CWNA CWSP CWAP Study Resources

General Resources

802dot11logoQuick overview of 802 legacy, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, and the 802.11ac draft standard.

Free Wi-Fi Learning Resources from CWNP

The CWNP Question of the Day (QOTD)

CWNP Exam Terms

CWNP Study Guide CD-ROM Downloads

Packetlife WLAN cheat sheet

Wi-Fi Alliance home page


Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) Overview of the Certificfation

CWNA Certified Wireless Network Official Study Guide: Exam PW0-105 (CWNP Official Study Guides)

Here is the link to download the updated PW0-105 CWNA exam objectives



Wi-Fi Back to Basics – 2.4 GHz Channel Planning

Wikipedia page on  WLAN Channels

802.11 Medium Access

Introduction to Wi-Fi Wireless Antennas

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WMM®-Power Save

Aerohive’s Medium Contention & Mac Sublayer WiFi 101 video (28:00)

Easy db Math in 5 Minutes

Radio Frequency Measurements (1:13)

Understanding IEEE 802.11n

Memorize 802.11 MCS values and Data rates for CWNA or CWDP (YouTube Video)


CWSP Certified Wireless Security Professional Official Study Guide: Exam PW0-204 (CWSP Official Study Guides)

Here is the link to download the updated PW0-204 CWSP exam objectives

EAP Types (Excel file for my own reference)

Marcus Burton, Director of Product Development at CWNP, teaches you the 802.11 4-way handshake. (YouTube Video)

Authentication & Key Management (Marcus Burton, CWNP)

CWSP-802.11r Over-the-Air FT

White Paper (PDF download) Robust Secure Network Fast BSS Transition

White Paper (PDF download) 802.11i Authentication and Key Management

User Guide for the Cisco Secure Access Control System 5.2 (good extra reading on different flavors of EAP)

George Stefanick – CWSP Journey Chapter 5 – RSN

George Stefanick – CWSP Journey Chapter 4 – EAP, EAP, EAP, and EAP

EAP-TLS and PEAP: what they are, part 1 (YouTube Video)

EAP-TLS and PEAP: what they are, part 2 (YouTube Video)


CWAP Certified Wireless Analysis Professional Official Study Guide

CWAP Exam Objectives (PDF)


802.11 Beacons Revealed

802.11 Beacon Intervals – The Real Story

What is QAM?

CWAP – MAC Header : Frame Control

Understanding Wi-Fi Carrier Sense (Revolution Wi-Fi)

802.11 PPDU Formats

CWAP Study Guide Errata


My CWNA/CWSP/CWAP YouTube Channel

How I Studied to Pass the CNWA Certification Exam

WiFI Kiwi’s Blog – CWSP Passed!

Cyber Spring Cleaning! Don’t Forget Your Wireless Router!

cleaning-productsAs the weather warms up articles to remind us about cleaning up our devices, online accounts, making backups, and changing passwords are sure to show up, but don’t forget to add your wireless router to this list. Over time the wireless environment may have changed and the number of devices connecting to the network has increased and you have noticed a decrease in the performance. I have listed some items to check to either improve the performance or security of your wireless network.

Upgrade the Router

Electronics age fast and if you’re still running an 802.11g router it is time to upgrade. Look for an 802.11n protocol wireless router or get the latest and greatest 802.11ac router and be ready for the next wave of wireless devices. Either way you’ll notice a performance boost and the router won’t create a bottleneck in the network.

Check for the Latest Firmware

While not as often as Windows or Apple software updates a routers software called firmware does get the occasional update. Firmware could add functionality, patch bugs, or add security features. When you log into the routers management interface look for the firmware section to verify the current version and download any available updates. The firmware update could take several minutes to complete and at some stages you may think nothing is happening, but do not power off or restart the router during the update since this could brick the device!

Move to the 5 GHz Band

This could be more technical than most people can understand, but wireless networks can run in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Most home wireless networks use the 2.4 GHz band and along with wireless networks the 2.4 GHz band has signals from microwaves, cordless telephones, baby monitors, and other home devices making it very crowded. With the 2.4 GHz band being so crowded there are interference issues that can affect performance of the wireless network. Setting up the wireless network in the less used 5 GHz band will result in less interference and better performance.

