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CWAP-402 Study Guide Released

Certified Wireless Analysis Professional

Hey what’s up everyone. In today’s episode we talk about TP-Link discovering what it’s like to ignore DFS, Google Fiber going Wireless?, Data frame slicing with Airtool, and CWAP exam gets updated and so does the study guide.

TP-Link Settles $200k with FCC for ignoring DFS and power limits

FCC reaches settlement of $200k with TP-Link for selling Wifi routers that ignore DFS requirements and power limits. This sounds very careless for a networking company. Is this what we accept now as hardware from these companies. Maybe TP-Link thought they could get away from it, or maybe an engineer wasn’t aware of the FCC regulations. But is this what we expect with inexpensive hardware? I don’t think so. Along with the fine, TP-Link has agreed to work with the open-source community to allow consumers to install third-party firmware on TP-Link routers.

This is a good move in my opinion but unprecedented from the FCC. This is a great way to move our wireless industry into embracing open-source.

Google Plans to Extend Fiber Into Wireless

CFO, Ruth Porat, said that Google Fiber would be exploring wireless due to the acquisition of Webpass. This was mentioned in Alphabet’s 2nd quarter earnings call. Why in the world would Google Fiber go into wireless? The main obvious reason I can think of is cost. It’s much cheaper to use hardware that costs a fraction of the cost of digging up fiber. Not to mention the labor costs of doing the work.

I think this is an interesting turn of events as Google Fiber now becomes fiber over the air. I can see the marketing lingo now….

Latest Airtool Update Gives Us Data Frame Slicing

Airtool is one of my favorite apps on OSX. It allows me to capture wireless frames using my built-in wireless adapter. But in doing so, some of these captures can take up precious hard disk space.

What Adrian Granados has done is enabled a feature to just grab the beginning of the frame and discarding the rest. What you have left is the 802.11 MAC headers.

Check out the latest update.

CWAP-402 Exam Released

The latest update to CWAP from CWNP is CWAP-402. It is 90 minutes and contains 60 questions. It is available now to test and has been available since June 28 2016.

Certified Wireless Analysis Professional

CWAP-402 brings changes to 5 subject areas.

Tom Carpenter has hinted that Troubleshooting is a big part of the exam from the CWAP update webinar.

These are the objectives.

5% – Troubleshooting Processes
25% – 802.11 Communications
15% – WLAN hardware
35% – Protocol and Spectrum Analysis
20% – Troubleshooting Common Problems

Troubleshooting processes is a very small chunk of the exam at 5%.

Focuses on a troubleshooting methodology. Mentions of industry and vendor recommended processes. Not sure how vendor neutral this sounds.
But with any troubleshooting process, OSI Model is mentioned. Just remember that Wireless is at the Data Link and Physical Layer.
May mention of Wireshark and Omnipeek as well as the tools baked into OS such as command line using ping and traceroute.

At 25% is 802.11 Communications.

This sounds like the MAC Layer Frame Formats and Technologies AND 802.11 Operation and Frame Exchanges from the previous exam. Looking at 802.11 communications from a troubleshooting perspective. Understand the frame exchanges when a device tries to join a BSS. Getting as detailed as finding out why a device would fail to join a BSS. Learn the different frame formats – management, control, and data. Learn the PHY header and preamble and why a device would have issues on a BSS because of the header and preamble.

15% is WLAN hardware.

Troubleshooting client devices and their issues connecting to wifi which includes dealing with drivers, security settings, and other configuration settings available on different drivers. There’s troubleshooting via protocol analysis using a tool such as wireshark. Do you know how to set up that application and look at wireless frames. There’s troubleshooting the spectrum using a spectrum analyzer. Do you know how to identify common interference sources. Other troubleshooting aspects include why APs can’t power up so we’re looking at PoE.

35% for Protocol and Spectrum Analysis.

Beginning with the basics of hardware and software protocol analysis, features of protocol analyzers, how to install and configure them, capture traffic and analyze them. On the spectrum analyzer side, again going over hardware and software spectrum analyzers, terminology that is used amongst different spectrum analyzers, features included in applications such as Spectrum XT and Chanalyzer, creating reports from your findings, and how spectrum analyzers integrate with your wifi adapter. Of course you should know how to use a spectrum analyzer by finding different forms of interference.

20% reserved for Troubleshooting Common Problems

This one is new for the CWAP. An obvious focus on troubleshooting. It may sound funny on a wireless analysis exam but you will need to know some wired issues with DNS, DHCP, switch configurations and WLAN controller access. These issues relate to services wireless clients use. Other common issues tackled are co-channel and adjacent channel interference, noise, hidden nodes, and more.

Just reading through the objectives it sounds like this may be an easier exam than the previous version but we’ll see how people react. Version 2 objectives are a lot more shorter than the previous.

CWNP Releases New CWAP Material

With the latest revision of the CWAP exam now comes the latest study guide. The author is Tom Carpenter of CWNP. The technical review is Lee Badman who I interviewed on the podcast back on Episode 13.

It’s available on Amazon in print and on Kindle. If you’d like to support the podcast, you can purchase this book on Amazon.

There’s a total of 8 chapters:

  • Troubleshooting Processes
  • 802.11 Communications
  • 802.11 Frames
  • WLAN Hardware
  • Protocol Analysis
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Wired Issues
  • Common WLAN Issues

It would be beneficial to do a lot of packet captures with wireshark to help follow along with the book and get hands on. If you can, get ahold of a spectrum analyzer as well.

I use the Metageek Chanalyzer with the dBx dual-band adapter. Another popular spectrum analyzer that can be used alongside this study guide is AirMagnet Spectrum XT.

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Rowell, CWNE #210, is a network engineer in Higher-Ed. He enjoys working with wireless networking technologies and loves to share and engage with the community. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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