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Watch Out! It's Now Obsolete. IEEE 802.11 and the Use of the Terms "Obsolete" and "Deprecated"

The IEEE 802.11 standard, referenced in this article as simply 802.11, uses two terms of importance: obsolete and deprecated. Viewing historical trends can reveal future probabilities of feature removal from the standard. In this article, I'll discuss the meaning of the two terms in general and the actions the IEEE has taken in relation to them. The good news is that WEP is now obsolete in 802.11 (or will be in a few months) and not just deprecated... more on that later.

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Are You At A Loss When Trying To Understand Return Loss?

Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) is taught lightly in our CWNA course and the course hints at return loss, but some students have faced challenges in grasping the concepts. The problem stems from the fact that a significant amount of physics and mathematics supports the concepts and we do not teach that level of detail. In this article, I will explain the concepts for you, in a five- to ten-minute read, that should allow you to gain some control over your thinking about return loss.

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Foggy about The Fog?

This brief article is intended to bring clarity to the concept of fog computing as it relates to IoT and other networking functions and services. For many, the fog is a mystical thing and I hope to clear up any confusion in this article.

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MQTT Version 5.0 - What's New?

The MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol was updated with a new version on March 7, 2019. This version replaces or supercedes version 3.1.1 from October 29, 2014. In this brief post, I'll explain some of the new features introduced in the latest version.

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Devices Lurking in the Shadows

The phrases shadow devices, shadow IoT, shadow nodes, and shadow clients all refer to the same concept: many devices connected to your network are not organization-owned devices. These devices can introduce serious security concerns and should become a known element in your processes.

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Droning On about Signal Strength and Antenna Location

Those who've worked in the Wi-Fi world already know that antenna location (or device location for those with internal-only antennas) is key to signal propagation and, therefore, received signal strength. What if you could dynamically move the antenna so that the link is best when transmission is required? What if you only required data transfers to occur at infrequent times? Could drones be the answer in some situations?
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Speeds Like the 1990s in Wireless and We Love It

Faster is not always better and, with modern IoT, slower and slower is often the name of the game. Just how slow can you go? Think modem speeds from the 90s.

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What Does Wi-Fi 6 Have in Store?

Wi-Fi 6 (also referred to as 802.11ax in the 802.11 standard) is the latest generation of Wi-Fi technology. The main benefit of Wi-Fi 6 is that it can increase the speed of data transmission and allow for more users or endpoints per access point. The roll-out of Wi-Fi 6 began in 2019 and continues to happen at the date of this blog post.

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Are Smart Devices Listening to My Conversations?

The widespread deployment of wi-fi has created a reality where smart devices are constantly listening to their user's conversations as well as to the discussions of other people speaking within the vicinity of the smart device. This reality is not immediately apparent to most users of smart devices or the other people in their vicinity. At the same time, there seems to be an implicit contract whereby users of smart devices agree to this monitoring in exchange for all the services that a smart device provides. However, the exact terms of this implicit contract have yet to be clearly defined.

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WLAN Pi v1.8.3

I'm always looking for ways to be more efficient in my job. One of my favorite low-cost tools is the WLAN Pi. This device was introduced to the community by Jerry Olla. It includes many tools for the wireless lan professional. It is a single board computer with a gigabit Ethernet interface that can push almost 900Mbps! This provides a great platform for testing throughput of both wired and wireless networks.

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