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CWNA Guide to Wireless LANs, Second Edition

Chapter One
Its a Wireless World

Wireless Networks
First Meeting Agenda 1. Syllabus and Intro. 2. How to access class resources in your computer 3. Lets get acquainted (forming groups)
Name Industry certification Networking or IT courses Interests Why you are taking the class Expectations of yourself Expectations of the instructor and the class

4. WebCT Login

Describe how wireless technology is used in daily activities Tell how wireless local area networks are used in applications such as education, business, travel, construction, and other areas Explain the advantages and disadvantages of wireless technology

Real Life Wireless

What did Texas Department of Transportation do?

A Day in the Life of a Wireless User: Home

Wireless data communication has been the driving force in the 21st century Hotspots: Locations where wireless data services are available
World-Wide growth rate: 350% a year By 2007 revenue from hotspots will exceed $9 billion.

Wireless local area network (WLAN): Essentially identical to standard local area network (LAN)
Compare Ethernet LAN devices to Wireless LAN devices Except devices not connected by wires Can increase productivity (By how much?)

How do you use wireless at home?


A Day in the Life of a Wireless User: Car

Bluetooth wireless standard: Enables short range wireless communication
Used in many small devices

How is Bluetooth used in a car? Bluetooth on the Road.

A Day in the Life of a Wireless User: Office

Fixed broadband wireless: Wireless transmissions between immobile devices
Typically between office buildings Utilizes small, customized antennas Otherwise known as WiMax

Free space optics (FSO): Alternative to high-speed fiber optic transmissions


A Day in the Life of a Wireless User: Field

Handheld devices used to connect to nearest cell tower
Cell tower connects to local telephone company Telephone company connects to appropriate resources
Such as e-mail servers

A Day in the Life of a Wireless User: On Site

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags:
Electronic barcodes Used to identify items Can be read if anywhere within range of transmitted radio signal
Depending on device

A Look at Wireless Technologies

Wireless technology woven throughout many aspects of life Useful to get overview of some current technologies in todays wireless world


Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs)

Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity): Based on standard that transmits at up to 11 Mbps Computers on WLAN must have wireless network interface cards (wireless NIC or Wireless adapter)
Performs same basic functions as standard NIC, plus more

Access point (AP): Transfers signals between wireless NICs Patch cable connects AP to wired LAN or Internet

Wireless Local Area Networks (continued)

Wireless LAN

Wireless Local Area Networks (continued)

Home wireless LAN


Low-power wireless data and voice transmission technology Bluetooth devices communicate via radio modules
Link manager: Software that helps identify other Bluetooth devices, creates links between devices, and sends and receives data

Transmit data at up to 1 Mbps over 10 meters Bluetooth devices within range of each other automatically connect
Master and slave

Piconet: Bluetooth network containing a master and at least one slave


Telecommunications Links
Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN): Transmits at 256 Kbps T-1 lines: Transmit at 1.544 Mbps Cable modems: Use television cable connection Digital subscriber lines (DSL): Use telephone lines WiMax: Signal transmitted between antennas
Up to 75 Mbps and over up to 35 miles Fixed Broadband

Telecommunications Links (continued)

FSO: Transmit at speeds up to 1.25 Gbps over up to 4 miles
Line-of-site transmission

Free space optics transceiver


Telecommunications Links (continued)

Wireless office technologies


Cellular Telephony
Global Systems for Mobile (GSM) communications technology: Coverage includes most of US and parts of Europe and Japan
Transmission speeds up to 9.6 Kbps Information transmitted based on Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
Standard way to transmit, format, and display data for devices like cell phones and handheld devices


Cellular Telephony (continued)

WAP cell phone runs a microbrowser that uses Wireless Markup Language (WML) instead of HTML WAP gateway or proxy: Translates between WML and HTML

WAP communications

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Like an electronic barcode:
Can contain larger amounts of updatable information Information transmitted via radio waves Range typically about 1 foot at 5 Mbps

RFID tag

Wireless Technology Categories

Typical wireless technologies


Wireless LAN Applications: Education

Educational institutions some of first adopters of WLANs
Dramatic advantages in teaching and learning

Wireless LAN connections offer students important degree of freedom WLAN technology translates into cost savings for colleges
Reduces need for wiring and infrastructure Fewer computer labs necessary


Wireless LAN Applications: Education (continued)

Campus access point locations


Wireless LAN Applications: Business

Wireless LAN technologies have significantly changed how business conducted
Meetings not confined to conference rooms Easier to connect to network resources and Internet Can create office in space where traditional infrastructure does not exist