Change the Channel

wifianalyzerWhether you’re wireless network runs in the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band things around you may have changed since the original setup and a quick scan of the neighboring networks may show channel interference. Scanning utilities such as InSSIDer or WiFi Analyzer will offer a snapshot of the wireless networks in range along with channel usage. As mentioned the 2.4 GHz band will be very crowded and channels 1, 6, and 11 the most heavily used. The best option is to move the network to the 5 GHz band, but if you stay in the 2.4 GHz band move the network to a non-used channel, but know that interference from adjacent 2.4 GHz channels can still effect performance of the wireless network.

Upgrade to WPA2 Security

If your still using WEP for wireless security it is time to update it to WPA2. WEP was cracked long ago and many utilities to crack WEP are freely available from the internet. When selecting the WPA2 Passphrase don’t use a common dictionary word, your pet’s name, your phone number, keyboard pattern, ect… For the best security a completely random 20 plus character WPA2 passphrase should be used. For further advice on selecting a secure WPA passphrase please read my earlier blog post.

Disable WPS

WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) or push and connect security has a known security flaw and should be disabled in the routers management interface. Even if you’re not using WPS to connect and secure devices to the wireless network it could be enabled by default and needs to be disabled manually.

Change the Passphrase

It is recommended to change personal passwords regularly so include your wireless passphrase to that list and make sure to change it at least once a year. For further advice on selecting a secure WPA passphrase please read my earlier blog post.

Setup a Guest Network

If people come to your house and ask to get on the wireless network it might be time to set up a separate guest network. It is not a good idea to hand out the WPA2 code for the main wireless network to everyone and having the guest network and traffic isolated from the main network is preferred. Many home routers allow multiple networks or enabling the guest network. You can also use a second router for the guest network, but make sure the routers are physically 10 feet apart from each other, and use enough channel separation to eliminate interference. Do assign a simpler WPA2 passphrase on the guest network so you’re not broadcasting an open network that anyone can connect to.

Disable Slower Wireless Protocols

Disabling slower protocols basically disables slower network speeds and can improve performance of the network. If your router and devices support the 802.11n protocol then disabling the 802.11g and 802.11b protocols will keep those devices from connecting and causing the network to communicate at those slower speeds.


So don’t run over to the wireless router with the feather duster or throw it in the dish washer, but if the network seems sluggish or not running as smoothly as it once was there are some things you can do. Check the user’s manual or the router manufactures website for extra help and tips to set up or configure the router. Thanks for reading and post any comments or questions below. I may not be able to answer specific router questions, but I can try to respond with a link or site URL for extra help.

How to Fix the SIOCSIFFLAGS Error in Kali Linux

I recently rebuilt my laptop and reloaded the applications I use for pentesting including Virtualbox and Kali Linux. If you need help setting up Kali Linux in Virtualbox here is a great link that walks through the setup process.

Once I had Kali up and running in my virtual environment I plugged in my ALFA wireless adapter and made sure the USB device was running in the virtual environment.

I ran iwconfig to verify the wireless interface.


So far so good and I ran ifconfig to verify the interface was up, but the only interface returned was the loopback.


After discovering the wireless interface was not up and I ran ifconfig wlan0 up to bring it up and got the SIOCSIFFLAGS error.


I wrote about this error a while back when I was running Backtrack 5 and I first started using the Fern WiFi Cracker. I decided to expand on that post plus I was asked about creating a script to run all the commands at one time instead of typing them individually. The script should be run every time Kali is booted, but after your adapter is plugged in and recognized.

First open a text editor and type in the script shown in the screen shot below. I prefer the gedit text editor and since that is not loaded in Kali I used Leafpad and coming from the Windows world it reminds me of Notepad.


Name the file and save it to the Root directory.


Open the Terminal window and do a quick ls command to verify the file is present.


To run the script type ./<file name>


You’ll probably get an error message about permissions denied and running the chmod 755 <file name> command will adjust the permissions on the file as needed.


Rerun the script ./<file name>


If there are no errors you are good to go and can run ifconfig to verify the wireless interface is up.


I will run the script every time I boot Kali whether or not the interface shows as being up in the ifconfig results.

