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  • CWNP

802.11n Protection Mechanisms: Part 1

When 802.11g was introduced, we had RTS/CTS and CTS-to-Self protection mechanisms.  What do we get with 802.11n so that it's backwards compatible with 802.11a and 802.1b/g?  First, there's a couple of new things I'd like to introduce, and then we'll get to the protection rules.

In an ERP Beacon, ERP stations look at the "ERP Information Element" to determine whether or not protection is necessary in the BSS.  See my whitepaper here:
 http://www.cwnp.com/learning_center/search_details.php?doc_id=l7w2 for further information.

In an HT Beacon, HT stations use the "Operating Mode" and "Non-greenfield STAs Present" fields in the HT Information Element to determine whether or not to use protection. Continue reading...

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Say hello to my little friends!

Now we have two new 802.11 friends called A-MSDU and A-MPDU.  Their job: to make the protocol analyst's job more difficult.

A-MSDU = Aggregate MSDU
A-MPDU = Aggregate MPDU

Both can be used together, with restrictions (of course, because it's not as much fun unless you have extra rules to follow).

You can string MSDUs together - called subframes when aggregated - in the payload of a single QoS MPDU.  An A-MSDU subframe structure consists of:

DA (6), SA (6), Length (2), MSDU (0-2304), Padding (0-3) -- all of the numbers are in octets

 

Continue reading...

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Evaluating Readiness to Support Wireless LANs

Make certain you have solid support plans, including knowledgeable staff and the correct tools, before you give a thumbs up for that new wireless network.

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Random 802.11n Observances

The 802.11n amendment allows for up to 4x4 MIMO.  That's 4 transmitters and 4 receivers working at the same time.  Due to cost, nobody is building a 4x4 system.  Instead, we're seeing 2x2 on the cheap stuff, 2x3 on the higher-end client radios and the lower-end APs, and 3x3 on the higher-end APs.  More transmitters and receivers means better quality: better reception, higher throughput, the works.  Always look for 2x3 stations and 3x3 APs whenever possible. Continue reading...

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Review of Nokia N800 for Wireless LANs

Earlier this year Nokia released an updated version of their popular Nokia N770 Internet Tablet. The N800 excels at being a small, light-weight device capable of WiFi as well as Bluetooth access to the Internet. THis is a user-based review of this great little device.

 

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Foraging for Goodies

In my daily foraging for goodies in the 802.11 standard, I tripped across what seemed to be something routine, but upon deeper inspection (the reading of several RFCs), it seems that PAP, CHAP, and MS-CHAP cannot be used between an authenticator and authentication server in an RSN.

 

Continue reading...

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The 802.11 Frame Format: New and Improved.

When will the madness end?  With 802.11n, we have a newly elongated frame format.

Frame Control: 2 octets
Duration/ID: 2 octets
Address 1: 6 octets
Address 2: 6 octets
Address 3: 6 octets
Sequence Control: 2 octets
Address 4: 6 octets
QoS Control: 2 octets
HT Control: 4 octets (new!)
Frame Body: 0-7955 octets (yeah baby!)
FCS: 4 octets Continue reading...

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New 802.11n Features: Briefly

802.11n has many new features including Space Time Block Coding (STBC), Spatial Multiplexing (SM), Cyclic-Delay Diversity (CDD), Maximal Ratio Combining (MRC), and Transmit Beam Forming (TxBF). A great summary of these features is found in an Atheros whitepaper here: http://www.atheros.com/pt/whitepapers/MIMO_Pwr3_whitepaper.pdf

Continue reading...

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