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  • CWNP

Making Sense of Meru Decodes

Let’s face it: Meru does some creative stuff with the 802.11 protocol. By concentrating all users on the same channel, they give up some of the capacity of the available Wi-Fi frequencies. As a tradeoff, they gain some client control. Centering all WLAN operations on a single channel allows (or forces, depending on how you see it) them to do some interesting things with the protocol to make up for some of that sacrificed capacity.

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  • CWNP

A Salute to Wireless Broadband [With my Middle Finger]

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” -- Chuck Dickens
I share mixed feelings today. On the one hand, I am glad to finally have Internet service that is both reliable and fast (faster than 2/3 of the US, says speedtest.net). Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of replacing wireless with wires. I’m happy. I’m sad.

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  • CWNP

The Things People Say During a Survey

I spent the better part of last week in the Southwest US with George “I eat Pad Thai every day” Stefanick (@wirelesssguru), doing a WLAN controller install, cutover, and validation. The good pleasure of post-install surveying belonged to me, and I had fun doing it. I got a bit of exercise and found myself often entertained—and occasionally frightened—by the office folk and their curious looks, comments, and questions.

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  • CWNP

Why My WLAN Hates Your PAN

The 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum is anarchy. This “open” band is a magnet for any and all wireless consumer technologies, attracting everyone like FREE BEER at a frat house. With a big push in spectrum analysis lately, we’ve all been focused on non-Wi-Fi interferers like wireless video cameras, microwaves, motion sensors, and the like, for ruining our unlicensed frequency. But, with so many competing use cases for the technology and an open policy on spectrum use, Wi-Fi devices are perfectly capable of ruining the uncontrolled—I mean unlicensed—spectrum on their own. And they often do.

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  • CWNP

Aerohive Updates for HiveOS 4.0

In a conversation last week, I was asked about hot topics in Wi-Fi. My list went something like this: • Mobile, mobile, and more mobile device management and control • Simple guest access and provisioning • Spectrum analysis • Architecture

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  • CWNP

Metageek: Company and Product Review

Recent months have heightened my respect for Metageek. The company story, the people, and their products are all incredible. I’ll talk about each, in turn, in this article.

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Wi-Fi Overhead, Part 2: Solutions to Overhead

This is the second article in a two-part discussion about WLAN overhead. Part 1 (Sources of Overhead) demonstrated that there are too many sources of overhead on W-Fi networks. Much of the overhead is required for successful protocol operation, but that reality doesn’t make it suck less. In fact, protocol overhead usually causes at least a 50% decrease in actual network throughput when compared with theoretical signaling rates. Ouch.

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  • CWNP

Wi-Fi Overhead, Part 1: Sources of Overhead

Radio communication requires overhead. Network protocols require overhead. Unfortunately, wireless network protocols, like Wi-Fi, are loaded with overhead. Some amount of overhead is necessary for effective communications and interoperability; however, there are also times when overhead is unnecessary. Proper network design and deployment can minimize this overhead and improve network performance. This article kicks off a two-part post that will identify the sources of overhead (part 1) on WLANs and then provide some recommendations for reducing it (part 2).

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  • CWNP

Three Spatial Streams: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

To date, three enterprise vendors (Aruba, HP, Meraki) have announced new three spatial stream APs (3x3:3), and others will follow. The progress of three spatial streams looks really good on paper, where our maximum throughput increases by 50%. It’s a marketing dream come true. But, what’s the reality? What are the real-world gains, and how important is the third spatial stream?

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  • CWNP

Wireless Tech Field Day

The wireless industry is a great “place” to work. It’s a super competitive field to be sure, but the community is amazing. I’m in San Jose for the rest of this week for Wireless Tech Field Day, an event organized by GestaltIT. I’m spending some time with many of the active members of the Wi-Fi community, learning that they are real people and not just 16-bit avatars.

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