Wireless LAN Applications: Travel

Travel industry perhaps adopted wireless technologies more than any other industry
Many airport terminals provide wireless hotspots Several large airlines providing wireless capabilities to passengers during flights Some airlines use WLAN technology to communicate with aircraft on ground Some airlines use WLAN technology to facilitate maintenance tasks Some airlines use new wireless data service to send and receive messages

Wireless LAN Applications: Construction

Wireless technology has greatly benefited construction industry
Better management of resources Better management of paperwork

Construction equipment being fitted with wireless terminals

Smart equipment GPS information can provide location information to within centimeters


Wireless LAN Applications: Warehouse Management

New products arrive continuously
Must be inventoried and stored

Products being shipped must first be located then transferred to correct location and truck
Mistakes in inventory or inability to locate items can be devastating Mark inventory with RFID tags

Warehouse management system (WMS) software: Can manage all activities from receiving through shipping
Utilize wireless technology

Wireless LAN Applications: Public Safety

Public safety departments using WLANs and GSM to communicate information with public safety vehicles
City-owned buildings equipped with APs Large volumes of data can be quickly downloaded to vehicles
e.g., building floor plans, photographs of criminal suspects, and maps


Wireless LAN Applications: Healthcare

Wireless LAN point-of-care computer systems allow medical staff to access and update patient records immediately
Document patients medication administration immediately Extensive use of RFID tags
Identify healthcare professionals, patients, medications

System verifies that medication being administered to correct patient in correct dosage
Eliminates potential errors and documentation inefficiencies

Wireless LAN Applications: Healthcare (continued)

Documentation process takes place at bedside where care delivered
Improves accuracy

Hospital personnel have real-time access to latest medication and patient status information Wireless technology also used in other medical areas:
e.g., video pills


Wireless LAN Applications: Healthcare (continued)

Video pill

Wireless Advantages and Disadvantages: Advantages

Mobility: Primary advantage of wireless technology
Enables individuals to use devices no matter where users roam within range of network Increasingly mobile workforce is characteristic of todays business world WLANs give mobile workers freedom while allowing them to access network resources Flatter organizations: WLANs give team-based workers ability to access network resources needed while collaborating in team environment

Wireless Advantages and Disadvantages: Advantages (continued)

Easier and Less Expensive Installation: Installing network cabling in older buildings difficult and costly
Wireless LAN is ideal solution Eliminating need for cabling results in cost savings
Significant time savings as well

Allows offices to reorganize easily

Increased Reliability: Wireless LAN technology eliminates certain types of cable failures and increases overall network reliability

Wireless Advantages and Disadvantages: Advantages (continued)

Disaster Recovery: Documented disaster recovery plan vital to every business
Hot site: Off-site facility that can run businesss operations if primary site is not available
Generally maintained by third party Expensive

Cold site: Customer provides and installs equipment

Many businesses use cold sites and WLANs as major piece of disaster recovery plan No consideration given to network cabling

Wireless Advantages and Disadvantages: Disadvantages

Security: Wireless signals broadcast in open air
Security for wireless LANs is prime concern
Unauthorized users might access network War driving Attackers might view transmitted data Employees could install rogue access points Attackers could easily crack existing wireless security Older wireless products have very weak security features


Wireless Advantages and Disadvantages: Disadvantages (continued)

Radio Signal Interference: Signals from other devices can disrupt wireless transmissions
Or wireless device may be source of interference for other devices e.g., Microwave ovens, elevator motors, photocopying machines, theft protection devices, cordless telephones Solution: Locate source of interference and remove

Health Risks: Wireless devices emit RF energy

Not known if or to what extent low levels of RF might cause adverse health effects

Wireless devices and technologies enable users to roam almost anywhere and remain connected to data and voice networks A WLAN, also known as Wi-Fi, functions the same as a standard wired network except devices send radio frequency signals through the air instead of being connected to the network by cabling Bluetooth devices communicate using small radio transceivers called radio modules that are built into microprocessor chips

Summary (continued)
Two popular technologies are WiMax and free space optics (FSO) Handheld devices can send and receive wireless signals using the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications technology RFID tags function as electronic barcodes Wireless personal area networks (WPANs) cover technologies where the transmission generally extends only a few meters or feet, whereas wireless local area networks (WLANs) are generally restricted to 112 meters (375 feet)

Summary (continued)
Wireless LAN applications can be found in industries in which employees need the freedom to conduct business without being confined to a specific location Wireless LANs have significant advantages, including increased mobility, easier and less expensive network installations, increased network reliability, and disaster recovery Some of the disadvantages of wireless LANs include security, radio signal interference, and health concerns