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AirMagnet Spectrum XT OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is AirMagnet Spectrum XT?

AirMagnet Spectrum XT is the first and only professional Wi-Fi spectrum analyzer software solution that combines in-depth radio frequency interference analysis with real-time wireless spectrum analysis for quicker and more accurate trouble_shooting of performance problems. The real-time Wi-Fi spectrum analyzer's combined view of "impact analysis of RF interference" on the networks overall performance helps pin-point the root-cause of those problems.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Network Troubleshooting Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

AirMagnet Spectrum XT Customers
Major Wireless Network Infrastructure Provider
AirMagnet Spectrum XT Video

Archived AirMagnet Spectrum XT Reviews (more than two years old)

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Network Guy
Senior Information Security Analyst at Peterbilt Motors Co., PACCAR
Real User
I like the capabilities for scanning the spectrums in portions instead of filling the whole screen

What is our primary use case?

Wireless scanning, mapping, and troubleshooting.

Spectrum XT continues to help with interference issues in the factory environment. Having multiple systems factory/IR/RF/Microwave and LMR is challenging to keep everything working together.

How has it helped my organization?

I've been able to diagnose trouble areas in the factory with devices interfering with each other, from 2.4 GHz wireless and microwaves, to separate industrial systems creating too much noise.

What is most valuable?

  • Having the capabilities of scanning the spectrums in portions instead of filling the whole screen
  • Scan over time to see the trends on the graph
  • Ease of setup and deployment with a tablet or laptop.

What needs improvement?

Connections from the antenna to the main unit are not efficient to connect and disconnect. Also, not thought out for placement of the cable between the unit and antenna to not catch the things disconnecting it during use.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you're having multiple issues, I'd recommend this to people. In the long run, it's worth the cost not having to wait for a vendor to make it out during an outage or intermittent time of issues.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Doing it ourselves or the cost of paying a vendor to come in each time.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Network Engineer/Mobility Specialist at CCSI - Contemporary Computer Services, Inc.
Real User
I can use it to determine the precise placement of APs to satisfy customers’ needs for data, voice, or location.

What is most valuable?

Physical/predictive surveys.

How has it helped my organization?

I can determine precise placement of APs to satisfy customers’ needs for data, voice, or location.

What needs improvement?

On the version I use, there are some bugs that are probably resolved in the latest version.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for ~15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues, unless a single survey path is very lengthy. (It is best to subdivide your survey at the desired RSSI boundary and save.)

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Customer…

What is most valuable?

Physical/predictive surveys.

How has it helped my organization?

I can determine precise placement of APs to satisfy customers’ needs for data, voice, or location.

What needs improvement?

On the version I use, there are some bugs that are probably resolved in the latest version.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for ~15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any stability issues, unless a single survey path is very lengthy. (It is best to subdivide your survey at the desired RSSI boundary and save.)

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is 9/10.

Technical Support:

Technical support is 8/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously used Ekahau, and we switched to AirMagnet because it was stronger back then.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

I am a reseller and would rate myself as a near-expert on this product (9/10).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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it_user545739
Network Solution Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Consultant
The most valuable features are the Survey PRO/Planner and the ability to do the everyday bread-and-butter wireless site surveys. False positives could be improved.

What is most valuable?

Right now, the most valuable features are the Survey PRO/Planner and the ability to do the everyday bread-and-butter wireless site surveys for our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

Overall, it's more or less how it has helped our customers. It's really more for them. The tool enables us to do these site surveys and really pinpoint where access points need to be, where lack of coverage would be. I cannot say it takes away 100% of the guessing, or shows the one area where you're like, "Okay, well, you’ve got to add a couple." Nonetheless, for the most part, it really does a solid job for our customers letting them know, "Hey, you don't need 50 access points. Maybe you just needed 36 based on the floor plan you provided us and us walking the entire site." It's a tool that gets us to the closest number that a customer should be spending.

What needs improvement?

The spectrum analysis tool, the Spectrum XT, is the one product that definitely has some room for improvement. That could just be driven by some of the other competitive products that we've seen out there. I've been told by some of my more senior guys that the Spectrum XT generates too many false positives. It's not as accurate as other tools that are out there in the market such as MetaGeek. That's something that I definitely think they could improve upon for sure.

It needs better, tighter spectrum analysis. Anytime you can avoid interference in any type of environment, especially the larger, high-density stuff, that's where the product is just starting to see its roadblocks, maybe some of its limits. We're using it for really large stadium deployments. We're using it for really large public venues in what we consider high-density experience, as far as the number of people that are going to be in the venue with mobile devices or just wireless devices. Not being able to accurately predict interference and then engineer or react accordingly does cost us money. At times, it cost us more money than what I paid for the tool. Then, at that point, is when I really start looking at an issue.