Trouble shooting wireless issues in Kali Linux can be a frustrating process, but use your Google Fu skills and you’ll find a lot of good links and people offering up advice. Good Luck!

Changing Your MAC Address Using Macchanger

Macchanger is a free utility used to change the MAC address of the network adapter. Macchanger can randomly assign a MAC address or assign a specific MAC address of your choosing.


There are several instances changing the MAC address is necessary, but I use the utility while pentesting a wireless network with MAC filtering enabled and have to assign an approved MAC address to the wireless adapter.


The Macchanger utility is included with Kali Linux, but to install the application, update it, or verify your using the most up to date version run the following command. In the screen shot that follows the install command confirms that the newest version is already installed.

#apt-get install macchanger



Help with Macchanger can be accessed by running the following two commands.

#macchanger --help

#man macchanger

Assign a Random MAC Address

I’m using an Alfa USB wireless adapter and I will run the following commands to verify the adapters interface and the permanent MAC address.


#ifconfig wlan1

Macchanger can also be used to verify the manufacture burned in MAC address by running the following command.

#macchanger--show wlan1

Change the MAC address using one of the following commands.

#macchanger -r wlan1

#macchanger -A wlan1

Error Message

If you get an error message the MAC address can’t be changed and the adapter is busy take the adapter down and then rerun Macchanger. (Only the OUI portion of the MAC address is shown in the screen shot and the last 3 octets are blocked out)


#ifconfig wlan1 down 

#macchanger -A wlan1


Bring the interface back up and verify the MAC address is changed.

#ifconfig wlan1 up 

#macchanger --show wlan1


To return the MAC address to the vendor burned in address run the following command. You may have to take the interface down first.

#ifconfig wlan1 down

#macchanger --permanent wlan1

Assign a Specific MAC Address

The following command will assign a specific MAC address.

#macchanger --mac=aa:bb:cc:11:22:33 wlan1


Using the Macchanger GUI

If you’re not comfortable running commands there is a Macchanger GUI. A couple of commands will have to be run from the terminal window. One to install the Macchanger GUI application and the second to start the GUI application.

#apt-get install macchanger-gtk



After the GUI opens select the options to change the MAC address and click the Change MAC button.

As you can see Macchanger is a great utility to change the MAC address and is simple to use and offers a GUI application as well. Let me know any questions in the comments section below or share any commands you find easier to use with Macchanger, or pass along any other utilities you use to change the MAC address.

Thanks for visiting my blog and happy pentesting!

Security Tips for Your Home Wireless Network

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and this past October there was no shortage of great security awareness articles and advice being posted including tips to secure your home router and wireless network. The tips listed here are nothing new and it is important to know when configuring your home router no one setting can secure the network. Configuring a combination of settings for multiple layers of security will make the network and router secure.

Selecting a Channel

The first tip isn’t so much about security as it is about performance of the wireless network. If you’re not using an 802.11n router look to upgrade and before setting up the router do a quick scan for the other wireless networks in the area and the channels they are using. A free scanning utility from Metageek called InSSIDer for Home can be used to scan the wireless environment. After scanning the environment more than likely what you will find is the 2.4 GHz band and channels are very crowded and interference from these overlapping networks may affect performance of your network. The 5 GHz band will be less crowded and setting up the network to use a channel in this band should result in less interference from neighboring networks and overall better performance.

Screen Shot Courtesy of the Metageek Web Site

Screen Shot Courtesy of the Metageek Web Site

One trade-off is the 5 GHz network will have a smaller coverage footprint compared to the 2.4 GHz network. In some instances, such as in an apartment or condo complex you may want a smaller coverage area and might even adjust the routers power to a lower level to reduce the area of coverage. Again, taking advantage of the InSSIDer application you can test router placement and powers levels. InSSIDer can report the signal strength to find the best location for the router, and this up front surveying and planning will not only help network performance, but should cut down on the support issues.

WPA2 Encryption

Wireless network transmissions essentially have no borders and anyone within range of those transmissions could potentially capture the network traffic. Encryption of the wireless traffic is crucial and using the latest and greatest encryption standard of WPA2 is recommended. It is important to select a completely random passphrase with a minimum of 20 characters for the WPA2 key. You can read my earlier blog post for the importance of using WPA2 encryption and tips on selecting a secure WPA2 passphrase. 

