Where is the best place to start to learn Wi-Fi?

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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David, now that we've talked about networking backgrounds and some important essentials. Where would you start the journey to actually learn Wi-Fi?
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Tom Carpenter

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Posted 4 years ago

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David Coleman, Official Rep

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Fifteen years ago, I had just been laid-off from my job in the circuit board industry and was looking for work.  I went to a Comdex convention in Atlanta and noticed that vendors such as Cisco, Proxim, Orinoco, Symbol and others were shouting about new 802.11 wireless networking technology.  The term “Wi-Fi” had not yet been coined.
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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I always ask people to define "Wireless Fidelity"  - which of course they cannot because it is a non-existant term and Not what Wi-Fi stands for :) 
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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I also came across a booth for the CWNP program.  These guys were a fledgling company that had just created a vendor-neutral certification about 802.11 technologies called Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA).  
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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A few weeks later I attending one of the very first CWNA training classes and began my journey to learning about 802.11 wireless networking, Since then, I always point newcomers to the CWNP program www.cwnp.com as where they should start in learning .
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Tom Carpenter

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Why do you recommend the CWNP program, if I might ask and hope for a great positive answer?

 ;-)

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David Coleman, Official Rep

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There are numerous reasons to start with the CWNP Program, but number one on the list is vendor-neutrality. The certifications are not about how to configure an Aerohive access point or Cisco controllers.  The certifications are about 802.11 technology with a real-world focus on administration, security, design and troubleshooting.
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Joël Stouwdam

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maybe not a question for know..
How far is the CWNP program going.. is RADIUS in it for example?
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Raymond Hendrix

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I have followed the CWNA training, it is part of the training as far as the protocol goes but as radius is implemented slightly different by vendors is does not go into depth
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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The CWSP certification dives very deeply into 802.1X/EAP and RADIUS.
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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Because of the vendor neutrality, the majority of the WLAN vendors highly suggest CWNA training and certification as a prerequisite for there own vendor-specific WLAN training. 
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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A lot of WLAN vendors also try and put their SEs and other key personnel through the courses.  Aerohive, Aruba, Motorola, Ruckus, Xirrus, SpectraLink, Fluke Networks and many more have numerous certified employees.  As far as I know, Cisco does not publically acknowledge the CWNP Program, however, they have umpteen CWNP certified employees. How do I know this?  Well I trained quite a few of them prior to coming to Aerohive five years ago 
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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At Aerohive we already have 5 CWNEs which is the holy grail of CWNP certification.  I cannot speak for the other WLAN vendors but I believe Ruckus has 4 CWNEs.
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Gregor Vucajnk, Official Rep

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We have 6 CWNEs and one all but certified. But who is counting ;).
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David Coleman, Official Rep

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At this point, I would really like to encourage any CWNP certified attendees of this online session, to post about why they started with the CWNP Program and how it has helped their careers.
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Hasso Tepper

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I'm looking at learning more in depth about WiFi. CWNP is in the top of the source without any doubt because of excellent material and vendor neutrality. I can also recommend excellent Matthew Gast books from O'Reilly. But that's pretty much all (of course it is already a lot to work on). I'd gladly here more recommendations.
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Claudiu Trasca

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Hi everyone. CWNP is the recommendation for the wireless field, but I think that starting with what you already have at your disposal is a good start. Going deeper will really need much more.
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Keith Miller

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I moved to a larger utilities company last year. They have a rather large network, including WAN, LAN, and two data centers. They also have wireless everywhere including separate SSIDs for corporate and guest using multiple controllers and thousands of APs. If I went on-call, I was expected to be able to troubleshoot everything at least at a basic level. So I read the CWTS book using my Safari account in April and passed the exam. I just bought the new CWNA book in September and am working through that in my spare time. The information I have learned from both of these books has been invaluable and also sparked an interest I didn't know I had.