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CWNA Wireless LAN Administration

Course Code: CWL010
Length: 5 Days
Tuition: $2,874.00

Schedule for this Course

There are no dates scheduled for this course.
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Course Description:

The Enterprise Wireless LAN Administration 4.0 course, whether in an academic format or a 5-day fast-track format, provides the networking professional a complete foundation of knowledge for entering into or advancing in the wireless networking industry. From basic RF theory to 802.11 frame exchange processes, this course delivers hands-on training that will benefit the novice as well as the experienced network professional.


Basic networking knowledge, including OSI model and IP subnetting

Course Outline:

Hands-on Lab Exercises

Spectrum Analysis

This lab is designed to familiarize the student with a laptop-based spectrum analyzer, specifically covering the following areas:

  • Swept Spectrogram
  • Real Time FFT
  • FFT Duty Cycle
  • Channel Utilization
  • Interference with Wi-Fi Channels
  • Interfering Device Discovery

In the first sections of this lab, students will install the spectrum analyzer software followed by loading the pre-recorded spectrum captures for review as a class. In the last section of this lab, the instructor may optionally do a live capture of the RF environment for classroom discussion purposes. Doing a live capture requires spectrum analysis hardware (typically a USB or CardBus radio adapter).

Wireless LAN Security

This lab is built around measuring WLAN throughput under various circumstances and is separated into three sections:

  • Section A: Greenfield mode throughput (802.11b vs. g vs. a vs. n)
  • Section B: Mixed mode throughput
  • Section C: Adjacent and co-channel interference

Understanding the speeds and feeds of all Wi-Fi technologies is crucial to optimizing WLAN installations, applications, and good network design. This lab demonstrates the varying throughputs for Wi-Fi connectivity standards by using FTP to transfer large files from client devices to servers. You will see and compare actual throughputs of each different standard technology and the impact of using mixed technologies.

Using Laptop Analyzers

This lab is focused on the use of laptop analyzers for WLAN discovery and protocol analysis. Understanding security and performance related protocol analysis will aid the WLAN administrator in policy compliance, proper implementation, and troubleshooting. The following steps will be covered in this lab exercise.

  • Installing and configuring a WLAN discovery tool.
  • Installing and configuring a laptop protocol analyzer
  • Locating 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WLANs
  • Capturing and analyzing Management, Control, and Data frames
  • Capturing and analyzing a WPA2-Personal authentication
  • A protocol analyzer is provided on the student CD

Site Survey

Two specific classes of site survey methodology exist and are used in the WLAN market today. This exercise is separated into two sections identifying each methodology:

  • Section A: Manual site surveys (sometimes called the walkabout)
  • Section B: Predictive analysis (sometimes called automated site surveying)

Within each class exist two distinct categories. Manual site surveying can be categorized as active mode or passive mode, one or both modes can be used at any given time.

Predictive analysis software tools are based on a mathematical model of a facility blueprint and can be performed in two distinct ways. First, importing an AutoCAD (vector graphic) drawing allows the predictive analysis software tool to understand detailed complex layers of a facility’s construction, including wall attenuation, attenuation between floors, and channel interference. Second, importing of raster graphics, such as .jpg or .bmp, allows for faster but often less accurate modeling.

Neither methodology is 100% accurate, since each has its own individual weaknesses. Used together, the surveyor can create a more complete RF snapshot of any facility.

In this exercise, students will conduct both manual and predictive analysis surveying, using software and hardware tools (determined by the instructor or specific class needs).

Basic WLAN Security

The Wi-Fi Alliance has standardized security mechanisms for SOHO and enterprise environments. Two distinct classes of security mechanisms exist:

  • WPA compliant
  • WPA2 compliant

Within each class are two categories: Personal and Enterprise. WPA implies a pre-802.11i snapshot that addresses only TKIP encryption. WPA2 implies 802.11i compliant CCMP (default) and/or TKIP. Enterprise implies the use of 802.1X/EAP authentication mechanisms, and Personal implies that passphrases are the authentication mechanism being used.

Wi-Fi Alliance security mechanisms are only applicable at Layer 2 of the OSI model. Other security mechanisms for WLANs exists such as VPNs and secure applications, but this lab exercise addresses only those security mechanisms provided by the 802.11-2007 standard.

Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems

This lab is focused on Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS). WIPS are known for three specific functions: security monitoring, performance monitoring, and reporting. In this lab exercise, we will focus only on security monitoring and reporting. Areas of particular interest include:

  • Installation and configuration of WIPS
  • Properly classifying authorized, rogue/unauthorized, and external/interfering access points or clients
  • Event monitoring and notification
  • Identifying and mitigating rogue devices


Although WIPS can identify, and often act upon, hundreds of wireless attacks, we will only use one type of common attack in this lab exercise to demonstrate WIPS functionality. If time permits, the instructor may perform additional attacks that can be recognized and perhaps mitigated.

Course Outline

The following list contains the materials covered in the lecture portion of the course.

Introduction to 802.11 WLANs

  • Discuss the standards organizations responsible for shaping the 802.11 Wireless LAN protocol
  • Learn how standards compliance is enforced for 802.11 WLAN vendors
  • Examine the 802.11 standard and various amendments
  • Discuss additional networking standards that are commonly used to enhance 802.11 WLANs

Radio Frequency Fundamentals

  • Physical aspects of RF propagation
  • Types of losses and attenuation that affect RF communications
  • Types of modulation and coding schemes (MCS) used for 802.11 communications
  • How channels and bandwidth are related to each other in wireless networks
  • Types of Spread Spectrum used in wireless networking

RF Power Output Regulations

  • Understand international, regional, and local RF spectrum management organizations
  • Understand RF channels in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency ranges
  • Understand how power output limitations are enforced by the FCC for Point-to-Multipoint (PtMP) and Point-to-Point (PtP) wireless connections

Power over Ethernet

  • Recognize the two types of devices used in Power over Ethernet (PoE)
  • Recognize the differences between the two types of Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE)
  • Understand the two ways in which power can be delivered using PoE
  • Understand the importance of planning to maximize the efficiency of Power over Ethernet
  • Understand the two standards currently available for PoE
  • Powering 802.11n APs

Basic WLAN Analysis

  • Protocol Analysis
  • 802.11 Frame Types
  • Data Frames
  • Control Frames
  • Management Frames
  • Protection Mechanisms
  • Legacy Power Saving operations
  • Transmission Rates

Coordinating 802.11 Frame Transmissions

  • Differences between CSMA/CD and CSMA/CA
  • Distributed Coordination Function (DCF)
  • Network Allocation Vector (NAV)
  • Clear Channel Assessment (CCA)
  • Interframe Spacing (IFS)
  • Contention Window (CW)
  • Quality of Service in 802.11 WLANs
  • Point Coordination Function (PCF)
  • Hybrid Coordination Function (HCF)

RF Math and System Operating Margin

  • RF units of measure
  • Basic RF mathematics
  • RF signal measurements
  • Understand link budgets

802.11 Service Sets

  • Three types of service sets defined for use within 802.11 WLANs
  • 802.11 authentication and association
  • 802.11 network infrastructure
  • Roaming within a WLAN
  • Load-balancing as a method to improve congestion in WLANs
  • The 802.11n Amendment

Challenges addressed by 802.11n

  • 802.11n PHY/MAC layer enhancements
  • MIMO and SISO systems
  • 802.11n coexistence mechanisms
  • 802.11n integration and deployment considerations
  • 802.11n site surveying and analysis

Wireless LAN Operation

  • WLAN Hardware Devices
  • WLAN Software
  • Architecture Types and Evolution
  • Ad Hoc & Infrastructure Connectivity Operation
  • AP Modes
  • Bridging & Repeating
  • Mesh Networking
  • WLAN Controller Deployments
  • WLAN Profiles
  • Multichannel Architecture (MCA)
  • Single Channel Architecture (SCA)
  • WLAN Management Systems (WNMS)

WLAN Security

  • The Importance of WLAN Security
  • Security Policy
  • Legacy WLAN Security Mechanisms
  • Modern WLAN Security Mechanisms
  • Baseline WLAN Security Practices

Site Surveying

  • Defining an RF site survey
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Types of RF site surveys
  • Manual RF site surveys
  • Predictive Modeling
  • Dense AP deployments


  • Types of antennas and antenna systems commonly used in 802.11 WLANs
  • Antenna Polarization and Gain
  • Antenna implementation and safety
  • Types of antenna cables, connectors, and other accessories

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