Not Sniffing, but... LinkSprinter 300

Eleven months ago, I wrote about Fluke Networks' Ethernet testing tool, the LinkSprinter.  Now there's a new model, the LinkSprinter 300, and Fluke was nice enough to send me one to test.  

LinkSprinter 300 is basically the same as the LinkSprinter 200, except it costs an extra $100 and it has two extra features: one cool and one that I haven't tested.

I really, really hate it when people say "read this" in the middle of a discussion.  It is sauce of the weakest variety.  Just frickin' summarize it.  People tend to give me the ol' "read this" either when discussing a topic that they've written about or in an attempt to cite evidence.  In both cases, a summary will do.  If you are discussing Wi-Fi sniffing with me on Twitter and you wrote a white paper saying that Wireshark is the bee's knees, then tell me why on Twitter.  If you believe that it wasn't a fact that the Earth is round until Greek philosophers proved it a few thousand years ago, then state your case.  You can even take more than one tweet to do it; that's fine.  Just don't post a link to your whitepaper or to some academic's paper on the relationship between facts and proof.  I'm in the moment.  I want to hear your case.  I'll look up the reference material some other time.

Now, with all of that being said, read my review of the LinkSprinter 200 if you want to know about the LinkSprinter 300 ($400).  The 200 does just about all of the stuff that the 300 does.  The 300 just costs a hundred bucks more.

Obviously Fluke Networks is not some evil entity seeking to bilk an unsuspecting public out of a hundred bucks.  The 300 does give you a couple of things that the 200 doesn't.  Specifically, the 300 gives you the ability to blink the light on a switchport (cool! - I tested it) and see the distance to a cable fault (I didn't test it).  

This is the part of a blog review where the blogger usually gives some kind of recommendation, but it's tough for me.  I do a lot of Wi-Fi troubleshooting and in the months I've had it I've never used my LinkSprinter.  I am just more of a wireless guy than a networking guy, and when people bring me in to help make their wireless work, it's always someone else's job to make sure that the APs have a working data cable.  In my opinion, that makes me unqualified to say whether paying an extra $100 to be able to blink a switchport light is a good value proposition.  For some people, I would imagine that it is.  For most people, however, I think that sticking with the three hundred dollar LinkSprinter 200 is the way to go.


  1. Very handy but a basic laptop or netbook can do a LOT more running ipconfig /all ans some network testing freeware. Plus, it's way overpriced and they should at least include the carry case for free, not charge 40 bucks for it as an accessory. It's sort of a rip off. I bought mine from ebay for nearly 1/2 the price so can't complain too much.

  2. Calling the LinkSprinter a rip off is ridiculous. There are plenty of us out there that would ardently disagree. I love it so much I bought 2! May not fit your particular needs, but it's not a rip off.

    If you're not out in the field installing APs (or cabling) on a regular basis this is not the tool for you. A laptop will do fine. But, if you're out and testing 20, 30, 40, 50-100 cables it pays for itself the first time out. It may not be worth the money for your specific needs, but it's absolutely not a rip off.

    Try carrying around a laptop all day to do that. Or better yet, try dropping your laptop as you're standing on a ladder because you arms are tired from holding it all day. I'd rather drop a $300-400 tool that won't break on contact than a $800-$2000 laptop that will. It has a very specific function and purpose and does it exceptionally well.

    FYI, in addition to blinking the link light on a switch is also shows distance to cable fault.


    1. I agree. I primary got it to test for shorts and opens on data lines (I have a TS100 Pro for 66 and 110 blocks). It works perfectly for that. It also tells me the VLAN, port number and switch which I don't think you'll find a tester this cheap that gives you that unless you make it yourself with a Raspberry PI.

      My only gripe is the WiFi on it is a bit weak.

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