I’ll be honest that I’ve been a bit down on a Metageek for a while. At my last job, we purchased copies of InSSIDer, Chanalyzer, and WiSpy dBx for most of the team, and after two years, things just stopped getting better.
After somewhat writing them off from my day to day tool usage, this year has had me excited to see what the folks at Metageek have been working on. I’ve seen updates to most of the software portfolio start trickling out, as well as net-new products like the WiSpy Air, which I got a look at back in February at WLPC.
I had the chance to catch up with Metageek at Mobility Field Day 4 (#MFD4), and I’m exceptionally hopeful about their future. Let’s dig into what we saw and why I’m excited about it.
While the demo of the WiSpy Air and Air Viewer were very much a recap, Rampart and the collaboration platform in Metageek Plus and Pro subscriptions is intriguing to me. The name “Rampart” isn’t on the website in obvious places, so if you go looking for it, you won’t find it. But you can sign up and purchase it under “Metageek Plus.” Which ironically is both the “plus” and “pro” versions.
Sign up of the subscription is super easy. Just fill in an email, password, and credit card number, and you are underway. For me, an issue is that InSSIDer is (currently) Windows only and I don’t own a WiSpy Air. I downloaded InSSIDer for windows and put it in my general purpose VM and a USB Wi-Fi NIC.
Logging into InSSIDer, it looks very familiar except for the bar on the right-hand side. I quickly created a site “JakeHouseOld,” and a room “Living Room.” It’s easy to create these from InSSIDer, but I haven’t found a way to do it from the Rampart interface. The Pro version would benefit from the ability to build sites and rooms for the technician ahead of time.
I took a snapshot and closed InSSIDer to upload. It immediately showed up in Rampart, but there was no indication in InSSIDer that it happened. The app simply closes without any kind of feedback that the upload was successful. It’s a minor thing, but I worry about sending someone onsite, just to have them not collect the data.
Subsequent snapshots work very similarly to the first. Now I can start to compare what was seen over time. One thing I had issues with was the original USB NIC I used did not support all the channels in use at my house.
I swapped to one that did, but now there are some measurement differences. Compensation between measurement devices isn’t anything new, so be aware you’ll have the same issue here. Also, there’s no way to tell in Rampart which capture-device the technician used, so be aware you’ll have to keep track on your own.
I think there’s some value here. I’m not sure that I see my team at work using this. My gut says we aren’t visiting these sites frequently enough to get good data correlation. But the value for smaller customers is pretty apparent to me. I think we’re still early in the development of this product, but Rampart is off to a good start.
Currently, the subscriptions that include Rampart are the Metageek Plus and Pro subscriptions. The Plus subscription gives a single user most of the basic features for three sites and up to 20 rooms per site. Pricing is $100 per year or $12 per month.
If you need to manage a team, you’ll likely be looking at the Pro subscription, which runs $200 per year, or $20 per month per seat. Pro includes the ability to manage teams with different users and subscription levels.
Check out the pricing over at https://my.metageek.com/pricing
I’m excited to see how Metageek integrates Rampart into all their products; it’s an exciting and collaborative platform. I see in the future a suite of tools backed by the cloud that gives the flexibility to operate distributed teams for collaborative troubleshooting efforts.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch their video on Rampart, check it out below.
Now, most of you know that I can be somewhat of a skeptic. But the encouraging piece is the amount of effort coming out of Metageek right now. We’ve even seen updates since #MFD4. http://blog.metageek.net/2019/08/new-updates-in-inssider-will-allow-for-quick-ap-and-client-device-discovery/
So if you haven’t checked out what Metageek is up to, it might be time.