licensing is decent.

    The licensing fees depend on what you want. There is the high maintenance and coverage, which covers everything including free software upgrades. And if something becomes broken, we call them and they'll send us a loaner while we send the broken one in. They'll work on it, check it for us, and re-certify it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I've checked other vendors' products including the Corning, Expo, and AFL stuff. We have stayed with NetAlly because of the dependability, reliability, and the tech support and customer service. We're pretty brand-loyal. We stay with stuff we really like and that we're comfortable with.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a good all-around tool for our purposes. I highly recommend it to all my contractors and everyone we deal with. It's a great tool and we haven't found any issues with it. Nothing is perfect, but along with Netally's EtherScope, it's probably the piece of test equipment that is closest. It does everything we need it to do and a lot more.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Network Engineer at HCA Healthcare
    Real User
    Top 10
    It's portable and useful for troubleshooting, but you need to buy a support contract to get necessary updates
    Pros and Cons
    • "AirCheck has a feature that lets you play a tone so you can track down a rogue AP based on the RF signal. That's a cool feature. It can also help you identify interference like microwave ovens or Bluetooth devices. I also like the ability to link it to your online account. It sends a report via email and saves it on the cloud."
    • "It was hard to determine which AP was which because it only shows the MAC address. It'll also display the MAC address of the BSSID, so it looked like I had 12 APs in my house. If I have three access points and each is a dual-band with an SSID or BSSID for each radio, it comes out to about 12 APs. That's one of the bugs fixed in the latest firmware update, but it's only available if you have a NetAlly support contract."

    What is our primary use case?

    I primarily use AirCheck for wireless surveys or for tracking down a specific AP. I have used it personally for identifying rogue AP's. Very cool feature to prove to a wireless vendor, Grandstream, that they are running a rogue AP MAC from their unit.

    How has it helped my organization?

    AirCheck helps us diagnose WiFi problems with medical equipment. For instance, if we get a call about a mobile ultrasound unit with a weak WiFi signal, we can dispatch a tech to that facility who can use AirCheck to identify the nearest WiFi access point. We can filter AirCheck for that key and locate the nearest neighbor to determine when it should be picking up the WiFi. 

    We need to prove that we have a solid WiFi connection before we send the equipment to the vendor to check the unit. Usually, the vendor needs to upgrade the driver or set the roaming feature to a more aggressive mode on the unit. 

    One handheld device is better than carrying a cart with an AP and a laptop. It's handy to troubleshoot or perform a wireless survey with only one device. It does an excellent job. 

    It saves time! I've used AirCheck a handful of times, and it was useful, but It didn't point the finger at the actual issue. It did indeed help to identify the problem. Very useful tool to have in your arsenal. 

    What is most valuable?

    AirCheck has a feature that lets you play a tone so you can track down a rogue AP based on the RF signal. That's a cool feature. It can also help you identify interference like microwave ovens or Bluetooth devices. I also like the ability to link it to your online account. It sends a report via email and saves it on the cloud.

    The reporting is basic but useful. It lets you know that it was able to reach the DNS and get an IP address from the DHCP server. They did a cut-over and had to use the link for AirCheck. Every time they plugged it into the network, it would send the report. It's helpful when you need to locate a cable.  

    What needs improvement?

    Since the product is still new to me, and I'm new to the company, I find it challenging to figure out. I'm trying it out at home, so I'm working in a smaller environment with only three access points. When I tested it out, I realized that when it's broadcasting an SSID, it also shows the BSSID, which is just another access point broadcasting a shared SSID.

    It was hard to determine which AP was which because it only shows the MAC address. It'll also display the MAC address of the BSSID, so it looked like I had 12 APs in my house. If I have three access points and each is a dual-band with an SSID or BSSID for each radio, it comes out to about 12 APs. 

    That's one of the bugs fixed in the latest firmware update, but it's only available if you have a NetAlly support contract. I'm trying to push them to give us that firmware update because it is a bug that should be resolved whether you have NetAlly support. If they gave us the firmware updates, we could probably help NetAlly identify additional bugs and improve their product. It seems like it comes down to money because they want you to buy the NetAlly support. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I started to use AirCheck G2 about six to eight months ago.

    How are customer service and support?

    I had a battery problem with the device. Once the battery meter dropped down to two bars, the unit would start rebooting. It was still under warranty, so I contacted NetAlly, and they shipped me a new battery. I let the product go until it ultimately died. They identified the issue pretty quickly after I told them what it was doing, and the new battery shipped fast. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I haven't been in the division long enough to know. AirCheck was purchased about three months before I was hired. I don't know if it replaced anything other than maybe a laptop with AirMagnet or some other wireless survey software.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    To activate most of the features, you need a NetAlly support contract. When you buy this high-dollar product, you should have access to most of the features. I would think that the NetAlly support contract should cover support, hardware, and software. 

