I don't understand Wireless certifications.

I need to have this explained to me. Why we even have Wireless certs in the first place. CCNA Wireless, CCNP Wireless, etc. Putting wireless internet into a company doesn't seem like such a huge deal to me. Install a bunch of wireless access points, walk around with a laptop running NetStumbler 0.4.0 or something similar, and that's pretty much it. If you don't have adequate wireless coverage at that point, install more WAPs until you do. What's the big deal?

I think I am missing something significant, there seems to be a rather large gap between my understanding of wireless, and the jobs that feel there is a need for a certification in it.

Comments

  • TacoRocketTacoRocket Member Posts: 497 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I haven't done any wireless certifications *disclaimer*

    But I would imagine certifications like that and the CWNA series

    Is more on the technology behind in, I know from a little studying its more than just install AP and go. You have stuff like WLAN controllers, and other specifics that might be more liking to enterprise. I would check out the blueprint for more info.
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  • Sounds GoodSounds Good Member Posts: 403
    Is the solution to a clogged wired network to just add more switches?
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  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 946 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Is the solution to a clogged wired network to just add more switches?

    OP didn't say that they had a clogged wireless network. OP said if you "don't have adequate wireless coverage" add more AP's, which would be more akin to if you built a new building that didn't have a preexisting wired network so you would have to add wiring and switches to the building.
  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    There is a lot more to wireless technologies than just adding access points. The protocols get complicated really fast.
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    You sound like some of our users who ask why people have jobs in networking -- user got their $15/a month router from Comcast, plugged it in, and was surfing the web within 5 mins. User was able to get it done without even as much as calling Comcast support!! Surely, all network professionals are over paid and can be replaced at anytime. icon_wink.gif

    There's a lot more to wireless than that. And even if there WASN'T, that's still not something that your average joe would be able to do correctly. Then there's the question of what hardware to buy. Wireless security. Wireless design in interestingly designed buildings. Interference. And I'm sure loads more -- I've never taken a wireless course/cert myself, but from seeing wireless roll outs and troubleshooting in multiple companies, I know how much of a pain it all can be.
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  • QordQord Senior Member Member Posts: 631 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Same reason you have any other comparable-level certification, to show that you have acquired a certain level of knowledge about a technology.
    Shoe Box wrote: »
    If you don't have adequate wireless coverage at that point, install more WAPs until you do.

    That mindset is exactly why we need wireless professionals, that's the mindset I had before I took over the wireless network where I work. For a small space with static needs that might be perfectly fine, but what about an outdoor sports stadium where you need huge density or a hospital that requires redundancy or 100% uptime with minimal placement? Also keep in mind that every true WAP needs a wired connection feeding it. As an infrastructure grows and needs change, the cost of just adding more WAPs could quickly become outrageous, unnecessary, and even counter productive if not managed right.

    I'm not advocating the need for certifications here, but more for the implied knowledge that you gain from achieving the certifications.
  • Phileeeeeeep651Phileeeeeeep651 Member Posts: 179 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I haven't worked in Wireless exactly but I spent 5 years in the military dealing primarily with RF. It would be my understanding that it would be like any other technology. In the same way CCNA R&S provides you with the basics of routing and switching, a CCNA wireless would provide you with the basic info on wireless technologies, you gotta learn to crawl before you walk.

    My take on it would be this, I think anyone can come in to an organization, look at a site survey and say add another AP here, BOOM!, problem solved, but not everyone can come in and use knowledge RF, for example, and explain exactly why you aren't getting the most out of your wireless network.
    Working on: CCNP Switch
  • BlackoutBlackout CCENT, CCNA-Security, ITILv3, CompTIA S+, CompTIA A+ Raleigh, NCMember Posts: 512 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Apparently this guy hasn't had to troubleshoot frequency issues in depth. SMH. Wireless is extremely important, if that isn't understood im not sure what to tell you.
    Current Certification Path: CCNA, CCNP Security, CCDA, CCIE Security

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  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    I usually add a linksys from amazon for my mission critical enterprise network. Just connect the power and it miraculously works.
    I heard A+ and Network+ helps a lot in your career.
  • iBrokeITiBrokeIT GICSP, GCIP, GXPN, GPEN, GWAPT, GCFE, GCIH, GSEC, CySA+, Sec+, eJPT Member Posts: 1,289 ■■■■■■■■■□
    NOC-Ninja wrote: »
    I usually add a linksys from amazon for my mission critical enterprise network.

