Feeds
90%

ZyXel ZyAir AG-225H Wi-Fi sniffer

Security for virtualized datacentres

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.