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Movses Tovmasyan
Engineer Support at Cisco
Real User
Top 10
Enabled me to log in, control it, and do all the testing remotely from my laptop
Pros and Cons
  • "Another good thing I really liked was that it would not only tell me the IP address, but it would tell me more info. It would grab the CDP off of the CDP profile and read all the info it could get, so I knew what I was looking at."
  • "If I could reset it remotely, meaning reboot the unit, that would be helpful. One time, the test would not respond; the script would lock up. I had to go and manually reboot it. If I could have sent a command to reboot and it would have automatically connected to the wireless, that would have made it perfect. That was the only thing that it did not do."

What is our primary use case?

The main thing I wanted to do with it was to inject noise into the line but I also used it to see how much noise was on the line. I also used it to measure the cable length and the pairing quality of the cable. 

In addition, I could remote in from my computer, as long as it was on a network, so I didn't have to go back and forth. If I needed it in the lab, I'd place it there and go to my laptop and control it. I could read all the tests and do any tests, all I needed to, which was really good.

How has it helped my organization?

It has not improved the way our company functions because we just used it, in a test situation, for one sample problem we were going through. We were looking for a tool that would give us what we needed, which was to look for noise and to create noise. Unless there is a part or function I was not aware of, it only reads noise; it does not create noise.

What is most valuable?

I really liked the remote login. That way, if I needed to do something inside of a ceiling, I didn't have to sit inside the ceiling. I could just plug it in and leave the instrument in the ceiling and go to my laptop and use it remotely. That was really good. I really liked that.

We do WiFi testing with our AP, but I didn't get a chance to use it because of COVID. However, I did do a quick test. One thing I liked was that it would tell me signal strength, the noise in the nearby ones, and it would even tell me about some hidden ones. That was cool, as most units don't tell you that. Another good thing I really liked was that it would not only tell me the IP address, but it would tell me more info. It would grab the CDP off of the CDP profile and read all the info it could get, so I knew what I was looking at. The WiFi and the wired were really good. While I didn't use very much of the WiFi, what I did use was good.

It has automated tests where it goes through each process. It took a while but I would just let it do its automated testing and I was happy with that. If I'm not mistaken, there were two pre-programmed functions. One of them was to check reports and why traffic was not running. The other one was checking cable noise and cable quality. I used the automated testing for cable noise and cable quality more than I used it for protocol and trafficking. On the side I did use it, it was good. I liked it. It was accurate. I know because I used another tool, a Fluke, and they were really close to each other, so I'm assuming they're both calibrated the same way.

What needs improvement?

If I could reset it remotely, meaning reboot the unit, that would be helpful. One time, the test would not respond; the script would lock up. I had to go and manually reboot it. If I could have sent a command to reboot and it would have automatically connected to the wireless, that would have made it perfect. That was the only thing that it did not do. If you're sitting remotely, at your desk, and the unit is at a customer's site and you need to reboot, the only way you can do that is to call up the customer and ask them, "Hey, can you go reboot it for me?" and customers usually don't like that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used it for between a month and two months. I was the only in our company who was using it. We were testing the product.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Other than the script locking up once in a while, it was pretty stable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I didn't use technical support for the device. I used the manual that came with it, and that was about it.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

EtherScope offered more things than the other ones offered. The other ones only offered cable length, cable quality, but no noise readings. This one gave you more in-depth networking protocols, noise readings, all that good stuff. I haven't seen another one that does as much as this one.

How was the initial setup?

As for the learning curve, once I messed with it a little bit, I got to know how to use it pretty well. It was fairly easy to just plug-and-go, to do the basics. I was able to get up and run a test within 15 minutes. Within a day I was able to use all the functions just fine and was very comfortable using all the functions. And it could also provide deep diagnostics.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I also looked at an Agilent meter reader, which has two handheld units and you connect the cable. It's not as fancy as the EtherScope.

What other advice do I have?

This could save a lot of headaches on troubleshooting networks, connections, and cables. It's got a lot of options and it could definitely save a lot of time if used properly.

I would rate it about an eight out of 10. It's not a 10 because there were a few bugs. It could be improved. Also, I don't know if it has this feature or not, but if I could write my own script to use on that machine, it would definitely be a 10. If it doesn't have that, I would stay with my eight. Most people who are engineers like to automate things, and they would want to write their own script to do their own testing.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.