Feeds
90%

ZyXel ZyAir AG-225H Wi-Fi sniffer

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.