Another thing that is a complaint from the guys is the inability to save a project using a newer version of the product that can be viewed by an older version. For example, if you’re using Word 2013, being able to save into a format that can be read by Word 97, a more basic Microsoft word processing product or just an older version of the software. That would definitely be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

As a company, our wireless practice has been using the product for well over five years. It's pretty much our standard for site surveys, predictive surveys, also spectrum analysis. Currently, it's the cornerstone for how we measure the air.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product seems pretty stable; stability seems pretty good. I don't really think that the product has ever hindered us from performing a survey. For the most part, it's stable, it boots up, it opens up and it works and it's operational. I wouldn't say there's any stability issues with the actual software itself.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support from NetScout is really good. Our representative does a great job. If I need to get a hold of anybody, she does a fantastic job.

I would honestly and solidly say they're at an eight out of ten. There have been a few times where we get somebody that is not as familiar with our issue or something like that, but from my personal experience, it's a 10. If I rate it cumulatively from the guys in the practice that use the product, which is quite a bit – we have over 20 engineers that use it daily – I put it as an eight.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Under my shepherdship of the practice, we have not previously used another solution. We've always used Fluke and NetScout.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is really straightforward. You can get all of the information online. You get the key for your login, which is given to you by Christine Riley who's our rep to help us with all of that. No issues there to be honest. No issues to report there.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I do not remember what other options they evaluated before choosing this product, because I took over the practice for somebody else. Particularly, I've let my team leads and my tech leads for wireless kind of decide what tools they want to use. However, NetScout is up for evaluation against MetaGeek on the spectrum stuff. We are definitely going to evaluate NetScout against some other competing site survey products from MetaGeek. That’s coming up in the next 24 months, as we prepare for the next cycle renewal. I don't know what was done before, when someone else ran the wireless practice. I did enterprise networking and wireless was rolled over to me when that person went to pre-sales. I have not done an evaluation but there is one coming up.

What other advice do I have?

The price is what it is, the tool does what it does. There really aren’t that many people in the market that have tools like this. I've heard of a couple of other people, but they're just as pricey if not more. It's an expensive tool, no matter what.

Make sure you're getting enough on that first-swing purchase because going back to the well for any large organization is difficult, especially when, for us, it was an almost-$400,000 purchase for a three-year renewal. It wasn't a cheap drop on the bucket either.

I think two of the products that we use in the suite are really, really, really solid. They're really good go-tos. I'm very confident that they will stay in our portfolio.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Network Engineer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
AirMagnet Spectrum XT SNMP Traps
I was working on a wireless interference problem at a client site when they asked if there was a way to get an alert if the interference appeared. Problems such as this one where the issue is intermittent and random, I’m always looking for tools that will keep an eye out for me and ideally, notify me when a problem occurs. Wireless issues are especially tough since it can be anywhere or transmit anytime. Short of pitching a tent and waiting for a while, this is where a tool with some kind of notification is a real benefit. In this specific case I used AirMagnet Spectrum XT to send a SNMP trap to a SNMP trap listener. If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, a SNMP trap listener is just software that listens for other devices to send a SNMP message, or trap. A more advanced…

I was working on a wireless interference problem at a client site when they asked if there was a way to get an alert if the interference appeared.

Problems such as this one where the issue is intermittent and random, I’m always looking for tools that will keep an eye out for me and ideally, notify me when a problem occurs. Wireless issues are especially tough since it can be anywhere or transmit anytime. Short of pitching a tent and waiting for a while, this is where a tool with some kind of notification is a real benefit.

In this specific case I used AirMagnet Spectrum XT to send a SNMP trap to a SNMP trap listener. If you aren’t familiar with the terminology, a SNMP trap listener is just software that listens for other devices to send a SNMP message, or trap. A more advanced listener will send an email when the trap arrives.

In this video example, I configured the Spectrum XT application to send a trap when I took my digital cordless phone off hook. You will see that the trap was received by the trap listener and optionally, I could have configured the email option to send me an email when that event occurred.

There are only a few caveats to bear in mind;

1. These event based alarms are only helpful when you know exactly what the issue is and if the vendor has a category for it.

2. When you receive a SNMP trap, you should make sure you have the proper SNMP mib loaded or compiled to properly interpet and parse the trap. Otherwise you might have to dig through the message.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVD6eENzTY4

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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