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Guest Blogger
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-14-2014

Finding Your Wavelength in Wireless: Best tools for the job?

Okay.. Picture this. I’m making a home lab. This is my first time, and I’m just getting into wireless – but I already know that I want to become an expert.

 

What tools would you recommend to start on that ladder? What did you find most useful to learn on? Then which had the best features as your expertise has increased?

 

I’m trying to think of the long-term and not just a band-aid. Band-Aid = Shows me the spectrum and which channels are being the most used, but has no ways of going deeper or addressing the overflow into one channel over another. 

 

I have also discovered, for myself, that in certain things I am technically inept and need some hand-holding. I’m really good at concepts, but the hands-on implementation takes some help. 

 

I can Google some resources, but wanted to ask: Do you already have some that you would recommend?

Julia B

"Adventure is out there"
Frequent Contributor II
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎11-27-2012

Re: Finding Your Wavelength in Wireless: Best tools for the job?

It sounds that by wireless, you mean RF?

A good tool for analyzing the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz spectrum are something like the Airmagnet from Fluke: http://www.flukenetworks.com/enterprise-network/wireless-network/airmagnet-spectrum-xt . This is of course very expensive equipment, but to be able to really get into the spectrum, you really do need specialized profesional equipment.

 

If you really mean getting into configuring enterprise wifi networks, I would recomend you buy yourself a small Aruba Controller with an access point and start configuring. Make up some test scenarios, read the manual and just work on the hardware.

 

Do you know "wired" networking allreaddy? vlans, subnetting, ip, trunking, etc. If not, the best place to start is to find some resources on this. Youtube is an abundant source for this kind of information if you enjoy learning from video. To find a good base of learning resources, one tip is to search for resources related to the Cisco's CCENT certification which covers all the networking fundamentals.

 

Good Luck!

-----------------------------------
-ACMX #352-
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Guest Blogger
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-14-2014

Re: Finding Your Wavelength in Wireless: Best tools for the job?

RF - Yes. Thank you for catching that! 

 

Is there a less expensive option? Just getting wireless means that I don't have the expert salary yet. ;) I agree that the professional equipment is best, but if I just don't have the funds I'd still like to be able to learn in a way I can build on. 

 

I like the testing scenario! What would be a good scenario to start with? 

 

I know some basics, but I could use to know more. Thank you for the suggestions!! I really appreciate it. :) 

Julia B

"Adventure is out there"
MVP
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎04-03-2014

Re: Finding Your Wavelength in Wireless: Best tools for the job?

Have you checked out the CWNP certification line? It has helped me a lot learning WLAN design, troubleshooting and security.

 

Theese tools arn´t free but I´ll list what I use for you anyway:

 

Spectrum analyzer: Channalyzer Pro

Protocol analyzer: Omnipeek Professional

Site survey tool: Ekahau Site Survey Pro

 

Some free tools that can be helpful:

InSSIDer

Wifi Analyzer (Android)

Wireshark (always good to start learning to read packet captures)

 

Good luck!

Christoffer Jacobsson | Aranya AB
Aruba: ACMX #537 ACCP | CWNP: CWNA CWDP CWSP
Guest Blogger
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-14-2014

Re: Finding Your Wavelength in Wireless: Best tools for the job?

Hi Christoffer,

 

Thanks for the list of tools! I really appreciate it.  I enjoy comparing notes, and seeing what's out there and what's being used. :) 

 

Funny you should mention it...  I love the CWNP line of certs. Although I haven't gone as deep into them as I would like. 

 

Thanks again!

Julia B

"Adventure is out there"
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