WiFi Ninjas

WN Podcast 006 – Stadium WiFi with Ash Georgeson

Isn’t the weather in the UK nice now? It’s not raining. It’s been a while since it has. We can see the sun and it’s amazing!

Welcome to our sixth WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode πŸ™‚

It’s our second interview and we start to love it, as our interviewees do all the hard work when we can just sit, listen to them and sip our earl grey. Jokes aside, we do hope that you guys like listening to the experts in their areas of expertise as much as we do.

Ash is the geekiest WiFi Solutions Architect that we know and spending several years of his career working on projects followed by a few years of being an SA makes Ash a dinosaur in the field. He’s got the looks, great voice and bags full of experience πŸ™‚

Today we have discussed a stadium WiFi design, where Ash has covered quite a few of unique topics, that would hopefully help us all designing wireless for such massive venues.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • Wireless Physical Design
    • Where to mount APs and antennas?
    • As close to the users: overhead > under seat > patches through concrete? > hand rails
    • Antennas types?
    • 2.4 vs 5GHz? Is 2.4 still needed there?
  • Wireless Configuration
    • High Density Optimisations
    • Reserved channels to ensure capacity for non-fans?
      • House keeping, media staff, staff comms, VIPs
    • Rate limiting approach
      • Per client, per SSID, none?
    • Roaming approach
      • Is it a real concern?
  • Apps
    • Apps used by clients
      • Replays, current score, stats etc
      • Social media
      • Order food?
    • Apps used by owners
      • Comms with security and stewards
      • Digital ticketing
      • Queue monitoring
      • Managing building infra
  • Project Lifecycle
    • Project Management of this thing
    • Predictive, pre-deployment and post deployment surveys etc.
    • Liasing with contractors and 3rd parties
    • Additional Testing?
  • LAN & WAN
    • Internet pipe
    • LAN structure
    • Throughput concerns
    • Cabling
  • Security
    • Onboarding
    • Auth
    • What infra used?
    • Encryption
    • Content filtering
    • Additional security features
  • Challenges
    • APs placement / antennas mounting
    • Maintain small cell sizes
    • Bottlenecks
    • Anything else?
  • Tips
  • Lessons learned
    • Things you did right
    • Things you had to spent tons of time fixing
  • Real world usage during games
    • 30-40% uptake?
    • More in media areas?
    • Bandwidth utilisation?
    • Per AP utilisation?

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media πŸ™‚

Cheeeeeers!

WN Podcast 005 – Bad-Fi with Eddie Forero

Hello! Welcome to our fifth WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode πŸ™‚

We are proud to announce, that in this first WiFi Ninjas interview we’ve had a total pleasure speaking with a proper legend of the WiFi industry – Eddie ‘Bad-Fi’ Forero!

Eddie requires no introductions but if for some reason you don’t know Eddie yet, we’re sure you’ve heard of his creation called badfi.com πŸ™‚ He’s also an amazing speaker and teacher, educating tons of fellow wireless enthusiasts from all around the world. Follow Eddie on Twitter @HeyEddie.

We thought we would use this opportunity to discuss the best ways to completely kill your wifi, how to avoid common mistakes and what to look for in this tricky wireless world.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • Bad AP Position, Model, Surroundings, Antenna Choice
    • Two APs right next to each other – does this = high density?
    • AP behind metal cage – this makes it secure right?
    • AP wrapped in a kitchen foil = ready to be baked?
    • Problem? Add more APs!
    • Hide that AP – preferably behind metal mesh ceiling panel or a concrete wall
    • Mount the AP so it could be unmounted easily – plastic straps or hanging off the cable are great
    • Mounting internal omni AP outside? Put it into a document film cover and hang on the screw 30m above the ground
    • AP painted with metal paint – to fit better with surroundings
    • APs mounted under the false metal floor – at least it’s accessible!
  • Bad Radio Config
    • Low Data Rates are your friend
    • Always use 40MHz 2.4GHz / 160MHz 5GHz in high density
    • Are channels 1, 6 and 11 used? Use channel 8!
    • Always use Max Tx
    • Set RX-SOP to high values to ensure your clients drop off mid-roaming
    • Always stick to UNII-1. Even with no DFS nor neighbours
  • Bad Experience:
    • Captive Portal with short session timeout – having to constantly re-log in is fun though?
    • Don’t use 802.11r, v and k – it’s dark magic
    • Got Apple devices on Cisco network? Don’t enable Fastlane
    • Never use QoS
    • Rate limit users and SSIDs, with ultimate choice being disabling high data rates
    • Want to be real secure? Hide that SSID and implement MAC filtering. Make it open.
    • Open plan building so not many APs and 200 clients connected to 1 AP – but coverage is goooooood
  • Bad Security
    • Make that roaming blazing fast with 802.11r on WPA2-Personal
    • Use WEP and WPA, never WPA2 nor WPA3 when it comes out
    • Encourage connecting rogue APs by offering bad corporate WiFi experience and not securing physical ports
    • Don’t validate server cert – mutual auth is an enemy. Bah, steer clear away from 802.1x
    • Don’t waste guests’ time with content filtering
    • Allow p2p in public SSID. And don’t block access to RFC1918
    • Ever considered managing your infra via wireless? Make sure to leave default passwords on
  • Problem?
    • Don’t call Eddie or WiFi Ninjas and simply enjoy the bad wifi experience! πŸ™‚

