Do your homework

Don't cross analyzers off your information technology shopping list just because your agency hasn't sanctioned the use of wireless devices. Gartner Inc. estimates that 90 percent of enterprises have wireless devices being used, whether sanctioned or not. Because analyzers have a wide range of features, draw up a set of requirements before comparing products.

Know which wireless access cards your agency uses. Many wireless local-area network analyzers support only limited types.

Know which wireless standards — 802.11a, 802.11b or 802.11g, for example — your network supports and make sure the WLAN analyzer you purchase is certified to support those standards. Be aware that although many wireless analyzers provide common network management capabilities, only a few offer plug-ins to easily integrate with the most popular network management tools, which your agency may already use.

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