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Showing posts from June, 2011

Bad Medicine: Roaming and Sniffers

I believe in sniffers. I believe in planning for client roaming. And I believe that mixing the two is a bad idea. Using a sniffer the right way and planning for client roaming the right way are both essential for having a high quality WiFi network, but it's a good idea to keep the two separate.

This is, of course, a blog about WiFi sniffing, but to understand why using sniffers to plan for roaming is trouble, let's go into some background on WiFi client roaming.
WiFi (802.11) networks were designed like cell phone networks in that client stations would be able to maintain application connectivity while moving between access points. They were also designed to be unlike cell phone networks in that the client station would control when roaming happens. You see, in cell phone networks, the network infrastructure controls when your phone moves to a different base station. That design makes sense because cell phones have a built in way of giving base stations information about the pho…