Deploying Wireless Lans / Edition 1

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Wireless LANs Are On the Rise. Are You Prepared to Seize the Opportunity?

Here is the network professional's guide to the new standards, products, and broadband options that make wireless networks as fast and reliable as wired ones.

Wireless LANs are on the brink of living up to their promise of mobility, speed, ease of installation, and lower cost of ownership as compared to wired ones. Recent market drivers such as the newly adopted 802.11b standard for improved data rates, new product classes, better pricing, and emerging broadband access markets for home and business have ushered in the era of wireless LANs. And network managers suddenly need to know all about them — what they're good at, how to operate them, and what to buy.

In Deploying Wireless LANs, Gil Held clearly and thoroughly explains how to plan and build wireless LANs capable of supporting mobile devices and applications. Gil, the author of over 20 books, uses a straightforward, jargon-free style — and no background in radio frequency engineering is necessary to understand it all.

Packed with easy-to-understand information, Deploying Wireless LANs:

  • Covers 802.11a, Home RF, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi
  • Details how to make your 802.11 LAN fully compliant with 802.3 and Bluetooth
  • Explains common access points and how they're changing LAN options
  • Introduces basic transmission troubleshooting techniques

This is a must-have resource for network managers and integrators, mobile device vendors, access providers and anyone else who wants to ride the upcoming wireless LAN wave.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071380898
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 12/1/2001
  • Series: McGraw-Hill Telecom Professional Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 0.70 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface xv
Acknowledgments xvii
1 Introduction to Wireless LANs 1
Overview 3
Operation 3
Network Configurations 4
Roaming 6
Extension Points 6
Communications Methods 8
Infrared 8
Microwave 9
Radio Frequency 9
Benefits 11
Utilization 11
Hospital Use 12
College Use 13
Inventory Control 13
Internet Access 14
Training Centers 14
Facilitating Networking 15
Trade Show Use 15
Benefits 16
Constraints 17
Book Preview 18
Terminology and Technology 19
Understanding Wireless LAN Modulation 19
Understanding Wireless LAN Communications Systems 20
Wireless LAN Hardware 20
IEEE Wireless LAN Standards 21
Installing a Wireless LAN 22
The Home RF Standard 22
The Future 22
2 Terminology and Technology 23
Basic Communications Concepts 24
Powers of Ten 25
Frequency 26
Wavelength 27
The Frequency Spectrum 29
Bandwidth 32
Power Measurements 32
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 37
Transmission Rate Constraints 41
Nyquist Relationship 42
Radio Frequency Spectrum Allocation 45
U.S. Spectrum Allocation 46
Applications 49
Other Transmission Impairments 50
Basic Wireless LAN Components 51
Path Loss 52
Multipath Propagation 56
Fading 57
Enhancing Signal Reception 58
3 Understanding Wireless LAN Modulation 61
Basic Modulation Methods 62
Rationale 62
Modulation Process 63
Amplitude Modulation 64
Frequency Modulation 65
Phase Modulation 67
Wireless LAN Modulation Methods 74
DSSS Modulation 75
Differential Binary Phase Shift Keying (DBPSK) 75
Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DQPSK) 76
Complementary Code Keying (CCK) QPSK 78
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) Modulation 79
Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK) 79
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) Modulation 80
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) 82
4 Wireless LAN Communications Systems 85
Spread Spectrum Communications 86
Development Rationale 86
General Operation 87
Spread-Spectrum Methods 88
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) 89
Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum 91
Regulations 91
Operational Parameters 93
Packet Transmission Capability 94
Hopping Modes 94
Advantages of Use 95
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum 97
Regulation 97
Operation 98
Using the Chipping Code 99
Bandwidth Spreading 100
Advantages of Use 101
Disadvantages 102
Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing 103
Evolution 103
Overview 105
Operation 107
Scrambling and Coding 108
Advantages of Use 110
Disadvantages 110
5 Wireless LAN Hardware 113
Wireless Access Point 114
Evolution 115
Equipment Connection 115
Using a Single Access Point 117
Using Multiple Access Points 118
Wireless LAN Network Cards 123
Wireless Bridges 127
Wireless Router/Gateway 136
6 IEEE Wireless LAN Standards 145
The 802.11 Standards 146
Overview 147
Topology 148
Portals 152
The Physical Layer 152
Modulation 154
Frame Format 155
Hopping Sequence 156
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum 157
Overview 157
Modulation 157
Frequency Allocation 158
Frame Format 158
Infrared 159
Modulation 160
Frame Format 161
The MAC Layer 162
Basic Access Method 162
Minimizing Collisions 163
Interframe Spaces 166
Collision Avoidance 167
Frame Types 167
RTS Frame 177
CTS Frame 177
ACK Frame 178
Operation 179
Joining an Existing Cell 179
Authentication and Association 180
Roaming 180
The 802.11b Standard Extension 182
Overview 183
Operation 183
Modulation 183
The IEEE 802.11a Standard Extension 190
Overview 190
Modulation 191
Frame Format 191
Operation 193
7 Installing a Wireless LAN 195
The SMC Networks Barricade Router 196
Product Overview 196
Features 197
Site Location 198
Wireless Positioning 198
Connectivity Tradeoffs 199
Using WINIPCFG 200
Software Setup 202
Verifying Computer--Router Connectivity 203
Configuring the Router 204
Configuration Options 205
Wireless Settings 216
Return to WINIPCFG 217
The SMC Networks EZ Connect PC Card 218
Driver Installation 219
Configuration Utility 222
Agere Systems Orinoco PC Card 227
Installation 227
The Client Manager 232
Proof of the Pudding 234
8 The Home RF Standard 237
Overview 238
Versions 239
Network Architecture 240
Nodes 240
System Requirements 241
Technical Characteristics 241
FHSS Use 241
Power, Operating Rate, and Modulation 242
Device Support 242
Security 243
Data Compression 244
Home RF Operation 244
The Physical Layer 245
The MAC Layer 245
Frame Duration and Types 246
Frame Operations 247
9 The Future 251
FCC Part 15 Ruling 252
Overview 252
ISM Band Use 253
RF Interference 254
The IEEE 802.11g Standard 255
Backward Compatibility Issues 256
Area of Coverage Consideration 257
The IEEE 802.1x Standard 257
Overview 258
Operation 258
Great Expectations 260
AiroPeek, A Wireless Protocol Analyzer 260
Overview 261
Capturing Traffic 262
Protocol Summary 264
Packet Decoding 265
A Hardware Manufacturers 267
Locating Wireless Equipment on eBay 271
Equipment Location 272
The Bidding Process 277
B Wireless LAN Economics 279
Limited Client-Based Wireless LAN 280
Access Point/Router-Based Wireless LAN 282
Wired LAN Access 283
C Practical Communications Security 285
Glossary 289
Index 303
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A few years ago a popular TV commercial closed with the saying "the future is now." In the wonderful world of data communications the future has arrived in the form of wireless LANs. Once considered a niche technology that was expensive and limited with respect to its data transfer capability, wireless LANs are now reaching into every corner of our lives. If we travel we will more than likely encounter public areas in airports and hotel lobbies equipped with access points that enable us to surf the Web, check e-mail, and perform other activities using our laptop, notebook, or PDA equipped with a compatible wireless LAN adapter. If we check into a hotel, visit a sporting event, or register for a college course, we may also encounter persons using computers with a wireless LAN capability to access data from servers and main-frames by first connecting to an access point on a wired LAN behind the scenes.