    Don't forget to turn on DHCP too so those Network guys can have some fun and excitement!
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  • Phileeeeeeep651Phileeeeeeep651 Member Posts: 179 ■■□□□□□□□□
    NOC-Ninja wrote: »
    I usually add a linksys from amazon for my mission critical enterprise network. Just connect the power and it miraculously works.

    I had a feeling that's all a CCIE-Wireless would do!icon_cool.gif
    Working on: CCNP Switch
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    One way to view this is via the good ol' OSI model.

    So, yes, IP is still IP whether its on wireless, optic, copper or whatever. But, under IP, it is different.

    If you look at CCNA Route + Switch, that 2nd word gives you a hint - Switch is a layer 2 protocol, and that's where you start to see significant divergence between the wired world and the wireless. So if you say that about 40% of CCNA R+S is dealing with layer 2, then that's a big chunk of what can be different.

    WiFi (or 802.11) is just one of the wireless protocols you might have to deal with. Just like CCNA gives an overview of all those fun serial, frame relay, point to multipoint, coax etc things, an understanding of wireless is going to cover 802.11 and all its substandards, WiMax, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, ZigBee, Celluar Wireless, WHDI, WiGig, UWB, WMANs, RFID, maybe even IR. It will take many of those apart, looking at how they work at the physical level, how antenna work, gain, sidebands, interference, amplifiers, mixers, how different frequencies interact with the environment. And then up the stack to see how frames are composed and how collisions are dealt with, how associations are made, etc etc. You likely also look at the way the RF spectrum is divided and governed and international standards.

    It gets very complex.

    So, it probably is true that in most small environments you don't need much wireless knowledge to get something working, in just the same way that you don't need to have even CCNA R+S to set up a small network. But if you want to do anything a little more sophisticated, then you are going to need to know things, and if someone is paying you money to do these things, they want to know that you can (or at least feel more confident that they aren't wasting money), hence certification.

    As an example, how would you set up a wireless link between two office blocks 1km apart? What would you take into consideration? How would you set up a system that allows courier drivers to track jobs in realtime, and parcel deliveries? What technologies might you use? How would you set up optimal WiFi coverage over multiple floors in a multi-tenant office block? How would you best ensure wireless security?
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  • HondabuffHondabuff Member Posts: 667 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Shoe Box wrote: »
    I need to have this explained to me. Why we even have Wireless certs in the first place. CCNA Wireless, CCNP Wireless, etc. Putting wireless internet into a company doesn't seem like such a huge deal to me. Install a bunch of wireless access points, walk around with a laptop running NetStumbler 0.4.0 or something similar, and that's pretty much it. If you don't have adequate wireless coverage at that point, install more WAPs until you do. What's the big deal?

    I think I am missing something significant, there seems to be a rather large gap between my understanding of wireless, and the jobs that feel there is a need for a certification in it.

    "Any sort of yearly Cisco convention?" Says the guy who asks this question on a Networking Forum. Please step away from the keyboard!
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  • jamthatjamthat Member Posts: 303 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Man, looking through your post history....

    Do some research on these topics before you throw out posts that downplay the years of hard work the guys/gals on here pour into their careers.

    What's on the CCNA/CCNP/CCIE Wireless? You can find information on the four tests required to achieve the CCNP-Wireless cert here (I googled "CCNP Wireless"): CCNP Wireless - IT Certifications and Career Paths - Cisco Systems
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    Wireless is a whole different world.
    Read about the IEEE WCET certification. It will give you a more physical/L1&L2 perspective of wireless.
    meh
  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I met a CCIE Wireless guy (one of the few) and talking to him convinced me that it is a solid path to take. I had to take a class of his and he was very young for a CCIE and was paid well for his specialization.
    And after doing my CCNA Wireless I can say there is a plenty of specific tech/info to deserve its on path.
    Im still going to do the RS side but wireless is very viable.
  • fuz1onfuz1on Member Posts: 961 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was part of an wireless AP upgrade and it was the most difficult project I have been on. OMG - you just don't understand the complexity of attenuation...
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  • Shoe BoxShoe Box Banned Posts: 118
    Octaldump wins for best post in this topic so far.

