The Theatro Blog

Understanding Wifi and Mastering It

WiFi is sometimes hard to understand, let alone master. Theatro employee, Todd Smith, provides a relatable explanation of various WiFi concepts, in a way that is digestible by both expert and novice alike with his blog ‘WiFi-Fu Mastering the Art of Wifi’.

As a Wi-Fi based solution ourselves, we are proud to share updates from his blog and encourage all you wireless architects out there to learn from one of Theatro’s greatest!

“Data rates can certainly be confusing, even how we refer to them varies by engineer and vendor. Some call them bitrates. Others call them transmit rates or connectivity rates. Then, there are basic rates, mandatory rates, minimum rates, allowed rates, and supported rates. Does it really need to be this complicated?”

“Knowing now how SNR works, you might be thinking, “Well, if I need better SNR, then I’ll just crank up the AP’s transmit (Tx) power.” While that does make mathematical sense, it’s not always the right move when it comes to optimizing your WiFi network’s performance. Let’s get into the reasons why.”

“There are several reasons why a WiFi transmission (or frame) must be resent, and we’ll discuss another one here in a moment. What triggers these retries is the absence of an acknowledgement (ACK) frame from the receiving device. You see, a lot can go wrong with WiFi.”

“Before getting into what an SSID is, we must understand what it isn’t, which is the wireless equivalent of a VLAN. I repeat, an SSID is not the wireless equivalent of a VLAN – seriously, it’s not.”

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