And that’s it! We hope you’ve had as much fun listening to it as us recording this episode!

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media. Cheeeeers

WN Podcast 004 – Pre-Deployment Survey – 4P Part 2

Welcome to our fourth WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode!

Today we’re going to discuss second survey type of our hot ‘4 Ps’ – Pre-Deployment Wireless Survey.

Just to recap, there 4 main types of wireless surveysL

  • Predictive (Software Simulation)
  • Pre-Deployment (Simulation Validation)
  • Post Deployment (Deployment Validation)
  • Periodic (Healthcheck)

Structure of today’s episode:

  • What is a Pre-Deployment Survey?
    • Predictive Survey Validation, checking if the Predictive Survey is accurate in real-world conditions
    • Simulating new WLAN deployment using AP-on-a-stick
  • What are the benefits and use cases for Pre-Deployment Survey?
    • Targeting greenfield sites that are too difficult or impractical to simulate in Ekahau
    • Prove the RF concept – example: will cross floor leakage between floors through atrium affect RTLS?
    • Ensures all the RF requirements (overlapping, coverage, etc.) are met before the WLAN is even deployed
  • Pre-Deployment Survey Tools
    • AP-on-a-stick
    • Ekahau
    • Predictive Survey Report
  • AP-on-a-stick configuration
    • Sturdy tripod, at least 3m high (but higher is better), can be on wheels
    • Different brackets for different types of APs
    • AP that will be used during the deployment or at least with very similar propagation pattern
    • PoE battery, ideally at least providing 30W 802.3at PoE for newer APs
    • Patch lead to connect the PoE battery to the AP
  • Pre-Reqs:
    • Complete Predictive Survey – see previous episode
    • Plan your day on site – ensure access to relevant areas and that the business knows how your work would look like
    • Sometimes multiple AP-on-a-sticks are required
    • Charge that PoE battery πŸ™‚
    • Take PoE injector with you
  • How do you perform Pre-Deployment Survey?
    • Prepare Ekahau survey – normally an empty project with just a scaled map and building layout
    • Place AP-on-a-stick in a proposed (in a Predictive Survey) new AP location
    • Do a ‘mini’ survey around it ensuring you go as far as the reach of the AP
    • Freeze the AP
    • Repeat for all the relevant APs in an area being subject to Pre-Deployment Survey
    • Create a report showing real heatmaps of a soon-to-be-completed wireless solution
  • Challenges
    • Clunky, heavy and expensive equipment
    • Very time consuming
    • More often than not doesn’t bring too much value to the project but extremely valuable for specific use-cases
    • In most cases a thing of a past, but still notoriously used as a main wifi planning tool by tons of vendor partners and integrators

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media. Cheers!

WN Podcast 003 – Predictive Survey – 4P Part 1

Hello and welcome to our third WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode πŸ™‚

Today we’re going to discuss one of our 4 Ps – Predictive Wireless Survey!

Mac has just moved to Boughton (outskirts of Northampton) and has some wireless coverage issues at home due to BT box sitting 2 floors below the home office. Sorry for the lower than expected quality while the home production network is being looked at πŸ™‚

Situation should improve in two weeks! Thankfully Matt is sounding as great as ever so we hope it will help with positive reception of this recording :]

Structure of today’s episode:

  • Predictive Wireless Survey – What is a Predicative Wireless Survey?
  • RF Design & Simulation
  • What tools do you use to complete this type of survey

What questions should you be thinking about?

  • How many APs and where?
  • What Power and Channels?
  • What APs and Antennas?