    Yes, as I said, there's a lot I don't know about wireless certs. The biggest wireless problem I ever had to deal with was a guy who lived in an H shaped house (ranch style with basement, central living room with bedrooms on both sides), with solid brick and rock walls throughout. A real wireless killer!

    The solution ended up being the modem and one wireless WAP at one end, with Ethernet through the attic to a wireless WAP on the other side of the house. Then it was good.
  • devils_haircutdevils_haircut Member Posts: 284 ■■■□□□□□□□
    When you start dealing with environments where you have 10, 20, 50, 1,000 wireless access points, you start to notice how much you DON'T know.

    Frequencies, channels, RF interference, power levels, noise floors, encryption, authentication (RADIUS, WPA2 with PSK's, etc.), QoS...I could go on, and I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to this stuff, but I've had a wide exposure so far. Working for an MSP, I get to touch most major wireless brands out there: Meraki, Aerohive, Cisco, Ruckus, HP....usually between 50-300 AP's in the places I visit, and I still don't really know anything about it, just basic troubleshooting. There's a lot more to wireless than you are thinking.

  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Member Posts: 1,403
    The certifications will help you understand wireless in a bigger picture, not the home wireless or even "deploy an ap and that fixes it. The first question is do you understand the different types of channels.

    You will need more than certifications if you are designing wireless enteprise.

    Ill give you a few scenarios in real world.

    Let's say you are an engineer for 3 hospitals. Each hospitals have 5 floors.
    Their requirements are deploy AP's the all floor of the building, make sure that wifi corp devices that connects to wireless securely uses AAA, protect wireless enterprise, track every users, ad hoc, honey pots, every attackers, show IT sec dept and CISO a map the specific location of an attacker, and wireless should not go down, EVER.

    Now what will happen here is that you would need to design from what kind of APs you need, what is the current network infrastructure/ you need to adapt, what kind of switches you need/POE requirements, can you tie the wlc to ACS to AD? can you implement WLC, prime and MSE? do you know how to design a wireless network? How to separate SECURE wireless and GUEST wireless? Do you know how to design a guest portal? Do you know how to design WLC to core's? Do you know how to separate guest wireless traffic from the core? There's a lot more but I will stop here.

    Home wireless guys just throw an AP. Real wireless guru makes sure your wireless is secured and fkin beautiful.
  • aderonaderon CISSP, CCNA:S, CCNA:R&S, AWS:CSA Assoc, Sec+, Lin+, A+, Net+, Proj+ Member Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    See stage one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence

    The more you learn about a topic, the more you'll learn that you don't know that much about the topic. I think you'll just have to dive into some literature before you'll start to understand the reason why advanced wireless knowledge is important.

    It's kind of like how a layperson who thinks that because their neighbor's kid ran an anti-virus/adware cleaner on their PC, the kid is a "computer security genius."

    Not meaning to be insulting, just maybe a bit enlightening.
    2019 Certification/Degree Goals: AWS CSA Renewal (In Progress), M.S. Cybersecurity (In Progress), CCNA R&S Renewal (Not Started)
  • Shoe BoxShoe Box Banned Posts: 118
    Well, I see now that Wireless certs cover a lot more than is apparent. I figured they did, but never knew how far it went.

    Thanks for the answers.
  • Codeman6669Codeman6669 Member Posts: 227
    Shoe Box wrote: »
    I need to have this explained to me. Why we even have Wireless certs in the first place. CCNA Wireless, CCNP Wireless, etc. Putting wireless internet into a company doesn't seem like such a huge deal to me. Install a bunch of wireless access points, walk around with a laptop running NetStumbler 0.4.0 or something similar, and that's pretty much it. If you don't have adequate wireless coverage at that point, install more WAPs until you do. What's the big deal?

    I think I am missing something significant, there seems to be a rather large gap between my understanding of wireless, and the jobs that feel there is a need for a certification in it.

    That part of your post i just put in bold.
    I will only explain that part of this, so that way you can open your mind to what you may not know.

