We’re deep in Beta Test Mode for the Air Viewer application over at MetaGeek HQ, and recently, one of our beta testers asked a simple question: “What is Air Viewer?” The objective of the question was to better understand what MetaGeek is (and isn’t) planning for the Air Viewer application so that they have clearer context around testing and providing feedback. While I was crafting a document to explain our vision for Air Viewer, I thought that this would be awesome to share out with everyone. So, here it is!
Who is Air Viewer for?
Air Viewer is for those that need to troubleshoot or assess WiFi environments in real-time. At MetaGeek, we fondly refer to these user personas as Javier and Tyler.
A Javier-type user is considered a WiFi professional. Javier is the WiFi expert at his company; he does a lot with WiFi-specific troubleshooting and helps out his co-workers who are less familiar with WiFi. He is also the person that plans, installs, and verifies WLAN deployments. Javier is probably working toward his CWNE cert, or maybe already has it.
A Tyler-type user is someone who is interested in WiFi, but may not yet be considered an expert. WiFi is one of Tyler’s many tasks, and he is typically working as a tech for an MSP, ISP, or networking consulting company. He may also be a network admin for an organization. Tyler is intellectually curious and while he may not understand all of the WiFi data presented in Air Viewer, he is willing to educate himself in order to understand WiFi and resolve WiFi related issues.
With Air Viewer and other MetaGeek products, not to mention our extensive WiFi educational resources, Tyler will be on his way towards becoming a WiFi professional; just like Javier.
What is Air Viewer?
Air Viewer is a WiFi troubleshooting app for iOS and Android devices that provides insights into real-time Layer 1 and Layer 2 information. It is the software portion of the Wi-Spy Air Viewer package.
The Wi-Spy Air is the hardware portion that feeds WiFi and spectrum data into Air Viewer. Wi-Spy Air frees Air Viewer from the WiFi data collection constraints typically imposed by iOS and Android operating systems.
Air Viewer is:
- A view into real-time spectrum and WiFi data
- A small, portable solution that is easy to carry and use when needed – all you need is your Android or iOS device and the Wi-Spy Air hardware
- A tool to visualize the WiFi landscape of your network and neighboring networks so that you can assess your network’s health
- A tool to visualize spectrum (WiFi and non-WiFi) to plan appropriate channel usage or identify interferers
- A tool that allows you to view detailed network information at your current location (BSSIDs broadcasting networks SSIDs, their signal strengths / SNR, security, device names, utilization) so that you can assess your network’s local health and are aware of any issues needing attention
- A tool that allows you to view detailed client information so that you can see how they are behaving on your network and resolve impacting issues
What is Air Viewer Not?
We are not trying to create the do-it-all tool with Air Viewer. We want Air Viewer to feel like all of the features are interrelated and that common real-time WiFi troubleshooting can be accomplished. This helps us keep focused on what Air Viewer is and keeps the code-base maintainable and the application size small.
Air Viewer is not:
- A monitoring tool
- A spectrum deep dive tool (like Chanalyzer)
- A packet/frame capture deep dive tool (like Eye P.A. or Wireshark)
- A site survey deep dive tool
- A desktop application
Given the capabilities of Wi-Spy Air and the allowance it provides for mobile WLAN troubleshooting, we still want to hear your feedback and feature suggestions, even if it’s outside the scope of Air Viewer. Maybe what’s listed as out-of-scope for Air Viewer in the list above would be in-scope for a different standalone mobile app that utilizes the Wi-Spy Air. 😉
What is on the road map for Air Viewer after its initial release?
That depends: what will provide YOU the most value to effectively get your jobs done?
One thing we have planned is to tie Air Viewer into our new MetaGeek Web Service that we are building for the inSSIDer Plus platform. This will allow you to save snapshots of your network environment and use the data for further analysis or building reports.
We will continue to iterate on the experience and usability of Air Viewer and even look at creating an enhanced experience for tablet users.
Still curious about Air Viewer and what we have planned? We’d love to answer your questions! Add a comment below and let’s chat.