• Hey all,

    Passed CWNA last week and now working on CWAP next.  I see recommendations all over here for Gast's books, the definitive guide, the AC survival guide, and even the N survival guide.

    My question is, most of those posts are from 2016 or earlier, before the exam was updated.  Does the N guide contain any knowledge/material that isn't covered in the AC guide? Is it worth getting or is the content past it's life cycle and I should stick with the definitive guide and the AC guide?

  • By Howard - edited: November 30

    Most of my posts have been enthusiastic about his books for a reason - they have a lot on information in them that would be a pain. and frankly extremely boring to pick up out of the thousands of pages (now) in the 802.11 standard.

    The other factor, is that /n and /ac are both built on .11 prime.  Unless you are already a communications and RF engineer, there is no way Gast's tiny /n and /ac "updates", by themselves, are enough.  Both of these newer books are based upon the information in the prior ones, and in fact., both make several references back to the previous one(s) - without which you'll find both newer books lacking.  

    To be brutally honest, I would not buy the printed copies of the /n or /ac books - only the digital versions.  Why you ask ?  My only complaint about the second two books is that neither has an index !  This is fine if you can search the text, but is a serious (IMHO) issue.  With the electronic versions you don't have this problem.

    I'm sure some people can go through their professional lives with out all three of  these texts, but I deal with the details of both the MAC and PHY on literally a daily basis, and I use the details. 

    Learning the technology, in the order they are presented in the books really helped me.   I'm also a history-nut of sorts, so studying them in order helped me remember it.

    /ac technology, especially, is so complex there is no way I could understand it without the very strong foundation of the first book.

    If you were to go back to the original IEEE-press book on 802.11 (not the standard itself), you would find it technically "quaint" by today's understanding of the technology - but not the Definitive Guide.   Sure the rates  of /b are low, but you'll still "hear" them on a daily basis, and things still go wrong with them.

    If you really want or need to understand the details, IMO you should read these books - especially the first one. 

    As far as the /n guide specifically, there are only one or two small issues in /n that are now obsolete in /ac.    The basics are still the same, and it is a smoother transition to the newer "stuff" than the /ac book.  You will still find thousands of /n AP's out there, and if for no other reason, you'll understand better why some of its features have been removed.  I find that helpful when explaining things to IT staff who may not really understand wireless, but are attempting to configure it. 

    Best of luck in your journey.

  • By jcat009 - edited: November 29


    Thanks, that's extremely helpful.  The only hesitation I had with the definitive guide was that it was published a LONG time ago (2005 for the second edition), and there's a new edition supposed to be released March 25th (at least according to amazon).  I'm sure there's still relevant information in the current edition, but I don't want to make it any harder on myself studying for these exams by having to trip over what is and is not obsolete.  I guess my question should have been directed more at the definitive guide and less at the N guide.

    I managed to find the AC guide on amazon for a mere $3.55 and the N guide for $16.58, so not a terribly huge investment.  I plan on just reading them cover to cover and taking my own notes, so hopefully the searching thing shouldn't be an issue.

  • That's great news about an update !    I hadn't heard that.

    If it has an index, and we could get Matthew to comment on the new content I'll definitely look into getting one too.

    If it really is coming out then, I would probably wait if I were you.

    Many tech book updates get promised, but are never finalized - so I'm skeptical until I actually see them.

    I'm still waiting for the update to the IEEE 802.11 Book from 1997 - promised several times, but never delivered.

  • Waiting til march is less than ideal as I'm looking to start studying for the CWAP in the next couple weeks.  Won't be ready for the exam for at least a couple months, but would like to get started on it.

    I guess I could get started without that book and then just get the new version whenever it's released.

  • You actually may be able to find an online copy for free.   I seem to run across one once in a while.   

    A good library should have one too.

  • By Howard - edited: November 30

    I asked Matthew Gast directly about that this morning,

    and according to him, that book was only a rumor.   It never worked out.

    So you better go looking for the second edition if you want one  :-( .

  • Interesting.  Amazon is selling pre-orders for it for $55!

    Added a copy of the 2nd edition for $8.99 should be getting delivered next week.  Suppose more information isn't a bad thing.

  • By Petri - edited: November 29

    (Edit: Seem like I am late to the party)

    I wasn't aware of the new upcoming edition. Thanks for the pointer.

    Interestingly and list it as "temporarily out of stock". According to Amazon it was published on October 31st 2017. Another detail is that the summary only includes 802.11n as the latest protocol covered - in 2017?

    The 13 digit ISBN is 978-1491963548.

  • Sorry Petri,

    I got it from the horses mouth, so-to-speak.  No such book is coming out.-   

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