There are also several desktop WLAN analyzers - for example, WildPackets AiroPeek, NAI SnifferWireless, Network Instruments Observer, and the open source Ethereal. Desktop WLAN analyzers can monitor wireless traffic and filter captured packets against configurable alerts and thresholds. Desktop analyzers tend to have more processing power and storage than handheld analyzers, making them well-suited for routine WLAN monitoring, expert analysis, and trending over time. You might also want to consider wireless-aware IDS products ? for example, the AirDefense Intrusion Protection and Management appliance.
You can learn more about WLAN troubleshooting by visiting these vendor Web sites. Or check out the WLAN troubleshooting and tutorial Web sites run by EarthWeb, 802.11-Planet, Microsoft, and CommsDesign. You might also consider purchasing a book on this subject - for example, Jim Geier's "Implementing High Performance IEEE 802.11 Networks."
This was first published in February 2003