Eka-Heka-Hau Eka-Hiney-Ho or: Jussi's Big Adventure

There are times in life when I feel like I've been misunderstood, and I would like to just wish away the communication gap. 

Unfortunately, there is no Wi-Fi Jambi, so instead I am going to use this short blog post to try to smooth things over with Jussi Kiviniemi, SVP of Ekahau.

For those who are unfamiliar, Ekahau is site survey software.  You can do predictive surveying (sometimes called "planning") with it and you can do live surveying (the "walking survey") with it.  Either way, the result is a nice looking "heat map" showing Wi-Fi coverage over your floorplans, like so:

Jussi Kiviniemi is the public face of Ekahau.  He's a Finnish guy and he goes to Wi-Fi conferences, hosts events, is active on Twitter, etc.

There are days when I think that Jussi doesn't like me.  And being the rugged, pro-American American that I am, I take responsibility for things that happen to me.

The root of Jussi's occasional distaste for me -- I think; I suppose you'd have to ask Jussi the precise reason -- is that I am an Ekahau hater.  And it's not just about the software.  In fact, I think that Ekahau software is well-crafted.  I am a hater of the entire genre of site survey software.  Or, at least, that's how I come off in the countless Tweets and blog posts I've written pointing out the negatives of that particular genre of software.

And that's where the misunderstanding lies.  I don't think that I am an Ekahau hater.  I see myself as an Ekahau lover, but also an Ekahau realist.

I think that Ekahau (and Ekahau's number one competitor, NETSCOUT's AirMagnet Planner & AirMagnet Survey) is a great publicity tool.  Or, if you'd prefer, documentation tool.  Ekahau's predictive surveying features are great for bridging the communication gap between Wi-Fi professionals and IT folks who are new to wireless, and Ekahau's live surveying features are great for helping Wi-Fi professionals show other IT folks an approximate visualization of Wi-Fi coverage.

When I hate on Ekahau (and, really, all Wi-Fi planning & surveying software), I don't mean for it to come across as a recommendation to avoid the software entirely.  I merely am recommending that those tools be used as publicity/documentation tools.


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Twitter: @Ben_SniffWiFi

ben at sniffwifi dot com


  1. Why shouldnt they be used as anything else? (I.e as what they are marketed as?)

    1. They read RSSI from a USB adapter.

    2. So is the problem USB (ie things get broken over USB) or that it id an external antenna which usually doesnt match what the customer has?

    3. The latter. 1) USB receive sensitivity will be different. 2) USB antenna orientation will be different.

  2. Dude, nothing but love here!! I appreciate that you're not afraid to voice out your non-mainstream-opinions. Keeps folks - including me - on our toes, entertained, and involved in the debates ;)

    Jussi / Ekahau

    1. Thank you, Jussi! Also, this blog helped me remember how to spell your last name. Next up: learning to speak Finnish!

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