Wireless Networks: First-Step


Your First-Step into the World of Wireless Networks

  • No experience required!
  • Gain an understanding of wireless networking basics with this reader friendly guide
  • The first book anyone should read about wireless networks with step-by-step instruction
  • Learn from an author experienced in and known for writing to a generalist wireless audience ...
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Your First-Step into the World of Wireless Networks

  • No experience required!
  • Gain an understanding of wireless networking basics with this reader friendly guide
  • The first book anyone should read about wireless networks with step-by-step instruction
  • Learn from an author experienced in and known for writing to a generalist wireless audience with a clear, simple-to-understand style

As a basic introduction to wireless networking, Wireless Networks First-Step assumes that readers have no previous wireless experience. The book provides an overview of wireless networking, along with details of applicable standards and technologies. Newcomers to wireless technologies will find practical information along with an abundance of examples. Case studies throughout the chapters provide real-world implementation examples, presented in a non-technical fashion. Implementation details are discussed only to the extent that readers can identify what type of wireless network may be appropriate for their needs.

Wireless Networks First-Step, written by Jim Geier, begins with a basic introduction to wireless networks and an explanation of radio wave communications. It then reviews different types of wireless networks including WPANs (wireless personal area networks), WLANs (wireless local area networks), wireless MANs (metropolitan area networks), and WWANs (wireless wide area networks). The final section covers security threats to wireless networks, and solutions to combat these threats.


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587201110
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 7/30/2004
  • Series: First-Step Series
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 1,054,281
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Geier is the founder and principal consultant of Wireless-Nets, Ltd. He has authored several books including Wireless LANs, Wireless Networking Handbook, and Network Reengineering. The author's residence is Yellow Springs, OH.

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Table of Contents


1. The Wireless World: An Introduction to Concepts.

Wireless Networks Defined.

Wireless PANs.

Wireless LANs.

Wireless MANs.

Wireless WANs11.

Drawing the Line13.

Wireless Network Applications.

Basic Configurations.

Internet Access.

Voice over Wireless.

Inventory Control.

Health Care.


Real Estate.


Field Service.

Field Sales.


Public Networks.

Location-Based Services.

Wireless Network Benefits.

Increasing Efficiency and Accuracy.

Improving Reliability.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

2. Wireless System Architecture: How Wireless Works.

Wireless Network System Components.


Computer Devices.


Air Medium.

Wireless Network Infrastructures.

Management Systems.

Network Architecture.

Information Signals.

Digital Signals.

Analog Signals .

Flow of Information Through a Wireless Network.

End Points of Information Flow.

Inputting, Storing, and Displaying Information.

Interfacing with the Air Medium.

Transferring Wireless Data Signals.

Connecting with the Wireless Network Infrastructure.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

3. Radio Frequency and Light Signal Fundamentals: The Invisible Medium.

Wireless Transceivers.

Understanding RF Signals.

RF Signal Attributes.

RF Signal Pros and Cons.

RF Signal Impairments.

Understanding Light Signals.

Light Signal Attributes.

Light Signal Pros and Cons.

Light Signal Impairments.

Modulation: Preparing Signals for Propagation.

Frequency Shift-Keying.

Phase Shift-Keying.

Quadrature Amplitude Modulation.

Spread Spectrum.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing.

Ultrawideband Modulation.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

4. Wireless PANs: Networks for Small Places.

Wireless PAN Components.

User Devices.

Radio NICs.

USB Adapters.


Wireless PAN Systems.

Home and Small Office.


Wireless PAN Technologies.




Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

5. Wireless LANs: Networks for Buildings and Campuses.

Wireless LAN Components.

User Devices.

Radio NICs.

Access Points.




Wireless LAN Systems.

Home and Small Office Wireless LANs.

Enterprise Wireless LANs.

Public Wireless LANs.

Ad Hoc Wireless LANs.

Wireless LAN Technologies.




Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

6. Wireless MANs: Networks for Connecting Buildings and Remote Areas.

Wireless MAN Components.


Directional Antennae.

Wireless MAN Systems.

Point-to-Point Systems.

Point-to-Multipoint System.

Packet Radio Systems.

Wireless MAN Technologies.

802.11 and Wi-Fi.


Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

7. Wireless WANs: Networks for Worldwide Connections.

Wireless WAN Components.

Wireless WAN User Devices.

Radio NICs.

Base Stations.


Wireless WAN Systems.

Cellular-Based Wireless WANs.

Space-Based Wireless WANs.

Wireless WAN Technologies.

Frequency Division Multiple Access.

Time Division Multiple Access.

Code Division Multiple Access.

Spatial Division Multiple Access (SDMA).

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

8. Wireless Network Security: Protecting Information Resources.

Security Threats.

Traffic Monitoring.

Unauthorized Access.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks.

Denial of Service.



Wi-Fi Protected Access.

Virtual Private Networks.


802.11 Authentication Vulnerabilities.

MAC Filters.

Authentication Using Public Key Cryptography.


Security Policies.

Assessment Steps.

Common Security Policies.

Chapter Summary.

Chapter Review Questions.

Appendix A. Answers to Chapter Review Question.



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2004

    It's a Start...

    I was recently tasked with creating a wireless network in our test lab. I managed to stumble through and ended up creating a very secure wireless network. However, throughout the process, I kept finding myself wishing I had more information on the technology. Not knowing the vocabulary made the process harder than necessary and I ended up with a lot of 'what' and 'why' questions that needed to be answered. Wireless networking is a growing market, and Cisco even recently added Enterprise Wireless Mobility to their new CCIE blueprint, so I figured I had better get it into my repertoire pronto. To begin filling in those gaps, I picked up Wireless Networks First-Step (ISBN 1-58720-111-9) from Cisco Press. The book itself is a bit light, at only 200 pages, and is divided into 8 short chapters. The author, Jim Geier, attempts to introduce the material without getting overly technical. He doesn't make this a riveting read, by any stretch, and will probably lose most CIO types by the middle of the second chapter. The book claims to be for everyone interested in wireless networking, but I don't see it working for anyone above the 'manager of engineers' level. This is primarily due to the presence of the unavoidable chapter on radio frequencies and modulation. I found it very interesting, but I know that the average non-technical manager is going to glaze right over and shut down. The chapters on the individual technologies (PAN, LAN, MAN, WAN) are interesting. I'd like to have seen a lot more material on Wireless LANs, since that is the area most engineers are going to actually deal with in their own networks. The final chapter, covering wireless security, is probably the best in the entire book. It answered many of the questions I had about the various security protocols I was implementing. For instance, I knew WEP was weak, but didn¿t know why precisely. The security chapter really brought the reasoning home. My overall feeling on this book is that it is a little light to be list priced at $29.95. The sister books in the series are all around 400 pages for this price. Maybe the newness of the technology makes this book so light, or perhaps the mission can be accomplished in 200 pages, but you shouldn't charge the same for half the material. I felt that the author offered all the necessary information about wireless technologies, but virtually none about the actual implementation of those technologies. Perhaps that is where the other 200 pages went. I also would have like to have seen more references to other sources of information on these wireless technologies. The aim of these first-step books should be to whet your appetite for more, and this book doesn't really do that. I give this book a score of 3 pings on my 5 ping rating scale. I'd give it 4 if it was $19.95. !.!.!

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