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Showing posts from February, 2018

Optimizing Wi-Fi for High Occupancy Spaces

If I sound a little bit surly today, it's because I spent last night watching this:



For those who don't follow basketball, that's the brilliant Nikola Jokic (likely named in honor of wireless pioneer Nikola Tesla!) dissecting my beloved Milwaukee Bucks.

If the result of the game -- the Bucks losing by 11 points in Milwaukee -- didn't make me surly on its own, my Wi-Fi experience yesterday surely didn't help.  The Wi-Fi in the Southwest Airlines terminal at LAX was slow and unstable, and the Wi-Fi at the aforementioned game (held at the 18,717 capacity Bradley Center) was mostly unusable in the seating bowl.  But what good does it do to stay surly?  Instead, I'll offer some tips on getting Wi-Fi working at high occupancy spaces.

High occupancy Wi-Fi is a sensitive issue for me for two reasons: 1) I'm sick of fixing high occupancy deployments, and 2) As a frequenter of high occupancy areas, I'm sick of bad Wi-Fi in those areas.

The trouble is that many of t…

We Need Wi-Fikileaks

Device vendor secrecy makes Wi-Fi worse for users.

"Wi-Fi is all about the users."  It's my Pinned Tweet and my professional operating philosophy.  I don't care about AP vendor preference or network management or heatmaps or anything else that doesn't improve the user experience.  I want every device for every user to work everywhere at all times, period.  That's the goal.

It is frustrating to me, therefore, that Wi-Fi device makers are so tight with their information. 

I've gotten a lot of blowback for my writing and Tweeting about what a mistake it is to set the Minimum Basic Rate (MBR) above 6 Mbps.  Most of it is balderdash from BS artists and other people who don't know Wi-Fi.  A not insignificant amount, however, is from people who know Wi-Fi, at least to some degree.  And the common refrain from those people can be summarized thusly: "Wi-Fi devices use more than just RSSI to determine when to roam." 

Maybe things have changed, and now…

Using OmniPeek To Learn About the iPhone X

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One of my favorite things to do is teach Wi-Fi, and one of my favorite tools for teaching is Savvius OmniPeek.  The good folks at Savvius were nice enough to provide OmniPeek for the Wi-Fi classes I oversee at Global Knowledge, and so I want to offer a taste of how OmniPeek can be used to learn about Wi-Fi device behavior, specifically with the iPhone X.

Savvius OmniPeek is what I call a hardcore protocol analyzer.  The "hardcore" adjective comes from the fact that OmniPeek encourages the user to view frame (aka "packet") traces.  Non-hardcore protocol analyzers focus on providing statistics and graphs.  I am a big fan of all types of protocol analyzers, but the beauty of OmniPeek is that it offers options for viewing statistics and graphs, while making its frame traces simple to navigate.

One of the things I like using OmniPeek for when teaching is illustrating the different ways that Wi-Fi devices and APs use the 802.11 standard.  An example is what happens when …