as someone who is just getting their feet wet in networking (going for a+ cert currently and would like to go further,) ive noticed that oscilloscopes can be used to monitor... seemingly any wavelength. as someone who may possibly buy one in the future, once i know more about them, what are the possible uses in networking?
closed as primarily opinion-based by Kevin Reid, Sparky256, Neil_UK, The Photon, Tom Carpenter Dec 31 '17 at 10:01
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The short answer is that for the kind of work you're talking about, an oscilloscope probably isn't a particularly useful piece of equipment.
An oscilloscope can be useful for things like designing/testing/measuring the design of a network adapter, to assure against doing things like running (what are supposed to be) separate lines too close to each other so they interfere with each other.
If you're reasonably certain the network adapters you're dealing with work correctly, and you're interesting primarily in looking at the network from a viewpoint of how the software is using the network, you probably want to consider a packet analyzer or a protocol analyzer.
For quite a bit of mainstream network diagnosis, you can use a free packet capture/analysis tool like WireShark. The main specialized hardware you might consider in this case would be an AirPcap WiFi adapter, which lets you capture and analyze packets between some other computer and an access point. There are also some special network capture drivers (e.g., Acrylic WiFi) that are supposed to accomplish roughly the same thing (but I can't vouch for them personally--I've never had occasion to use them).