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Showing posts from 2016

Getting Data Out of the Windows ‘netsh wlan show interfaces’ Command

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I recently read a very nice article by Matt Frederick about using a Windows command prompt utility to gain information about what your Windows wireless adapter is up to while connected to a Wi-Fi network ( https://finesine.com/2016/09/17/using-netsh-wlan-show-interfaces-to-monitor-associationroaming/)

In  Matt’s article, he described how he wrapped the ‘netsh’ command into a nice little batch file to run the command regularly, allowing information to be presented in a more dynamic fashion.

I was so impressed with the information provided by the utility, that I decided I’d  try to get the information it provides into a more usable format. In short, I hacked together a Windows Powersell script that runs the ‘netsh’ CLI utility regularly and parses the output data into a CSV format.

By piping the output into a file, you can get a nice CSV file that can be opened in Excel to look at the raw data over a period of time. It’s great for looking at the adapter signal level and BSSID information …

802.3af Is Dead (For Surveys)

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I’ve recently been involved with a project that has brought me into contact with a number of wireless engineers who are performing WLAN survey work using the traditional “AP on a stick” (APOAS) survey method. Yes, there are plenty of people out there who still prefer this method, or have customers who demand it.

One thing that has become apparent is that a number of people are still using power sources (generally a battery pack) for their survey AP that still only supports the 802.3af POE (power over Ethernet) standard.

The time has come for those using these legacy power supplies to make an investment and  upgrade their AP power packs to support the higher power provided by the 802.3at standard. The next generation of wireless access points simply won’t allow the continued use of 802.3af power packs, due to the enhanced power requirements of modern APs.

Background

Until relatively recently, many Enterprise grade wireless access points have been able to work with the power budget imposed …

How Fast Is My Wi-Fi Client?

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In the Wi-Fi For Beginners podcast, I've spent a lot of time talking about WLAN clients. Understanding their characteristics, capabilities and behavior is crucial when designing and deploying a wireless LAN. Without understanding the clients on your network, you will not be able to anticipate their demands on your WLAN infrastructure and the level of performance that you will be able to realistically be able to provide to end users.

The discussion about WLAN clients is fairly extensive and spans a number of episodes as this is such an important topic. In the podcast I highlight the importance of understanding the capabilities of the clients that connect to a WLAN. Just because you buy yourself a nice new shiny smartphone that (you hope) supports 802.11ac, doesn't mean you are going to get 1.3Gbps of throughput when you hook it up to your Wi-Fi network. Unless you understand its capabilities in terms of 802.11 amendment support, number of streams available etc., then you can ne…