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CWNA Official Study Guide Book Review

CWNA Official Study Guide

THE CWNA Study Guide

You were tasked with deploying WiFi for the enterprise. To your surprise, it hasn’t been working well. People are complaining it’s slow and they can’t get work done. Getting a WiFi signal is easy but deploying it correctly is a process. You need the CWNA study guide.

The CWNA is a step forward in the right direction. It stands for Certified Wireless Network Administrator and is aimed at providing you with the foundations in wireless technologies.

The CWNA Certified Wireless Network Administrator Official Deluxe Study Guide is authored by David Coleman and David Westcott. Coleman is a Senior Mobility Leader at Aerohive Networks and is an expert in wireless. He is in fact CWNE #4. His co-author, Wescott, is a wireless trainer and consultant, CWNE #7.

I had both the physical copy of the CWNA Study Guide and the Safari Books version. Both useful depending on my mood of reading (either paper or digital.)

This review is of the Official Study Guide for exam CWNA-106, published by Sybex. The CWNA Official Study Guide is a good fundamental introduction to wireless networks. Among the topics you will gain a good foundation in are:

  • 802.11 standards
  • Radio Frequencies
  • RF measurements
  • RF signals and antennas
  • Spread spectrum
  • 802.11 medium access and MAC architecture
  • Wireless troubleshooting and design
  • Wireless security
  • Site surveys
  • 802.11n/ac

The book’s primary purpose is to prepare you for the CWNA-106 exam from CWNP. But if you take the exam out of the question, this makes an excellent resource to get a solid foundation in knowing how wireless works the way it works. The book is vendor neutral and more focused on the technology.

I began reading this book for two reasons:

  • To understand WiFi
  • To acquire CWNA certification

As of October 2015, I can happily say I have completed both. Not only did I use the CWNA study guide to pass the exam, I also gained a lot more in knowledge. Reading through the study guide has dispelled the myths of WiFi.

From June 2015 to October 2015, I stuck my head in the book, took notes, applied what I learned and passed the exam.

The content was rich in explanations. After reading the chapter on antennas, I was able to distinguish the difference between azimuth and elevation charts. This is helpful for when you need to select the right antenna for your installation.

Another great example of why I enjoyed this book is my comprehension for why we disable low data rates and what exactly is the difference between 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. I was able to learn how clients affect wireless networks.

Coleman and Wescott did an superb job at writing this book. A must read for someone wanting to learn more about WiFi and for those wanting to pass the exam. Like all technology, as time passes, it changes. I supplemented my reading with other documents you can find on the web. One of those documents I referenced often was the 802.11 standard.

If you’re serious about WiFi and would like to contribute by creating better wireless networks, then I highly suggest you pick up the CWNA study guide book on Amazon or Safari Books.

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