Modern Packet Analysis Is Getting A Visual Overhaul

This post is part of an ongoing series discussing MetaGeek’s new packet visualizer, Eye P.A.
See our previous post: Get ready to accelerate your .pcap skills with Visual Packet Analysis.

Right now, packet analysis works like a search engine. You enter a search term and it returns several thousand packets that meet the query. This works great when you know exactly what you’re looking for.
If you don’t – get ready to spend some time with your old friend, Mr. Scrollwheel.

For those of you who have been-there-done-that, I’d like to introduce you to Eye P.A.

Eye P.A. simplifies wireless network troubleshooting by visually aggregating the long lines of data saved in a .pcap file. It quickly displays what’s happening with your 802.11 network from a very high level while giving you the chance to drill down into the details with a helpful multi-layered animated pie chart.

For example, a BSSID may have several clients represented as the green inner layers.

These will be colored in different shades of green to represent the data rate of the conversation.

The Frame Types (outer layers) will be colored based on the type of frame: Data, Control or Management.

We’ve made the pie charts actionable, that means you can drill down by clicking on the pie chart itself. While the interactive pie charts are pretty flippin’ sweet (as we say here in Idaho), this is just a mere piece of our eyeball packet analyzer.

We want to invite you to watch the live-stream unveiling of our new wireless packet visualization tool at Wireless Tech Field Day on January 26th.

4 comments for “Modern Packet Analysis Is Getting A Visual Overhaul

  1. January 18, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    The moment I saw the animation, I got reminded of an open source Hard disk space analyzer  called WinDirStat The premise is the same, really intuitive. 

    • WiSpyCanada
      January 19, 2012 at 1:48 am

      I think you may mean FileLight instead.  It also has the round click-through interface.

      • January 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm

        There are several applications that use the “treepie” design. As WiSpyCanada said, Linux has had a few disk utilities and Mac has some too.

        If you think about it, the same concept applies to RF. In a given period of time you have a limited amount of data that can be transmitted. What is more important though than a total packet count is how long did the packets take in the airspace.

        • January 20, 2012 at 12:16 am

          And – what MetaGeek does best is take smart software development and combine it with beautiful visualization that helps you quickly understand data.  It’s a tool that we’re very excited to share, and expect to be very useful in diagnosing all kinds of issues with wireless data.

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