how difficult would it be to pass the CWNA exam without being CWTS certified? is it feasible? i am new to this with a good RF background?
It is very likely that you could pass, if you are good at studying. But I wouldn't try it unless you have at least configured several AP's (even SOHO) with just about [u]every[/u] option avilable. And connected to them with a variety of client devices with each option too.
A lot of people, including myself, passed the CWNA before CWTS ever existed - in any form.
It is my [i]personal[/i] belief that the CWNA became easier for a while - the details seemed like they were shifted around between exams somewhat.
However, the technology is a lot more complicated now. Back then, 802.11n was only an industry wet dream. There was no MIMO, WMM, PSMP, SMPS, guard interval differentiation, or much talk about Mesh.
Other than that, RF requirements (other than that used in describing the advantages of MIMO) look pretty much the same - be sure you really understand power and attenuation from a dBm perspective- no micro-volts/meter here.
One big hint, is that it's not an official prerequisite to the CWNA. Once you can reliably get 90-100 %'s on all the online practice exams (w/o memorizing the questions and answers) you should think about taking it.
While I respect and agree with most of wlanman previous post, I dont totally agree that you need to configure APs...this is a vendor neutral exam after all.
Yes you can pass CWNA without CWTS, I did. If you have a good RF background and feel comfortable with the CWNA content then go for it.
Alan is generally correct. CWTS is not positioned or required as a pre-req to CWNA. For someone brand-spanking-new to networking, yes, you might feel more comfortable starting at CWTS. But CWNA is meant as the starting place for those already in computer networking, either by experience, other certs (CCNA, Net+) or both.
As to configuring APs, no, you don't have to know how to config any vendor's APs for CWNA; however, you will learn and need to know what it means to configure an AP's power settings, security, channel, etc. Those and many other settings are relevant no matter whose AP you're installing and configuring, and those are the things CWNA teaches you.
The practice with AP's is meant to help cement the concepts regarding wireless into your thinking. [u]Nothing[/u] to do with learning [i]any[/i] manufacturers gear. If that were your goal, I would have been more likely to specify Enterprise, rather than SOHO.
It is exactly the "vendor neutral" idea. You learn what is generally available and how different manufacturers do things. Connecting up the clients under all the different situations helps you learn something about debugging WLAN problems, and I believe help you learn the technolology better.
When you get to the exam, you have some memory to fall back on - "Oh Yeah - I remember how that worked" or "Yeah. I know why that is."
I am one of the biggest "vendor neutral" advocates around. As I'm sure Marcus would agree.