New Ideas: What we could do about WLANs…

WLAN DiscoveryI cannot stress often enough that the best source for new ideas are our customers and prospects. Recently, a prospect asked whether we could read the signal strengths that WLAN access points are sending with. Our standard answer to questions like “Can you collect information x from device y” is: Yes, if the device exposes the information via any protocol.

But this case made us think further about what we could do for WLANs. After some discussion back and forth, we were thinking about doing even more. Besides of collecting the signal strength of WLAN access points, we could collect the signal strength and the throughput that actually arrives at the clients in the WLAN. Getting this information from all WLAN clients within your network  will provide a pretty good first impression on your WLAN connectivity within your enterprise. You might even find black spots by combining WLAN information with location information. Although there are many tools out on the web that collect base information for WLANs, we didn’t find one that is capable of collecting and aggregating this kind of information for your complete IT environment.

Furthermore, we might also scan the visible WLANs for each computer on the network. That might help to identify “illegal” WLANs that have been put by some “shadow-IT” into your network. Getting the MAC addresses of WLAN access points for each WLAN client leads to a list of clients that are actually connected to a WLAN access point.

We wanted to doublecheck this with you guys out there and your feedback is highly appreciated.

About The Author

Thomas Trenz
I own and manage JDisc and its network inventory and discovery products. Before I started JDisc, I worked quite a long time for Hewlett-Packard developing software for network assessments and inventory projects. Feel free to contact me on Linked-In or Xing.

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