Never Use WEP Encryption

WEP was the original encryption standard for wireless networks and was proven crackable. Numerous utilities freely available on the internet can crack WEP encryption in minutes!

Change the Admin Password

Many, if not all default SOHO (small office home office) router passwords are widely known, or easily found on the internet with a simple search. You can configure every security setting on the router, but leaving the Admin password as the default or selecting something that is easily guessed will defeat all the security you setup. Someone logging into the router can change any setting you have made or worse yet lock you out of your own router or brick the device.

Disable SSID Broadcast

Disabling the broadcast of the network SSID sounds like a great security option and some people think this will completely hide the network, but this is for from true. Anyone with a little knowledge and the right utilities can scan the airwaves and discover the hidden network SSID, so disabling the SSID broadcast should never be relied on as an end all security setting. Always combine the hidden SSID setting with the other settings mentioned to have strength with multiple security layers.

Disable Management of the Router from a Wireless Client

Force clients to be physically plugged into the router with a network cable to log in to the management interface. This setting will  not allow wireless clients to access the routers management interface to make any configuration or security changes.

Apply Firmware Updates to the Router

Every router has internal software called firmware loaded on it that manages the capabilities of the router. The router vendors occasionally release updates to their firmware to either improve functionality or patch vulnerabilities. Checking every so often for firmware updates will guarantee your router has all the latest features and security patches applied.


As mentioned a layered method of security works best to guarantee your router and wireless network is secure as possible. Someone trying to get access to your network would likely move on to an easier target after discovering the multiple layers of security.

For additional security tips be sure to check out the links below. Thanks! Dale

Securing Your Home Network

Security is Your Responsibility When Using Free Wi-Fi

Hotel Customers Want WiFi But Most Ignore the Risks

How Stores Use Your Phone’s WiFi to Track Your Shopping Habits

How to Use Wireshark to Capture, Filter and Inspect Packets

Wireshark 101… a great overview of the product with screenshots and explanations.

Kayle's Blog

Wireshark, a network analysis tool formerly known as Ethereal, captures packets in real time and display them in human-readable format. Wireshark includes filters, color-coding and other features that let you dig deep into network traffic and inspect individual packets.

This tutorial will get you up to speed with the basics of capturing packets, filtering them and inspecting them. You can use Wireshark to inspect a suspicious program’s network traffic, analyze the traffic flow on your network or troubleshoot network problems.

Getting Wireshark

You can download Wireshark for Windows or Mac OS X from its official website. If you’re using Linux or another UNIX-like system, you’ll probably find Wireshark in its package repositories. For example, if you’re using Ubuntu, you’ll find Wireshark in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Just a quick warning: Many organizations don’t allow Wireshark and similar tools on their networks. Don’t use this tool at work unless you…

View original post 506 more words

AirTight Networks Cloud Management Console

It’s been a month since I attended Wireless Field Day 5 and one of the most impressive demonstrations during the event was by AirTight Networks. Now that I have played with the AirTight AP device along with the cloud management console I wanted to share some of the features plus how user-friendly the system is.

A quick overview of the AirTight Networks solution is there is no controller or central management device placed in your network data center, and the entire wireless network can be configured, managed, and monitored in the cloud. The configuration and Wi-Fi policies defined in the cloud are than pushed out to the APs and all the routing decisions are done at the networks edge. Another nice feature is the cloud management program is HTML5 based and can be accessed from any smart device.

When I first logged into the AirTight cloud console it is a little over whelming, but I quickly found the system and UI very easy to navigate. Near the top of the screen is a navigation bar listing the six main areas of the system, and below the navigation bar is a bread crumb location trail, and between these two location tool bars I found it extremely easy to move around the system or know my current location.


Navigation Tool Bars

Help on any screen is just a click away! No matter what screen your on a ? in the upper right corner can be clicked on for immediate help for the current screen and options.


Dashboard Help Screen

The consoles home screen displays a dashboard to quickly convey information or statistics about the network and connected devices.



