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Showing posts from May, 2016

802.11ac Wave 2 and You, Sponsored by Extreme Networks

The latest and greatest Wi-Fi standard is here (sort of).  802.11ac Wave 2 is now available in real-world Wi-Fi devices (maybe) and it's ready to supercharge your Wi-Fi performance (under some circumstances).  
Since 802.11ac Wave 2 is brand new (based on a three year-old standard), a lot of folks are looking for clear information on it.  The technology is great (or, maybe over-hyped), but how can an organization tell whether it's time to upgrade?
Luckily, Sniff Wi-Fi (in a post sponsored by Extreme Networks) has just the solution for you: an eBook!  "The 5 Essential Elements in the 802.11ac Wave 2 Business Case" covers 802.11ac Wave 2 technology, compares it to previous Wi-Fi technologies and identifies specific ways that 802.11ac Wave 2 can improve Wi-Fi performance for a number of vertical markets (no, really, it does).
When it comes to Wi-Fi deployment upgrades, I find that organizations fall into one of three groups: 
1) Organizations that keep their Wi-Fi infrastru…

Giving Voice to the (Apps That Should Be) Voice-Less

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Wi-Fi Calling is here, and that fact is causing concern for some Wi-Fi folks.  Wireless LANs that were initially installed as a value-add may be tasked with carrying mobile, high-quality, always-on voice traffic.

The 802.11 standard has had quality of service (QoS) protocols designed to accommodate voice since 2005, when the 802.11e amendment was approved.  That's good.  What's bad is that some voice applications are over-prioritizing their voice traffic, and it could lead to capacity limitations.

First, some background on Wi-Fi QoS:

The original 802.11 standard deigned that all Wi-Fi traffic would be created equally.  That is a GREAT thing for most Wi-Fi networks.  If some namby-pamby user whines to an admin, "Hey, why are you placing that AP in the OTHER room?  I want the AP closer to me," the admin can tell him (or her; women occasionally complain, too) "look, buck-o (or, buck-ess), Wi-Fi gives equal throughput to everyone who's connected.  You'll conn…

Go To Sleep, Go To Sleep, Go To Sleep Little iPhone

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In some circles, Apple Wi-Fi devices are knows to have problems with lost connections.  iPhones and iPads will unexpectedly miss incoming calls, have delays in receiving push notifications and even be forced to reauthenticate.

There is a solution to Apple devices' connection problems, and as with most "device problems", the fix resides on the infrastructure.  The DTIM setting needs to be increased.  (Apple recommends a setting of 3 or higher.)  Here's why:

Some Apple Wi-Fi connection problems stem from Apple iOS devices' use of 802.11 power management.  To understand what Apple devices are doing with power management, one must first understand how 802.11 power management works.

Let's start with unicast data.  The 802.11 standard allows devices' Wi-Fi radios to enter the Doze state in order to conserve battery life.  Wi-Fi radios in the Doze state are unable to receive data from the AP, so APs buffer all unicast data that has a destination MAC address of a…