Enter AirTraf. AirTraf began as an open source (GPL) project for gathering and decoding packets sent via 802.11b. With information received from detected access points, it then calculates the bandwidth and signal strength of each individual wireless node. These are the standard sorts of things you would expect a wireless utility of this nature to be able to detect and log. It’s like heart surgery: still highly difficult to implement, but commonplace.
This package performs a number of tasks, such as determining the Service Set Identifier of the access points, and the channel it is operating under. It can tell how many wireless nodes are connected to a given access point, as well as that point’s total load, and also the amount of bandwidth being utilized by all the connected wireless nodes. AirTraf is capable, too, of polling a number of sniffers through a central polling server in order to collect the most current information, which can then be saved for analysis for just a few days, or up to an indefinite period of time — years, even.
Good stuff. I need to find some more inexpensive 802.11b gear.