The dashboard screen is fully customizable, and adding extra dashboards and widgets can be done with a few clicks of the mouse. The screen shot below shows a newly added dashboard screen along with the different widget categories to add monitoring or information elements to the dashboard screen.


Dashboard and Widget Setup

On the left hand side of the main screen is the location tree to organize the wireless network. Wi-Fi policies and configuration settings can be assigned at any level in the location tree, or locations can inherit policies from higher level folders.

Location Tree

Location Tree

A really nice feature is when your down to the building level a floor plan can be uploaded to the system. I uploaded a simple PNG file, but as the screen shot below shows I can still assign some dimensions to the floor plan as part of the upload.

Floor Plan Upload

Floor Plan Upload

Once the floor plan is uploaded the AP devices can be placed on top of the floor plan and a heat map showing the approximate coverage areas can be generated.

Floor Plan Heat Map

Floor Plan Heat Map

There is an option to upload a SPM file that can have more intelligence built into the floor plan including the building materials which would give a better representation of the heat map coverage area.

The configuration area is where the majority of the Wi-Fi and AP settings are defined. Below is a screen shot of the configuration screen to create an SSID profile. I don’t have enough time to cover the different sections or options available, but a great demonstration video by Sean Blanton (@blantr0n) is available on the Airtight Networks web site. Sean covers many of the configuration options in the video, and I definitely recommend watching this video for anyone wanting to learn more of the granular settings that can be configured.


SSID Profile Configuration

Another great resource to learn about the AirTight Networks cloud management console is the Wireless Field Day 5 demonstration presented by Kaustubh Phanse.

One final awesome resource is since the Wireless Field Day 5 event AirTight Networks is having a promotion for anyone to receive a free AP and a cloud management trail to conduct their own test. For anyone interested in this promotion visit the AirTight Networks web site for more information.


AirTight Networks Promotion

Additional demonstration videos about AirTight Networks and their wireless network solutions are available on the Wireless Field Day 5 YouTube page.

Wireless Field Day 5 was “Sort of a BIG DEAL”

Big-DealAttending Wireless Field Day 5 as a first time delegate was such an honor, and I was perfectly aware of how significant past Wireless Field Day events have been. But being involved and experiencing the event first hand I realized just how big of a deal the event really is! The Wireless Field Day event gathers some of the best wireless talent and companies together to talk about and showcase the latest and greatest in wireless technologies. No details are left out in the planning and coordination of the event, and the vendors go all out with their presentations and demonstrations. It is three days for the wireless world to shine and put on a show, and it is a BIG DEAL!

Now that I’m back home from Wireless Field Day 5 and had a few days to recoup, and start to go over my notes and oganize my thoughts into blogs, and begin playing with some of the goodies I received from the vendors I wanted to quickly give what I remember most from the event.

The Delegates

I’m not sure what the cumulative years of experience among all the delegates is, let’s just say a lot, but talking to them and hearing their stories it becomes clear they are talented and passionate people. It was a thrill to hang out with the other delegates, and I only wish I had more time to spend with all of them. If you ever get the chance to meet any of the delegates you will greatly benefit from their expertise!

Below is the Wireless Field Day 5 delegate list along with links to their twitter accounts and blogs. The delegates are starting to post about the event and presentations, and much more about WFD5 is going be published in the coming weeks and months.

Blake Krone / @blakeKrone  /  Living the Digital Lifestyle

Chris Lyttle  / @WiFiKiwi  /  Musings on Wi-Fi and Wireless Security

Daniel Cybulskie  /  @simplywifi  /  Simply Wi-Fi

George Stefanick  /  @WirelessGuru  /

Jake Snyder  /  @JSnyder81  /  Transmit Failure

Jennifer Huber  /  @JenniferLucille  /  JenniferHuber

Keith R. Parsons  /  @KeithRParsons  /  wirelessLAN Professionals

Lee Badman  /  @WiredNot  /  Wirednot  /  Network Computing

Ryan Adzima  /  @RAdzima  /  Techvangelist

Sam Clements  /  @Samuel_Clements  /  SC-Wi-Fi

3 Days, 9 Vendors, 18 Hours of Presentations!

Three words, wireless information overload!

