Feeds
90%

ZyXel ZyAir AG-225H Wi-Fi sniffer

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Review There may be plenty of wireless hotspots in the UK but they're not always that well advertised, making it a real pain for mobile workers looking for a quick Internet fix. Windows XP and its zero configuration wireless features make life a lot easier but this still means firing up your notebook to see what's available. ZyXel's new AG-225H could be the answer as this little baby is a combined wireless network locator, 802.11a/b/g USB adapter and access point as well. We've heard the device being likened by some to a wireless sniffer but this isn't strictly correct as the device merely displays basic information about the networks it finds and doesn't have the ability to intercept wireless data packets.

Zyxel Zyair AG-225H

The AG-225H is a well designed, pocket-sized package that comes complete with a short carrying cord and a USB extender cable. The front panel is home to a small LCD panel and the unit can be powered on and off with a switch underneath, while the two buttons on the upper surface are used to initiate a wireless scan and to scroll through the list of identified access points. It would have been nice if the LCD display was backlit - especially as the unit uses a Li-Ion battery which is recharged whenever connected to a USB port.

To test ZyXel's wireless scanning capabilities we took the device for a stroll round a large two-storey office building. Having already scanned the building with an AirMagnet SmartEdge enterprise-level wireless sensor, we already had a clear picture of how many access points were running and what their details were so we could easily gauge how accurate the AG-225H was. Overall, the results were impressive - the device found all seven of the access points previously discovered. Its range is around the same as a standard wireless PC Card so if the adapter can find an AP then you should be able to log on to it.

The device operates in three modes and defaults to displaying all available APs regardless of their security settings. A Free mode only shows those APs that have no security enabled whilst the D mode locks on to the selected AP and periodically keeps track of it. The LCD display provides plenty of information about each access point as it shows the SSID, the channel in use, whether it is an 802.11a, b or g network, if WPA or WEP is in use, and the signal strength. So if you're on the receiving end how do you stop your AP from being picked up by the AG-225H? All you need do is switch off SSID broadcasting or turn on SSID masking (whichever method your AP uses) and the AP will no longer appear in the device's display panel.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.