    If you find a feature you need, you have to call them and add it, but you should be able to use the product. You spend money on and invested in multiple devices and can't even use half of the features. They should negotiate with large enterprises who buy large numbers of units to provide NetAlly support for all of them at a nominal fee.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate AirCheck G2 seven out of ten. If you need to use its full capabilities, you should get a NetAlly support contract or wait until the company provides firmware updates without one. 

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Rene Ruiz - PeerSpot reviewer
    Network Engineer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    AutoTest gives a snapshot of your environment within seconds
    Pros and Cons
    • "It has made our networking staff more productive. We spend less time because the device helps us by identifying the issue and providing a solution for the customer. Prior to not having this device, we would have to guess when an issue arose. Now, we don't have to guess. This can easily save us hours per call."
    • "If it was capable of downloading MIBs onto the device, then we could identify the manufacturer. Sometimes, when I am troubleshooting, there is a Mac address. For example, there is a rogue device and it just gives us a Mac address, which is fine. It gives us something, which is better than nothing. It would be nice if it was able to download a MIB where we could associate it with that Mac address and the manufacturer."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use AirCheck G2 in a hospital environment. We use across 30 hospitals and use it to troubleshoot our wireless network. It helps me troubleshoot as well as identifying coverage and interference issues that we encounter throughout our organization. Also, it could be related to SNR readings not being great. Whenever those issues arise, we take care of those issues. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    We can identify issues faster so we can resolve the immediate issue on hand if it is related to coverage or interference. One of the things that is great to know is if there is an offending access point or a rogue access point, then we can identify that and see where it is located within the facility.

    I consistently rely on the information that the unit provides. I feel it is accurate.

    What is most valuable?

    I like the product because it can right away give you a snapshot in time by doing a self AutoTest. I like the AutoTest because it does a snapshot of your environment within seconds.

    What needs improvement?

    If it was capable of downloading MIBs onto the device, then we could identify the manufacturer. Sometimes, when I am troubleshooting, there is a Mac address. For example, there is a rogue device and it just gives us a Mac address, which is fine. It gives us something, which is better than nothing. It would be nice if it was able to download a MIB where we could associate it with that Mac address and the manufacturer.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I like it. I haven't had any issues with it at all.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Right now, it does what it is needed to do from a two, four, and five gigahertz perspective. I don't think it is capable of WiFi 6 at this moment, but it does what it needs to do.

    Within our organization, there are three network engineers using it.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have never used the solution's technical support. I have always done everything on my own.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I did use freeware that was available previously. It was okay for being free. AirCheck definitely replaced that. It was the first major tool that I had for working on wireless.

    I had used LinkRunner G2 and liked the product. So, I wanted to go ahead and continue using the NetAlly G2 line. AirMapper works for me. I didn't really have anything to base it against another competitor. I just looked AirCheck G2 up online and read the reviews.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I did configure it to use five gigahertz, but if there is an issue where we need to use two or four, then it is easy to set up the profiles.

    I could use it right out of the box. We just charged it up and it gave us a snapshot of what is good and bad.

    What about the implementation team?

    I was able to do it on my own.

    What was our ROI?

    We have seen ROI. Prior to AirCheck, we would be guessing what the interference would be. We were using coverage as a point versus all the metrics that AirMapper provides. Now, we are able to identify if it is a coverage issue or inference issue. It does everything all in one shot.

    It has made our networking staff more productive. We spend less time because the device helps us by identifying the issue and providing a solution for the customer. Prior to not having this device, we would have to guess when an issue arose. Now, we don't have to guess. This can easily save us hours per call.

    It has easily reduced our troubleshooting time by 50%.

    It is definitely worth it. It makes you and your engineers more efficient when trying to troubleshoot whatever the wireless issue is.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I just bought it from Insight. 

    It is definitely well worth the price. It is approximately $2,500. It pays for itself since it eliminates troubleshooting costs and labor due to all the money you would spend kind of troubleshooting the device if you didn't have any of these tools with you.

    There is additional cost to support the maintenance, which I feel is a little pricey, but it does provide you updates for the device, e.g., whenever they do an update.

    What other advice do I have?

    While I would like to increase usage, there are no plans to currently expand it due to budgets.

    I would rate it as 10 out of 10. It is efficient for identifying issues in the air.  

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free AirCheck G2 Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: August 2022
    Product Categories
    Network Troubleshooting
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free AirCheck G2 Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.