The vendors shared a tremendous amount of information at Wireless Field Day 5, and all the sessions were recorded and now posted to the Tech Field Day YouTube Channel. I have started watching the online videos to help piece together my notes or fill in some of the details I missed, but these videos offer a substantial amount of information for anyone interested in wireless technology.

Video Production Crew

Ben and Andrea did an awesome Job! Part of the Wireless Field Day event that not every one is aware of is the constant moving from place to place for the presentations. Ben and Andrea always had their equipment setup and ready to go for each presentation, and it was amazing to watch them break down and/or setup for the sessions. They definitely had the process down to a science! The result of their hard work was the live online stream and now the WFD5 event videos that have been posted online for every ones viewing.


Chris Woerz and Stoney Tuckness talked about and demonstrated the different products offered by Metageek, and for myself it was the most memorable of the presentations. Their approach seemed to hit on the hey we are one of you and needed simple yet informative tools to monitor, survey, and troubleshoot wireless networks. The products are very affordable, and whether you’re an experienced WLAN engineer or someone new to wireless these tools offer something for everyone to help with the day-to-day wireless network maintenance. Here is a link to the Metageek home page listing their product line, and there is an excellent video tutorial page on the Metageek site as well. During the presentation the Metageek guys handed out several gifts to the delegates, and after the session completed they introduced themselves to me and as a first time delegate gave me a few extras (see the picture below). Thanks to Metageek for being so generous and I’m really looking forward to test driving the utilities. I know I can use the Metageek utilities immediately in my network to help trouble shoot or see what is going on in the RF environment, and cannot wait to write about my experiences using their utilities.



Being in the K-12 environment I was really looking forward to seeing Aerohive demonstrate their controller-less APs and BYOD solutions. Aerohive started their presentation talking about the proliferation of wireless devices along with an overview of their cloud enabled solutions. After the Aerohive introduction several presenters demonstrated their controller-less cloud solutions including client management and on boarding, ID Manager for guest registration, and application visibility and control that can perform deep packet inspection. One of the best sessions from any vendor was when Aerohive’s Matthew Gast talked about 802.11ac. This is a highly recommended video to watch, not just by myself, but the other delegates and many of the Twitter viewers were raving about Matthew as well. Another highlight of WFD5 was after Aerohive’s sessions completed I was able to meet many of the companies employees. I started to recognize many of the names from social media, blogs I follow, and as authors of several books on wireless I have read including the CWNA and CWSP study guides. The only way I can describe it is going to a Van Halen concert and after the concert getting to go back stage to meet the band. It was an impressive amount of talent gathered at one vendor!

Airtight and Xirrus

Two more vendor presentations I was looking forward to seeing was Airtight Networks and Xirrus and they did not disappoint. I believe Airtight was a first time presenter and there was a lot of Twitter buzz about their being involved with Wireless Field Day 5. Airtight is known for their security and WIPS products and has branched out to controller-less APs with just about everything being software defined in the cloud. Their presentation started with an excellent talk of the company’s background presented by David King. After the company introduction several people demonstrated the cloud management, social Wi-Fi, and guest BYOD on boarding solutions. The Airtight solutions are very intriguing, and I look forward to learning and writing more about Airtight.

The Xirrus radio array solution is very interesting, and this presentation probably had the delegates asking the most questions. Dirk Gates was a great speaker and very knowledgeable, and while he may not have answered all the radio interference questions, he is definitely wireless smart and good to listen to. Xirrus offers APs with 2, 4, 8, and 16 radio arrays, and the Xirrus Management System (XMS) can be used to monitor and mange the wireless array network. Some advantages of the array APs would be a lower number of devices to install, less cable runs, and they give excellent capacity in high density areas. As with Airtight I look forward to checking out the Xirrus website and learning more about their radio array solutions.

Customers Telling Their Stories

Two vendors, Xirrus and Meru Networks, each had a customer speak for about 20 minutes to tell their success story. It was interesting to hear from an outside source about each vendor and how their solution was installed, configured, supported, and why the solution was an improvement on what was previously there. I’m not recommending for future wireless field day events every vendor have a customer speak, but it was that something different approach that got noticed by many of the delegates and the Twitter crowd. It wasn’t the super wow factor that caught my attention, but having someone not directly employed by the vendor help tell the story. It might be something for vendors to think about for future field day events as far as what can they do different.

