Client Offsets: The Six Inch Square Challenge

Designing WLAN's is a pretty tricky business at the best of times, but trying to design a WLAN that works well for all clients is hard as they vary so wildly in terms of form-factor, wireless chip-sets, antenna counts and a plethora of other factors that mean they all see the wireless world in their own annoyingly unique way. The upshot of this is that when designing a WLAN we have to spend time trying to figure out how well (or badly) each client-type we need to support in our design sees our proposed wireless network. In simple terms, some will "hear" it more clearly than others due to their better antennas, build and sensitivity. A wise man once said that we should design our networks for our "most important, least capable" devices (...don't let him hug you, he WILL squish you). Once we've figured this device out, we have to work out the offset between our client of choice and our survey equipment or RF modelling software. To get this "offs

Wiperf: A wireless client performance probe mode on the WLAN Pi

I've had a number of occasions when it would have been really useful to deploy a wireless client device on a WLAN to monitor performance over time from a client perspective. Too often, when troubleshooting a wireless network, everything looks fine from the data provided by your infrastructure kit, but the user experience is a whole different story. Unfortunately, when this requirement has arisen, persuading anyone in the organization in which I was working to invest in a wireless probe-type solution has been an uphill battle. Around 18 months ago I got to the point when working on an issue that I could not progress and had no choice but to roll my own rudimentary client probe solution. It was a Python script installed on a Raspberry Pi acting as a client on a particular SSID that was having issues. It reported wireless connectivity data and a few client tests (e.g. speedtest & ping) to a Google spreadsheet. The same code also ran on a WLAN Pi, so that I could have two pro

How to Burn a New Image on Your WLAN Pi

I'm often asked how to burn a new image on to the WLAN Pi, so thought a video might be useful for anyone who wants to update their WLAN Pi image. When we release new code for the WLAN Pi, it's released as a single image file that needs to be burned on to the micro-SD card of the WLAN Pi. This video provides a practical demonstration of the process.  Here are the links for the web sites shown in the video: Direct link to Youtube video: WLAN Pi image repo: balena Etcher web site: Get the micro-SD to USB adapter:

How to blog, win friends and influence people...

I was very fortunate to receive an award for my blog recently from the Cisco-sponsored IT Blog Awards . I also recently remembered an article I wrote quite some time ago for publication elsewhere that never made it to the presses. I thought it would be kind of appropriate to publish it myself to share what I've learned over the past 9 years or so of blogging. It will hopefully encourage others to sharpen their virtual pencils, helping them to learn, get their name "out there" and contribute to the wider community. Apologies for the length of the article, but I can't help myself when it comes to detail...sorry!   I was originally motivated to set up my own blog in 2011 after reading the articles of people like Andrew Von Nagy, Devin Akin and Keith Parsons. I was in awe of their depth of knowledge, and the fact they were performing such a valuable altruistic act, freely sharing their valuable knowledge and content. I was also starting to gain more real-w

My favourite WinFi features

Ealier this year myself and a few other Wi-Fi pros were lucky enough to be asked to provide some input to a new Wi-Fi scanner application being created by Helge Keck . He called the tool "WinFi" and has now released as a free tool for Windows 10. WinFi is a feature-packed application that has many pro-level functions that have quickly made it the Wi-Fi scanner of choice on Windows for many wireless LAN pros. I thought I'd take a few minutes to run through the operation of WinFi and highlight some of my favourite advanced features that you may not have seen yet within the application by creating the video below:   References Application home page Video Link Helge Keck on Twitter

Using the WLANPi as a wireless serial console

One lesser-known feature we added to the WLANPi image in v1.7 is Wi-Fi console that provides a wireless serial console. As this isn't too widely known, I thought I'd put a video together about it.  The Wi-Fi console feature allows you to hook up a serial cable to the serial port of a piece of nework equipment, then get your WLANPi to broadcast out an SSID you can join from a nearby location. You can then fire up terminal emulation software on your laptop and access the serial port on the nework equipment from a more comfortable location. Note this is a standard part of the WLANPi image since v1.7 - you do not need to install any additional packages, just follow the instructions in this video to flip your WLANPi in to Wi-Fi console mode. References YouTube Video GitHub repo & further information

Understanding Wireless Client Throughput From a Wireshark Capture

I recently created a  video to look at how we understand the data throughput of a wireless client from an over the air Wireshark capture. We take a look at using the I/O Graph feature in Wireshark to achieve this. You can view the video below: References: YouTube video link Metageek Wireshark profile