On October 1 NetAlly released EtherScope nXG Portable Network Expert, a handheld network tester that enables its users to discover, test, verify and troubleshoot enterprise networks. “As the first handheld tool to offer a single user interface that fully integrates both wired and wireless network test data, the EtherScope nXG dramatically increases network visibility, accelerates and simplifies testing, and simplifies team collaboration,” the company said. “This is the first portable tool with the right combination of capabilities to break the Layer 2 ceiling—allowing users to easily identify wireless clients not just by MAC address, but by IP, name and type, delivering visibility most WiFi tools cannot provide.”
Mike Parrottino, NetAlly’s chief executive officer, commented, “As today’s networks continue to grow in complexity, network teams often struggle to keep pace. They need better solutions that help streamline their network testing and troubleshooting process. To help address these challenges, we designed EtherScope nXG to be the most comprehensive and powerful portable network tester available.
“With EtherScope nXG’s advanced out-of-the-box autotesting capabilities, network engineers and technicians get unprecedented visibility that accelerates testing and drives collaboration—all in a truly portable, lightweight tool that can easily be brought to problem areas. With it, teams will simply get more done, faster.”
The company continued, “EtherScope nXG’s new user interface (UI) combines wired and wireless data analysis and purpose-built hardware to support a broad range of technologies like line-rate 10G over copper and fiber, NBase-T, WiFi 5/WiFi 6, and high-power Power over Ethernet.”
When releasing the tester, NetAlly cited Spiceworks’ “State of IT” survey, which, according to NetAlly, reports that “IT professionals face a variety of challenges that include implementing planned changes, managing unexpected changes, ensuring network security, and a lack of time and resources.
“These challenges are caused primarily by the disparity in staff skills and toolsets between engineers and technicians, and visibility gaps across wired and wireless networks,” NetAlly added. The company said the EtherScope nXG was designed to overcome these issues with features and capabilities that enable users to accomplish the following.
- Test, validate and troubleshoot the latest network technology—Users can assess support for NBase-T, 10G, WiFi 5/WiFi 6, with advanced Android-based troubleshooting apps and purpose-built test hardware. Additional test capabilities include packet capture at line-rate to 10G, network discovery and path analysis, 24-hour RF traffic analysis, cable testing, and PoE TruePower load testing. TruePower is a NetAlly-trademarked term.
- Quickly verify performance—The product offers 10G line-rate performance testing for critical servers, uplinks and key end devices over Ethernet, iPerf testing over WiFi or wired links, and testing against another EtherScope nXG or other NetAlly tool for end-to-end tests.
- Bridge the gap between engineer and technician—users can dive deep to verify, troubleshoot and document complex networks with multiple VLANs and WiFi SSIDs, or take advantage of out-of-the-box autotests that require minimal skill and training. Through the EtherScope nXG, offsite engineers can extend their expertise via remote control to collaborate with technicians at distant sites to solve tough problems without the need for travel.
- Assess the network’s health—With WiFi air quality tests for oversubscribed channels, WiFi channel utilization analysis, and network discovery, EtherScope nXG can help ‘prove it’s not the network,’ or pinpoint root cause faster than other, non-integrated methods.
- Discover security risks—EtherScope nXG’s powerful network discovery technology identifies unknown switches, hidden SSIDs and probing WiFi devices, while categorizing devices by security status, detecting rogues and more.
- Seamlessly capture and manage field test data—Users can enjoy automated and centralized reporting and analysis, documentation, and integration with network management systems via NetAlly’s Link-Live cloud service.
Lee Badman, wireless network architect at Wirednot, commented, “NetAlly continues a long history of putting ever-more troubleshooting power in the palm of your hand with EtherScope nXG. It’s not easy finding a tool that goes deep enough for senior engineers and developers, while also being junior technician-friendly, but EtherScope hits that sweet spot effectively. Combined with Link-Live, EtherScope is a new top-tier weapon in the war on wired and wireless network problems.”
The video below walks through EtherScope nXG's capabilities and usability.