MetaGeek Blog

Introducing Chanalyzer 6

MetaGeek has introduced Chanalyzer 6, a rebranded version of their Tonic tool, which offers superior channel analysis compared to its predecessor, Chanalyzer 5. Chanalyzer 6 provides comprehensive features like identifying MAC addresses on a channel, showing airtime per device, and supporting tri-band spectrum analysis with Oscium's WiPry Clarity hardware. While Chanalyzer 5 will eventually be phased out, customers with an Enterprise Suite subscription can seamlessly transition to Chanalyzer 6, and those wishing to upgrade can contact MetaGeek for potential discounts.






Over the last year, the small MetaGeek dev team has been hard at work on making our Tonic product into a fantastic Wi-Fi troubleshooting tool. Since July 2022, we’ve released, among other things:

  • Wi-Spy spectrum data playback
  • Continuous capture in 1-hour blocks (up from 10-min max) middle of the capture.
  • Improved capture load time
  • Spectrum waterfall
  • Tonic Assessment Page as a real-time dashboard
  • Ability to track channel airtime over a period of time using box and whisker plots.
  • Smarter Authentication events that tell you what went wrong
  • SNR measurements from endpoint devices
  • Roaming events

(full release notes here)

Chanalyzer 6: The Better Channel Analyzer

With all of the new functionality, it became clear that Tonic had better channel analysis than Chanalyzer (5) itself. In a way, it was more deserving of the title “Channel Analyzer”, which is how Chanalyzer got its name. Since Tonic is the future of MetaGeek tools, and we didn’t want to mess with a good thing, we bestowed the product name on the tool formerly known as Tonic. Now, the legacy Chanalyzer product, which went to version 5, goes by “Chanalyzer 5” and Tonic has been re-named Chanalyzer 6.

Chanalyzer 6 can identify MAC addresses on a channel and show the airtime per device.

Here Chanalyzer 6 shows every Wi-Fi client it hears on a channel, and displays the Airtime below. This will help you understand how many clients may be affected by poor airtime results.

This shows the airtime of a single Access Point radio and all of its top talkers. You’ll notice the largest slice of congestion comes from neighboring access point radios (gray).

Chanalyzer 5 vs Chanalyzer 6

Chanalyzer 6 is the most complete package for any engineer doing spectrum and Wi-Fi analysis. Here are the new additions:

  • Spectrum capture and playback
  • Support for WiPry Clarity (2.4, 5 and 6 GHz USB Spectrum Analyzer) *6 GHz support is still in development.
  • Wi-Fi traffic capture via USB NIC (up to 3 simultaneous)

When Wi-Fi issues force users to purchase tools, often they are stuck deciding whether they need to troubleshoot Layer 1 (spectrum) or Layer 2 (802.11 frames). The reality is, they probably need both. Chanalyzer 6 captures and plays back both in a single file.

Feature Chanalyzer 5 Chanalyzer 6
Real-Time Signal Strength X X
Spectrum Analysis Capture X X
Find non-Wi-Fi Interference X X
Capture Playback and Navigation X X
Spectrum Highlight Inspector X
Zoom Resolution Enhancing X
Report Builder X
Spectrum-Based Device Finder X
Wi-Fi Client Finder X
Spectrum with WiPry Clarity X
Multi-Channel Wi-Fi Capture X
Visual .pcap Analysis X
Live Wi-Fi Traffic Analysis X
Export .pcap to Wireshark X
Copy-to-Clipboard Reporting X
Failed Connection Reason Codes X
Local Area Network Scanning X
Intelligent Capture for Roaming Devices X
Network Coverage Thresholds X
Wi-Fi Event Detection X
Time-Based Analysis X
Rolling 1-Hour Captures X
Spectrum and .pcap File Format X

Chanalyzer 6 + WiPry Clarity will enable tri-band spectrum analysis

Wi-Fi administrators trust MetaGeek solutions to provide visibility into the spectrum their devices use, no matter the band, so when Wi-Fi 6E came on to the scene, we had to answer the call. MetaGeek’s Wi-Spy DBx hardware, a dual-band spec-an favorite for over a decade, didn’t support 6 GHz, so we looked to our hardware partner Oscium for a solution. To continue to support our customers using Wi-Fi 6E and beyond, we’ve integrated Chanalyzer 6 with Oscium’s WiPry Clarity hardware, which scans all three available Wi-Fi bands (2.4, 5, and 6 GHz). Chanalyzer 6 + WiPry Clarity is now a reliable affordable solution for tri-band spectrum analysis.

What happens to Chanalyzer 5?

Chanalyzer 5 will eventually sunset, but not today! If you’re already using Chanalyzer 5, please feel free to continue using it. We recommend giving Chanalyzer 6 a try though!

The Wi-Spy DBx is no longer available for purchase. Customers purchasing the WiPry Clarity will use Chanalyzer 6.

Customers that have Chanalyzer 5 from an Enterprise Suite subscription will automatically gain entitlement to Chanalyzer 6. Enjoy!

Customers that previously purchased a Wi-Spy and wish to upgrade to Chanalyzer 6 should contact MetaGeek Support as we will be able to offer a discount for users trading in their old license.

We’ll continue to improve the feature parity of Chanalyzer 5 and 6. Please let us know what you feel is missing or could be improved!

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