How We Did It

The network analyzers went through two types of testing. The first compared each unit to the others based on its features, capabilities, size and price. The second step of our testing involved a usability test. Twelve network professionals performing the tests were given the units in a specific order so that each device was tested first four separate times. In other words, four testers were given Wavetek's LAN Checker 100 first, another four received Fluke Corp.'s 686 Enterprise LANMeter first, and a final four tested Microtest's Compas first. The tests were given in a specific order to eliminate any effects that being the first or last tester may have had on scoring.

Each participant connected the unit to a network switch and monitored the traffic. They also performed tests and wire mapping of 10/100Base-T Category 5 cables. They only performed tasks that all three network analyzers could complete. The network consisted of 25 PCs running Windows 98, one Macintosh and two network printers. The participants used the on-screen helps, consulted the documentation/manuals and noted the unit's overall ease of use.

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