Using concept maps to become a CWAP (Part 5): What's an 802.11 Control Frame?

The past two weeks I've been busy at work and also ironing some winkles on WiFi Explorer after the El Capitan upgrade, so I didn't have a chance to work on any new concept maps until today. So far we have learned about the physical and MAC layers, as well as the format and function of the 802.11 management frames. The concept map for this week (see below) describes the 802.11 control frame. The main goal of control frames is to help with the delivery of management and data frames.

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Using concept maps to become a CWAP (Part 4): What's an 802.11 Management Frame?

Here's my next concept map. It's about the 802.11 management frame. This map took me a little longer to elaborate because there is a lot of technical details about management frames that it made it harder to summarize. Remember that the idea behind the concept map is not to fit every single detail into a map but to summarize and highlight the most important concepts and relationships. Thus, not every single information element (IE) is described here and instead it only describes a few of the basic IEs.

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Using concept maps to become a CWAP (Part 3): What's the IEEE 802.11 MAC Sublayer?

Continuing with this blog series, the concept map for this week is about the 802.11 MAC Sublayer. The map presents the basics of the 802.11 MPDU format, including types of frames, MAC addressing, frame fragmentation, and QoS capabilities.

What's the IEEE 802.11 MAC SublayerClick to Enlarge
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Using concept maps to become a CWAP (Part 2): What's the IEEE Physical (PHY) Layer?

Last week I started this blog series where, as part of my study routine for the CWAP certification, I intend to build various concept maps to summarize each of the major topics of the official CWAP study guide and share them with the WLAN community. The concept map of this second part is about the 802.11 Physical (PHY) Layer:

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Using concept maps to become a CWAP (Part 1): What's the IEEE 802.11 Standard?

Last year I became a Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA), and doing so showed me that I really didn't know about wireless networks as well as I thought, even though I work with them everyday.

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Six Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Do In WiFi Explorer

Channels graphs with DFS and without DFS channels

The design of WiFi Explorer aims to make it easy for non-technical users to troubleshoot home or a small office wireless networks, but also to provide IT and WLAN professionals a tool for preliminary assessments and troubleshooting of larger and more complex networks such as the those found in enterprise environments. Here's a list of features in WiFi Explorer you might find useful when it comes to troubleshooting wireless networks.

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Link-layer header types: what do I need to know?

A few weeks ago I released Airtool, a simple menubar app for OS X that allows you to easily perform 802.11 frame captures on a single or multiple channels. One of the options in Airtool lets you configure the link-layer header type you want to capture as part of the frames. In this blog post I'm going to give a brief description of the header types that are available for the built-in Wi-Fi adapter on a Mac so you can understand the differences and choose the right header type for your captures.

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10 steps to a better home Wi-Fi

Here are some ideas on how to improve your home Wi-Fi:

1. Check the placement of your access point (AP).
A location that is higher and to the center of the house should give the best coverage.

2. Do a quick survey and choose a wireless channel that is less occupied.
For 2.4 GHz networks consider using channels 1, 6, or 11, to avoid overlapping. As for 5 GHz, the channels are spaced further apart so overlapping is less of an issue.

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How to open a serial console to the AR.Drone 2.0

Normally, you connect to an AR.Drone using its Wi-Fi interface, but if for some reason this is not working, you can open a serial console to do any necessary fixes or simply have a permanent connection to the device for debugging, for example. To open a serial console, you will need a USB to UART connector, a USB extension (optional) and some wires. Although there might be other USB to UART bridges that would work fine, I have only used the CP2102 bridge from Sillicon Labs (Amazon, $6.97).


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How not to find the best channel using Mavericks' Wireless Diagnostics tool

Today I came across this article titled How to Find the Best Wi-Fi Chanel with Wireless Diagnostics in Mac OS X that basically explains how to use the bundled Wi-Fi scanner that comes with OS X Mavericks to choose the best channel for your wireless network.

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