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802.11 Wireless LAN Fundamentals

June 29th, 2004

Wireless networks and technologies are no longer a new concept. The freedom of flexibility, increase of productivity and the much sought-after mobility are only few of the benefits that 802.11-based networks provide. This appeals to the enterprise and home users to take the next step and deploy a wireless network onto their network and business infrastructure. To ensure a seamless integration and deployment, Cisco has encompassed all the necessary and relevant information into one small and useful book.



Authors: Pejman Roshan, Jonathan Leary

Pages: 312

Publisher: Cisco Press

ISBN: 1587050773

Available for download sample chapter five – “Mobility”.

About the authors

Pejman Roshan is a product line manager with the Wireless Networking Business Unit at Cisco Systems. He manages the Cisco wireless LAN security, network management, and software products.

Jonathan Leary is a product line manager with the Wireless Networking Business Unit at Cisco Systems. His primary focus is the use of wireless LAN technology in outdoor applications.

The Book

The book starts off providing an overview of the fundamental concepts and different flavors of Ethernet networks as an introduction to Wireless networks as there is much similarity between wired and wireless Ethernet networks. The authors then walk through the essential concepts of wireless networks with special attention to the differences between them and their wired counterparts.

Moving on, the book provides extremely comprehensive yet brief – 25 pages long – overview of the Physical Layer and various flavors of Wireless Networks: 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. This part of the book gives the reader a deep enough level of understanding for choosing and deploying the most suitable for his/her needs type of network.

Security has always been an important issue when deploying a new communication technology, but with wireless networks it becomes even much bigger concern. Wireless network security is discussed in the fourth chapter. The authors give an explanation of the various threats inherent to such networks and discuss the mechanisms – such as authentication and encryption – designed to protect Wireless networks from being abused.

The next two chapters deal with mobility and Quality of Service (QoS). Mobility – or roaming – is one of the greatest advantages of the wireless technology since it allows anyone to roam with a wireless-enabled device and pick-up connectivity. The reader gets an explanation on what allows mobility to be successful and the problems introduced by this feature. Next, the authors walk through the issue of QoS for 802.11-based networks.

The final chapters explain the reader how to design and deploy a wireless network in a right way. The issue of conducting a good site survey is also addressed in these chapters including an example and an overview of existing tools, which are necessary for successful survey.

My Opinion

Overall, the book is a great asset for any network professional or anyone just looking for a source of information on deploying wireless networks as it addresses numerous questions and challenges that arise before and during deployment of wireless network in a systematic and clear way.

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