The ability to transmit and receive data without having a wired connection frees us to locate computing equipment nearer to the area where it is useful. If you visit a modern big city hotel lobby you may encounter a reception area in the middle of an atrium. Behind the counter a hotel employee has a computer connected to the hotel LAN. However, instead of a wire connection that might require the lobby floor to be dug up, the connection occurs via a wireless LAN. Not only is the connection less expensive but the time required to place the computer into operation behind the reception area is probably a small fraction of the time that would be required to establish a wired connection.

In a university environment it becomes possible to set up regis- tration stations in a gymnasium very rapidly without running cables and having to temporarily tape them to the floor to allevi- ate the potential of students, administrators, and faculty tripping. Similarly, libraries can add and remove workstation connections to the Internet in tandem with special events they may hold.

In a home or apartment environment it is becoming common fo r a digital subscriber line (DSL)or cable modem to be installed to obtain a high-speed broadband access capability. One key nontechnical problem associated with the use of DSL and cable modems is the fact that your existing telephone and cable outlets may not be located in close proximity to your computer. Another related problem is the fact that many homes and apartments have multiple computers. Rather than rewire twisted pair or coaxial cable you can save time, avoid drilling holes in walls, and possibly save some money by installing a wireless LAN.

To day a wireless LAN provides us with the ability to communicate from locations that were previously difficult or impossible to support via wires. In addition, they provide a significant degree of flexibility and allow us to respond to changing requirements in a timely manner. Thus, when you think about networking, you should also think about wireless networking. When you do you will realize that the future is now!

As a professional author I value reader feedback. Although I have attempted to provide practical information throughout this book, I am human. To err is to be human, so if I omitted an area you feel I should have covered, spent too much time on a topic or assumed reader knowledge where a fuller explanation was warranted, please contact me. You can reach me either through my publisher, whose address is included on the jacket of this book or you can contact me via e-mail at

Gilbert Held
Macon, GA

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