Updated on 19 October, 2021
If you have ever thought about testing the performance of a new network device or network application, you may have asked yourself if you should be using a Network Tester or a Network Analyzer. Both of these devices are used for the same purpose, which is to debug and test Ethernet/IP networks, both private and public. The primary difference between the two types of devices is in the type of probes that are carried out by them. The Network Analyzer uses standard Ethernet or IP telephones and the Network Tester makes use of specialized analyzers for inspecting traffic that passes through network cables.
To determine if a network cable tester is capable of the job you need it to do, it is important to look into its different options. You can choose between an interface drive and network cable testers. Interface drive testers work with only one interface, while network cable testers can handle up to four interfaces. Different kinds of interfaces are supported by Network Analyzers and Network Testers, so it is best to know which of them will be the best for your purposes before starting off using one.
You will notice that most Network Testers will be equipped with either a portable LED display or a wired LED display. LED display units are more popular because they are easier to use, but they also consume more power. For this reason, it is advisable to purchase a smaller LED display unit for low-traffic testing, while the larger ones are good for prolonged testing. A Network Analyzer will need to connect to a power source and a testing port, so make sure to note down the details of your testing connection before proceeding. Also note the type of outlet that your Network Tester is going to be connected to.
Some of the testers on the market today offer both a USB and a parallel port connector. These two connectors should be a great addition for any type of testing you plan on doing, as the USB ports tend to have better compatibility and are much less likely to encounter compatibility issues with different devices and software platforms. If your system is set up to use the parallel port, you can skip over the cables and just use the power source to activate the device.
Another important characteristic that you should take into consideration when purchasing a Network Analyzer is whether or not the device offers an option for tone generation. Most people find it unnecessary, as there is no requirement for them. However, if you intend on doing background noise testing, tone generation can help isolate the frequency of the tones generated by the computer programs. This feature can be useful if you suspect that the sounds the device generates may be artificial, as it can eliminate the noises that could be artificially generated. Other pros and cons to using a tone generator are that it can greatly reduce the time it takes to analyze data, and that it can make the test much quicker. In terms of price, you may be better off selecting a device that does not include a tone generation option, as the tone generation options tend to be quite pricey.
When choosing a Network Analyzer, you need to decide whether or not you want the device to incorporate AC Testing as well. AC Testing can ensure that you get the best performance from your networking cables without having to expose your systems to excess amounts of voltage. AC Testing can be done in a variety of ways, including over the air (OTA) or water (HF) frequencies. Both methods of AC Testing can give you accurate results, but the problem with using AC Testing is that it can expose your systems to undue amount of voltage, which can shorten their lifespan.
An alternative method of testing the quality of your Network Tester is to have a device that can automatically perform all the measurements for you, saving you time and manual labor. A lot of these products can perform measurement across all three frequency bands. With an automatic tester, you can also save a significant amount of money as you won't have to pay an expert to manually perform the measurement for you. Most of these products are quite reasonably priced, which means that you can get one for just around $30.
If you have been thinking of buying some Ethernet testers for your office or home, you should make sure that you buy one that is made from high quality materials that can withstand the rigors of any Ethernet installation. Some of the more popular brands that manufacture Ethernet testers include Bitscan, ClariNet, Cybercient, Envoy, Geeks-in-Route, iControl, Kaspersky and Protaras. If you're looking to save some money on your purchase, you should consider buying cheap single band routers and jumpers from popular electronic stores. These routers and jumpers are already pre-tested and certified, saving you even more money as they don't require any additional repairs. You should however still thoroughly check for defects in materials, circuit boards and other aspects before purchasing to avoid wasting your money.