By Glen E. Clarke, Edward Tetz, Timothy Warner

The following is a listing of some common troubleshooting tools you should be familiar with for the A+ Exams. One of the challenging parts of supporting networks today is knowing how to troubleshoot them. You find so many aspects of the network that it is difficult to know where to start your troubleshooting.

  • Crimper: A cable crimper is used to create network cables by attaching the connectors to the ends of the cable and then using the crimper to squeeze the connectors in place.
  • Cable stripper: A cable stripper is used to strip the outer layer off the cable so that you can get access to the wires.
  • Multimeter: A multimeter is used to test voltage and current and can be used to diagnose problems with a cable.
  • Tone generator and probe: A tone generator is used to locate cables in a mess of cables. You place the tone generator on one end of the cable and then place the toner probe on the other end of the cable to ensure that you have the right cable.
  • Cable tester: You can use a cable tester to verify connectivity from one end of the cable to another.
  • Loopback plug: A loopback plug is used to connect to a port and verifies that the port is actually working without sending data onto the network.
  • Punch-down tool: A punch-down tool is used by technicians to create the connections on a patch panel.
  • WiFi analyzer: A WiFi analyzer is a device that can monitor your wireless network environment and help identify potential issues. The WiFi analyzer can also identify the best channel to use for your wireless network and identify the best location for your wireless access point on the network.