802.11ac Packet Capture and RF Behavior for Client Device Analysis

Joe Bardwell

Wed, 3rd April 2013

Speaker Bio 1:
Joe is the President and Chief Scientist for Connect802, a Corporation involved with wireless data networking design, consulting, resale and other services.

Joe has deep experience with RF spectrum analysis experience; specialized knowledge of network architecture and design; and his organization (for which he is President) Connect802, has wireless patent applications pending; 802.11/802.16 WLAN design; 3-D RF CAD modeling and simulation

We are delighted to have had Joe on the show and hope to have him come back soon, especially to update us on the progress of the security of 802.11ac.

Questions and answers

Max, Concise Courses:
“Regarding speeds, sorry to put a damper on this, but as long as your ISP provider has slow Internet connection, these speed benefits are still constrained by the devices within your home network. So, speed is down to the ISP right?”

Joe Bardwell:
Yes, and let me expand on that. For the cubicle worker on an 802.11ac connection; they will be accessing the Internet on a CAP5-E or CAT 6 Copper Ethernet Cables which has a 1 Gig limit! The CAT 6 limitation is a bottleneck, so for there is going to be a discussion about an improved and more efficient fiber network. We could have another discussion about 802.11ad, which will require an HDMI cable replacement, so there is a speed benefit. A good 802.11g connection in most Internet connection is very good, so 802.11ac would have a benefit in the home environment if I had 11ac monitors for home video for example. If I was streaming Netflix directly to the monitor – that is where 11ac, or in-home audio, will see the greatest advantage.

Max, Concise Courses:
“Do you recommend a particular hardware vendor, who seems to be the pioneer in producing 802.11ac routers?”

Joe Bardwell:
Right now, we know that Linysks, D-Link and Buffalo etc are the best. The chipsets today are still immature with 802.11ac standard. The fact that the standard isn’t finalized is also a moot point, in fact it is close enough. With the consumer grade equipment there is no multi-user MIMO and I am not convinced that they will go to 256-QAM or 160 Mhz channel so right now it is almost a moot question who has the best hard ware, they are all stirring around in their infancy and trying to get some market share. Some of the shoot-outs between early grade products they are not that much better than 802.11n.

Max, Concise Courses:
“Can you recommend and VHT radio-taps tutorials. Are they relevant to 802.11ac security?”

Joe Bardwell:
We have tutorials on our website; there is an 11ac section that has a ten page tutorial that has all the features of 11ac. The challenge is that right now so much of the discussion is me talking about 11ac or somebody else; so much of it is theoretical and trying to extrapolate, i.e. ‘how will these specifications actually be implemented?’ [Answer is that] we don’t know yet!