    Adding Ap's is not always the soluton. If Ap's are too close to each other your devices will not hop or roam between the access points well and your end devices will jump back and forth between the Ap's, or will not be at a usable signal because its attached to another AP that is further from it, rather then the one next to it. In 5ghz this can be more of a big a deal as it dosnt go through walls very well and will have a weak signal which equates to slow speeds and drop outs that are undesirable.

    So far my career in networking has been 85% fixing wireless networks from people that think they can "just put in more Ap's". or even when they are using the wrong band for the environment. Have you looked into a spectrum analyzer? Do you know how to and when to use it? Do you know why it exists? Not saying these things to demean you but wireless is a quite complex. Most people dont realize that. Then you end up on the phone with a guy like me that fixes everything in an hour because I had some good training and opened up some books.

    The worst IT guys are the ones that are convinced there is nothing more to learn then what they already know.
  • chmodchmod Member Posts: 360 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Setup a wireless in a very small office or in rouy house is not difficutl but if you a 10 floors buidling with 50 APs, 5 SSID with several different need each one, then you will realize how important is too understand the full package of wireless.

    When people complain because their wifi get disconnected a connects againg, when they walk from one place to other, when the signal is not strong enough in the outdoor, when you have to choose the right type of antenna and or if it has to be omnidirectional or not, what do you need to server certain amount of users, handover, etc etc in order to comply with a budget and a design.

    Actually a big wireless network is incredibly difficult to design,to maintain(if you dont have the right knowledge) and specially to understand.

    As long as you stick to the small business/house type of wireless project you really can do well by following the wizards and taking notes with netstumbler results, if you need to work in a different type of enviroment where wifi is key for business and the place is huge and has outdoor and indoor needs of wifi plus many networks each one with several different requirements then it becomes difficult.
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I realized how complex and how very important wireless is in the enterprise last year when we supported a telecom company implement it for a client of ours, everyone struggled including the telecom engineers to the point that some even quit. The client had over 130 sites and each run its own IT environment with its own IT people and none of them understood the complexity either, since then i have made it a point to get a deeper understanding with it comes to wireless implementation and not to be caught with my pants down like it happened to all us last year. hilarious and good times ahead. Hopefully i can acquire a cert or two to get me on the right track.
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I lol'd at this thread.
  • twodogs62twodogs62 Member Posts: 393 ■■■□□□□□□□
    At an enterprise level there is a lot to properly implementing wireless.
  • LexluetharLexluethar Member Posts: 516
    I laughed at this as well. There is a lot that goes into an Enterprise class wireless solution - it's not as simple as your home network or small office. Yes you are right, you can add a WAP in a low signal area but there is a ton more that goes into implementing a fully function, secure multi-level wireless solution.

    My experience is mostly with my current employer, but we have a high rise building with 28 floors. We don't own every floor and some floors are separated (IE we own the 18th floor but not 19-21) so creating a truly seamless wireless solution isn't easy. While you have to not only worry about where signals are lowest you need to worry about security, network segmentation, frequency of the access points, every access point needs a LAN connection, ect. Once you figure all of that out then how do your users authenticate? I sure as hell hope if anyone can access that network that it's segmented from your production. If it's all one network how are you parsing out the traffic? I could go on and on but most people have already commented.

    Long story short, for a small office or home you are right - having to do a wireless certification (or knowing that information) is a bit of an overkill. Try to give wireless to 60,000 fans at a football stadium in the open air with elements or try and make one unified wireless solution for a high rise building with other tenants and come back to this thread.
  • HeyEddieHeyEddie Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just a few things:

    1. Wi-Fi, or rather "RF" has nothing to do with routing, or switching. The two are not related.
    2. Deploying Enterpirise wireless is orders of magnitude different than home, or Soho Wi-Fi.
    3. The fact that you do not understand simply adding APs DOES NOT add capacity, if you don't have channel reuse, shows that you have no business deploying enterprise wireless ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    4. Like anything this can all be learned by taking the time to study it
    5. While CCNA/P-wireless teaches you about Cisco specific hardware implementation, it DOES NOT teach you how to properly design, and deploy Wi-Fi using RF principals
    6. For anyone wanting to really learn about wireless the CWNP route is the way to go. If you are responsible for maintaining a wireless network you should at the very minimum read the CWNA Study Guide.

    CWNP (Certified Wireless Network Profession)
    CWNA (Certified Wireless Network Adminstrator)
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