Chanalyzer and inSSIDer Office both have a Density View, which shows:
- Where activity is occurring (Channel/Frequency)
- How loud the activity is (Amplitude)
- What the shape of the activity is (Signature)
- How often the activity is occurring (Utilization)
Channels and Frequencies (Where)
The X axis of the Density View shows where things are talking. When combined with Chanalyzer and inSSIDer's WiFi scanning, you can use this to see if the activity will interfere with your wireless network.
Amplitude (How Loud)
The Y axis (or height) of the Density view shows how loud things are talking. A tall spike is something that is very loud, whereas a short spike is something quiet. Typically, devices that are farther away will be shorter (and thus quieter).
Signature (What is it?)
Every type of transmitting device in the spectrum makes a unique signature, so you can tell what a transmitting device is. With Chanalyzer, you can identify devices with the Interferers Tab.
Utilization (How Often?)
Chanalyzer and inSSIDer Office's coolest feature is that it uses color to show how often the spectrum is being used. The more intense the color, the more often devices are talking.
Remember that only one wireless device can use a channel at a time, so high utilization means that WiFi devices won't get a chance to talk.
|Blue||Less than 10 percent||A very short signal, like a clap|
|Red||More than 50 percent||Constant activity, like an air horn|
This is an 802.11b signature, but it isn't talking very often. WiFi devices on channel 1 should have plenty of time to talk.
This 802.11b signature is talking constantly. It won't leave much time for other WiFi devices on channel 1 to talk.