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What's Jamming Your Network

Wi-Fi network jammed? This tool exposes the culprits.

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This story appears in the September 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The air around your office is likely clogged with networks and devices like cordless phones and microwaves. That invisible traffic jam can cause interference problems with your system. Spectrum analyzers are tools that help you suss out the sources of interference and choose a Wi-Fi channel that will give you a cleaner signal. Until recently, spectrum analyzers were somewhat pricey investments. But now, MetaGeek is bringing a spectrum analyzer to the masses with the $99 (street) Wi-Spy for the 2.4GHz band.

Wi-Spy comes as a kit with an installation CD and a small USB device. We plugged it into a to check out our 802.11g network. Installation is straightforward, and the program opens to show a graphical analyzer view. You can immediately see which Wi-Fi channels are full of activity. You can also switch over to a frequency view and check which frequencies are busy or subject to interference. After that, you can set your wireless network accordingly.

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