We live in a wireless world, and this is an ever increasing part of my business life. As a technically oriented person I need tools. I need tools to help me view wired networks, and I need them for wireless networks as well.
Read on to find out the good and bad handset choices for mobile WiFi testing…
In our business we work in telephony. We provide VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) systems for business and industry. Much of our handset/endpoint implementation revolves around either WiFi or DECT wireless technology. When we need to check or repair WiFi availability in a certain site we depend on tools on our laptops and smartphones in the field. The tools will tell us the WiFi access points available in the immediate area, along with the strength of signal for each access point/router. The signal strength is critical because a mobile VOIP device is much more sensitive to transmission problems than a common PC is.
As an illustration, here is a display of WiFi networks near me as seen on my Passport using “WiFi Manager” from Gplay. It shows one access point much stronger than the other along with the channel (9) it is using.
Here we see a different view which includes the -db rating. A lower -db rating is desireable as that indicates a stronger signal.
You can run the app called “WiFi Analyzer” on both Priv and Passport or other BB10 devices. Here you can see different access points, their channel usage based on where their peaks are, along with their -db level all in one nice graph.
Why am I showing/boring you with this info?
Simple… Apple iOS cannot do this. Nope… I reiterate it cannot be done on an iPhone or iPad or iPod.
The reason I know this is because I was trying to help one of my sales co-workers setup a new WiFi router as theirs had died. It only had 500k upload so we wanted to find out why. As he had multiple WiFi access points in his house I wanted him to try an iOS version of one of the above apps.
Thing is that Apple cut off the access to the API that allows such tools to work in 2010 much to the chagrin of people in my industry. Info regarding why Apple did this can be seen here.
I’ll let you come up with your own conclusions as to why they denied tech workers from an increasingly needed tool. Thing is that mobile phones/telephony is on the rise in enterprise communication and desktop is moving in the opposite direction. The tools need to be as well.
BlackBerry has me covered when I need tools.