The BIG DEAL Continues!

The Twitter conversations can be followed using the #WFD5 hash-tag, and be sure to check out the delegate blogs and the vendor websites to read more about the event. If you missed the live event the videos have been posted online.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and please leave any comments or questions or drop a comment about what you thought was memorable from Wireless Field Day 5.

Studying for Wireless Field Day 5

WFD-Logo1-wpcf_400x398No… there isn’t a test at Wireless Field Day 5, but being one of the two new delegates to the event I wanted to gather as much knowledge as I could prior to the nine vendor presentations at WFD5. For the most part I know of each vendor and their products, but have limited working experience with their solutions, so I wanted to share some of my research I have done to prepare for Wireless Field Day 5. To keep this post of moderate length I cannot mention every vendor and/or resource, and the vendors mentioned here is in no way favoring them or a knock on the other vendors. With nine vendors presenting, and each having two hours for a total of 18 hours of demonstrations I’m sure to have plenty to share in future posts about all the vendors.

One of my fellow WFD5 delegates wrote a great blog post last week about the upcoming Wireless Field Day event and what to aspect from such an event. The published post was by @wirednot and mentions several of the vendors presenting at WFD5 and lists some of the hot topics that might come up during the presentations. Again, being one of the two first time delegates this blog post gave me an overall feel for the event and had some good links to learn about past delegates, past Wireless Field Day events, and links to several of the vendors presenting.

Another really good article titled “Another Controller-less Wi-Fi Solution” posted this week by @matthewnorwood highlights the Airtight Networks APs and management solutions. The article has a link to the Airtight Network web site where I watched a series of demonstration videos. The videos were well-organized and ranged from 2 to 6 minutes in length, and each video concentrated on a certain area or topic for the Airtight solution. I found the videos very informative and they covered some hot topics in wireless including cloud management, software defined radios, BYOD, security and monitoring. The article isn’t completely about Airtight Networks and Matthew does talk about the three planes of wired and wireless traffic along with an overview on basic WLAN network architectures (some cool graphics).

Working in the education market I have followed Aerohive Networks and read about their BYOD and education solutions. Like the other vendors the Aerohive website is full of information with plenty of documentation, videos, and blogs. Aerohive does have a YouTube channel (other vendors may have YouTube channels as well) and the videos posted on YouTube were another resource I used to learn about Aerohive. Andrew von Nagy will be presenting at WFD5 for Aerohive and I look forward to meeting Andrew and seeing his presentation. Anyone following Andrew on Twitter (@andrewvonnagy) knows he shares a lot of great stuff, not just on Aerohive, but wireless technologies in general. Andrew’s revolutionwifi blog was one of the first wireless blogs I started following and I’m always impressed with the content, knowledge, and style of how Andrew presents the material he writes about.

To be honest all the delegates for Wireless Field Day 5 have outstanding blogs and I have spent many hours reading their posts. These blogs are a tremendous resource for me with tons of information and details on networking, wireless, security, hardware, software, storage, etc… Each delegate’s perspective on the wireless world and related technologies along with their knowledge and passion for wireless really shows in their posts. Links to all the delegates blogs are available on the Wireless Field Day 5 website.

Three vendors, Fluke Networks, Metageek, and Wildpackets will be presenting on their products for packet analysis, site surveying, network performance, and network monitoring. I’m familiar with these vendors and most of their products, but I still visited each of their websites for a refresher ahead of WFD5. Since I don’t have an expansive IT budget I tend to use freely available utilities and I’m really looking forward to seeing these three presentations and how their enterprise solutions compare to the open source tools I’m accustomed to using. I definitely should have more to post about these three vendors, the presentations, and their products.

For myself reading the blogs and visiting the vendor websites was not only great for learning, but for also noticing trends and what could be the future direction for wireless technologies.

For anyone wanting to see the Wireless Field Day 5 presentation schedule along with links to watch the live demonstrations can visit the Wireless Field Day 5 web site. The event can be followed on Twitter using the #WFD5 hash tag.