Tactical Advice

Product Review: Fluke Networks OneTouch AT

Indispensable network troubleshooting tool demonstrates its versatility.
Product Review: Fluke Networks OneTouch AT
Fluke Networks OneTouch AT Network Assistant

By automating most aspects of network troubleshooting, Fluke Networks’ handheld testing tool speeds problem resolution.

The Fluke OneTouch AT Network Assistant resembles a smartphone — a really large, yellow smartphone. The touch screen provides setup and test control, and the front offers a one-button auto-test feature. Network technicians can wield the device to examine every aspect of wired and wireless networks to confirm they’re working or to uncover problems.

Encased in heavy-duty plastic, the portable tester includes an AC adapter, as well as fiber and copper connectors for attaching network drop cables. The device supports 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and can combine tests of wired and wireless networks for a thorough approach.

Advantages

Fluke combines the functions of a number of tools, such as cable testers, protocol analyzers and utilities, into a single integrated device. Along with examining every aspect of the network to which it’s attached, the OneTouch tool extends its reach to services hosted in the cloud.

OneTouch AT offers several flexible means of configuration. Settings available through the device setup screen include security configurations, IP type, packet characteristics and network performance. The testing tool identifies the potential speed of any wireless networks to which it’s attached, and the bandwidth of wired networks.

5
Number of copper and fiber connectors on the Fluke Networks OneTouch AT Network Assistant

Why It Works for IT

OneTouch AT saves network administrators a significant amount of time. Troubleshooting typically can consume several hours or even days as techs use a variety of tools and software to examine every aspect of the network. By contrast, once OneTouch is configured, a network test takes only a minute or two. In addition, the portable form factor makes it easy for IT pros to move the tool from one point on the network to another to diagnose connectivity problems.

Support for remote operation adds to the value of OneTouch AT by enabling field technicians to seek help from colleagues who are located offsite. The OneTouch includes an Ethernet console port and displays that IP address in the setup screen. Entering that address in a web browser calls up the OneTouch AT screen.

The OneTouch AT includes other unique features such as Veri-Fi, which measures throughput, loss, latency and jitter up to 100 megabits per second. The device also supports the ability to tap traffic for packet examination and capture and test file transfers, web access, multicast traffic, video and e-mail.

Overall, the Fluke Networks OneTouch AT Network Assistant provides a single answer to nearly every network analysis requirement. This device is a must for any organization with limited IT staff or budget.

Disadvantages

The remote control feature of the Fluke Networks OneTouch AT does not work with tablet devices without a third-party virtual network computing viewer, such as Mocha VNC or RealVNC Viewer, which must be purchased separately.

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About the Author

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a longtime technology journalist who has directed product testing centers. He is President of Wayne Rash & Associates, an analysis and editorial services firm located near Washington, D.C. He can be reached at wrash@mindspring.com. You can also follow him on Twitter as @wrash.

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