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Wireless repeaters and bandwidth improvements

Like most of you, my home network is equipped with only one wireless router, which is located in the living room. As result, some areas of my house, like my bedroom and studio, are not covered very well by the wireless signal of this single router. Frustrated by the poor quality of my video streaming, I decided last week to purchase a wireless repeater to extend the wireless signal to where it was most needed.

I bought a dual mode wireless extender that can support 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz. The setup was quite easy – it only took me a few minutes to configure the extension of my dual-mode wireless network with the WPS button. I decided to test the bandwidth speed improvements with Iperf using my NetBeez agents.
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Is it the wireless, the wired network… or something else causing this latency increase?

NetBeez captures network and application performance from the user perspective on wired and wireless networks. Sensors at each network location run tests and simulate the user experience. We have dozens of demo NetBeez agents deployed around the country and the world and we collect some interesting data. Here is what I discovered recently while troubleshooting a NetBeez alert.

A typical NetBeez setup has a pair of agents, one wired and one wireless, at each office in order to capture the performance of both networks. [···]

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Network performance analysis

One of the most important functions of a network monitoring tool is reporting. In a report, the performance and status of any monitored resource, service, or device, for which data can be stored in a database as a time series, can be analyzed and compared with other resources to discover trends, patterns like daily, weekly or monthly fluctuations, or spot underperforming assets. Thanks to reports, you can review graphs, tables, and charts related to network availability and application performance and have a clear view of the status and performance of network and applications.
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Remote WiFi Packet Capturing with HORST on Raspberry Pi and Odroid

The Highly Optimized Radio Scanning Tool (HORST) is a lightweight IEEE802.11 WLAN analyzer. It was build for troubleshooting WLAN networks, and although it’s not as advanced as other tools (Kismet, Wireshark, tcpdump) it’s very easy to use, free, and can run very efficiently even on a Raspberry Pi.

For the installation and usage details, please see HORST on GitHub.

If you attended WLPC 2017, you have an Odroid that has HORST preinstalled and a USB WiFi Module. (Thanks to WLPC and Jerry Olla for the excellent Maker Session!) You are ready to run HORST! Just log in and type horst. In general, you should be able to install HORST on any Linux Single Board Computer (SBC). [···]

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How to configure WiFi SSID hopping

(Image credits https://unsplash.com/@wrrobinson)

SSID hopping enables a wireless monitoring sensor to sequentially test different wifi networks in a round robin fashion. This strategy is very useful when you don’t want to deploy a dedicated sensor for each network available at one location. With the proper configuration, the same sensor will continuously cycle through multiple SSIDs. It will connect to the first one, execute monitoring tests, move on to the next SSID, and then repeat this sequence over and over. The benefits of SSID hopping include detection of problems with AP association, radius authentication, and DHCP addresses availability. On top of that, you can run network and application monitoring tests as usual.
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WLPC TEN Talk: Turn your Odroids or Raspberry Pis into Remote WiFi Monitoring Sensors

On Thursday, February 23rd, I will present at the WirelessLAN Professional Conference on how to Turn your Odroids or Raspberry Pis into Remote WiFi Monitoring Sensors. This is part of the WLPC TEN talk series, in which presenters have ten minutes for their talks. It takes less than ten minutes for me to set up and connect an Odroid or a Raspberry Pi to the NetBeez dashboard, and this post will help all you WLPC attendees follow along more easily. [···]

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Monitoring Service Level Agreements for Internet Service Providers

What differentiates good Internet Service Providers (ISP) from bad ones? Whether or not they meet their service level agreements (SLA). An SLA is a contract between a service provider and a subscriber that defines what level of performance is expected from the service provider. An ISP that doesn’t respect their SLA will deal with angry customers, have subscribers switch to other competitors, or, worse, deal with lawsuits. [···]

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WirelessLAN Professionals Conference

The WirelessLAN Professional Conference is taking place from February 21st to 23rd in Phoenix, AZ. This event brings together WiFi professionals so that they can get to know each other, and, more importantly, to learn from each other. This is reflected by the format of the conference. There are no vendor booths and all speakers take time from their busy schedules to put together presentations on a wide variety of topics. [···]

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Monitoring VPN connections

Virtual Private Networks are encrypted and authenticated connections established between two hosts across an insecure and public network, namely the Internet. These connections enable remote workers and frequent travelers to access private and internal company resources from an external location such as a home environment, or coffee shop. In this scenario, one end of the tunnel is the user’s computer running a VPN client, while on the other end there’s a VPN server (or VPN concentrator) located at a corporate site.
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Network Performance Baselining with SpeedTest and Iperf

Ookla SpeedTest and Iperf are two very useful utilities for testing your pipes in terms of how much bandwidth they can pass. Their feature lists overlap, but there are also some differences. You are can read this post for a complete rundown on them, but in a nutshell:

SpeedTest: pushes traffic to an Internet server and measures latency, and upload and download speed.

Iperf: pushes TCP or UDP traffic between two hosts under your management and can measure bandwidth, jitter, and packet loss. Mostly used in WAN testing.

Through my discussions with fellow network engineers, I have learned that SpeedTest and Iperf are used in two main cases: [···]

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