On-Site element part to the survey

  • RF Spectrum Analysis – duty cycle and interferers,
  • DFS Check – radar activity potentially affecting 5GHz band,
  • Visual Site Inspection – APs/antennas mounting limitations,
  • Attenuation of Walls and Ceilings – understand wireless propagation.

Off-Site element part to the survey

  • Use data captured on-site to build an Ekahau model of the premise and predict post-deployment RF parameters such as coverage, interference, SNR, channel overlapping, capacity health, data rate, roaming, throughput, redundancy and more.
  • Then use Ekahau reporting to build a beautiful report to provide all this information back to the customer and the cablers!

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media. Cheers!

WN Podcast 002 – Wireless Professional Tools

Hello and welcome to our second WiFi Ninjas Podcast episode πŸ™‚

Today we’re going to discuss wireless professional tools that we use everyday to deliver our work while having some proper fun while doing it.

Mac has moved to Boughton (outskirts of Northampton) and has some wireless coverage issues at home due to BT box sitting 2 floors below the home office. Sorry for the lower than expected quality while the home production network is being looked at πŸ™‚ Situation should improve in two weeks! Thankfully Matt is sounding as great as ever so we hope it will help with positive reception of this recording :]

Download link for WiFi Explorer: Here

Structure of today’s episode:

  • Survey Software
    • Ekahau Site Survey ProSurvey Software
    • 4P
  • 802.11 WiFi Scanning Tools
    • Scanning wifi (802.11) vs non-wifi (spectrum) – both wireless
    • Ekahau with built in WNICs, dongles or Sidekick
    • Metageek inSSIDer (with free version now available)
    • Metageek Eye P.A. (focus on airtime based on captures and tshooting, but also good for basic scanning)
    • Mobile tools (Aruba Utilities on Android, etc.)
    • Wireless controllers
    • Cloud dashboards
  • Wireless Spectrum Analysis Tools
    • Ekahau with dongles (Wi-Spy DBx)
    • Ekahau with Sidekick
    • Cisco AP in SE-connect mode and Cisco Spectrum Expert (free) or MetaGeek Chanalyzer (paid)
    • Metageek Chanalyzer
    • Cloud dashboards
  • Wireless (and wired) Packet Capturing Tools
    • Wireless
      • Cisco AP in sniffer mode
      • Apple laptop
      • Windows laptop with dongle and drivers supporting monitoring mode
      • Savvius Omnipeek with own dongles
      • MetaGeek Eye P.A. with own dongles
      • Wireshark with all above
      • WLANPi (similar to Rasberry Pi) with Comfast dongle – great article by Nigel Bowden
      • 40MHz / 2SS only
      • Ekahau Sidekick soon
    • Wired
      • Wired computer with Wireshark
      • SPAN and RSPAN
      • In-line passive and active packet capture devices
  • Wireless Sensors
    • Cisco Aironet Sensor (requires Cisco DNAC)
    • 7 Signal (vendor agnostic)
    • Others
  • Other tools
    • Cloud dashboards
      • Tshooting
      • Intelligence
      • Historic view
    • Wireless controllers
      • stats, graphs, client debugs, etc.
    • Windows CMD:
      • Run ‘netsh wlan show wlanreport’ in admin CMD and then
      • Go to ‘C:/ProgramData/Microsoft/Windows/WlanReport/wlan-report-latest.html’
      • netsh wlan show interfaces (must be associated)
    • SDA
      • Cisco DNAC
      • Fabric vs non-fabric
      • More intelligence plus automation
    • API
      • Create in house tools
    • More hardware tools
      • DFS logs captures
      • Laser tool
      • Attenuation measure
        • mobile AP (better accuracy)
        • mobile phone (good enough)
      • Laptop harness, gun mouse, comfortable shoes, seagway πŸ™‚

Thanks for listening and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media. Cheers!

WN Podcast 001 – Wireless Podcast Intro

Welcome to our first episode, where we introduce ourselves and talk about the areas we’re going to cover in this podcast πŸ™‚

Your host will be Mac Deryng and Matt Starling – two wireless enthusiasts with bags full of experience.

We are planning to discuss many different topics but as the time passes we’re sure the structure will mature and more content will be added!

Podcast focus:

  • Wireless networks basics
  • RF
  • Surveys
  • Design
  • Integration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Optimisation
  • Captures
  • Tools
  • Interviews
  • Events
  • Trends
  • News
  • And more!
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, feedback, subscribe or follow us on social media. Cheers!