The last session on the first day of Wireless Field Day 5 was spent with Timothy McCreery and Jay Botelho of WildPackets and it got crazy. There were packets flying everywhere as Jay took us through the soon to be released OmniPeek 7.8 with support for 802.11ac.

The team at WildPackets started off with a brief background of the company and the long list of firsts that were accomplished over the years since the company’s inception.

After that they dove right into the topic on everyone’s mind; 802.11ac packet capture. It’s been a hot topic amongst the hardware vendors and the big question has been how to troubleshoot and diagnose a technology like .11ac. It’s a difficult hurdle to overcome, packet capture and analysis of this standard without tapping a feed from the access point. This is when they showed us how they’re doing it and the features added to Omnipeek that aid in tearing down and taking a peek at the packets.

Multichannel packet captures and roaming analysis, a difficult task for anyone. Now it’s made a bit easier by some backend voodoo on WildPacket’s part (not really voodoo, more like a lot of hard work on their part to get it right). They’ve put a lot of time and effort into making it as easy as possible to analyze what’s going on in the air and attack and issues you may be having.

Next we moved onto Expert and saw some pretty slick additions. Expert has been updated to be even easier to skim through and find what you’re looking for. Voice over Wifi features have been enhanced and give an even deeper look into the protocols and flows. All in all, WildPackets puts together a solid product that is a staple for a lot of engineers and would-be engineers. There really is not better way to learn the way wireless and all the technologies surrounding it work than to see it in action bit by bit.

Keep an eye out for the Omnipeek 7.8 update to get your own look at all the new features, it should be shipping by the end of the year.

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