20 tools for hero hacks

On the road, under duress, or out in the boonies -- save the day with these essential IT troubleshooting and repair tools

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MetaGeek Wi-Spy DBX spectrum analyzer

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You would not believe how much RF there is in the air, especially at the 2.4GHz band 802.11b/g uses. The MetaGeek Wi-Spy DBX spectrum analyzer has been a constant companion that has explained a huge variety of Wi-Fi-related problems, and it's a tiny fraction of the cost of what I used to pay for luggable spectrum analyzers. I carry the DBX version around for 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz vision, and with MetaGeek's Chanalyzer app available for Windows and Mac, I swap it back and forth between my machines. Combine it with MetaGeek's newest offering, Eye P.A., and you get superb wireless packet analysis.

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