Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA)


Certified Wireless Network Administrator

Course Overview

The Enterprise Wireless LAN Administration 5.0 course, whether in an academic format or a 4 or 5-day fast-track format, provides the networking professional a complete foundation of knowledge for entering into or advancing in the wireless networking industry. From basic RF theory to 802.11 frame exchange processes, this course delivers hands-on training that will benefit the novice as well as the experienced network professional.

Course Duration: 4 – 5 days


Basic networking knowledge, including OSI model and IP subnetting

Course Outline

The following list contains the materials covered in the lecture portion of the course.

Introduction to WLAN Standards

    • Introduction to WLAN industry organizations
    • Discussion of protocol standards and compliance
    • Overview of 802.11 standard and amendments
    • Discussion of additional networking standards
  • Regulatory domains and their impact


Radio Frequency (RF) Fundamentals

    • RF propagation
    • Properties of RF waves
    • Types of power loss and environmental impact on radio waves
    • Spread spectrum, modulation, and coding
  • Channels and bandwidth



    • Antenna fundamentals
    • Polarization and gain
    • Types of WLAN antennas
    • Antenna systems
    • Antenna implementation and safety
  • RF cables, connectors, and accessories

RF Math

    • RF units of measurement
    • Basic RF math
    • RF signal measurements
  • Link budgets


RF Regulatory Domains

    • Regulatory domains
    • Regulatory bodies and frequency bands
  • Output power rules


Wireless LAN Operation

  • Basic WLAN hardware
  • Basic operating modes
  • WLAN hardware
  • WLAN connectivity
  • WLAN architecture
  • Wireless Network Management Systems (WNMS)

Power over Ethernet (PoE)

  • PoE device types
  • Powered Device (PD)
  • Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE)
  • Power delivery
  • Planning for PoE
  • PoE standards
  • Powering 802.11n devices

802.11 Service Sets

    • Service set types
    • Authentication and association
    • Network infrastructure
    • Roaming within a WLAN
  • Load-balancing


Basic WLAN Analysis

  • Protocol analysis
  • 802.11 frame types
  • Protection mechanisms
  • Power saving operations
  • Transmission rates

Coordinating Frame Transmissions

  • Introducing CSMA/CA
  • Distributed Coordination Function (DCF)
  • Hybrid Coordination Function (HCF)

802.11n Amendment

  • Challenges addressed by the high throughput (HT) PHY
  • HT (802.11n) PHY and MAC layer enhancements
  • MIMO and SISO systems
  • HT coexistence mechanisms
  • HT integration and deployment
  • HT site surveying and analysis

Site Surveying

    • RF site survey defined
    • Gathering information and resources
    • Spectrum analysis for site surveys
    • Site survey types
    • Survey considerations
  • Survey deliverables


Basic WLAN Security

    • Importance of WLAN security
    • Security policy
    • Legacy WLAN security mechanisms
    • Modern WLAN security mechanisms
  • Baseline WLAN security practices


Potential Hands-on Lab Exercises

  • Exploring 802.11


    • Understanding standard documents
    • Viewing the various sections
  • Mastering the terminology
  • 2.4 GHz vs. 5 GHz Congestion


  • Viewing activity in a spectrum analyzer
  • Viewing active networks in a Wi-Fi Finder (inSSIDer)
  • Antennas


  • Changing antennas for different results
  • Viewing RSSI


  • RSSI values of different adapters at the same location
  • 2.4 GHz Amplified


  • The impact of amplifiers vs. antenna gain
  • Configuring Aps


  • Configuring an autonomous AP
  • Configuring a lightweight AP
  • Configuring Clients


  • Configuring connection profiles
  • Configuring security
  • Using PoE


  • Using a mid-span PoE injector
  • Protocol Analysis


  • Capturing frames
  • Analyzing frames
  • Spectrum Analysis


    • Viewing activity
  • Understanding signatures
  • RTS/CTS Impact


  • Protection mechanism configuring
  • Performance comparisons
  • 802.11n Impact


  • Spectrum view with an 802.11n AP
  • Spectrum view with an 802.11a/g AP
  • Site Survey Tools


  • Using tablet- or phone-based site survey software
  • Using laptop site survey software
  • Using predictive site survey software
  • Configuring Basic Security


  • Configuring a RADIUS server
  • Configuring an AP to use the RADIUS server
  • Configuring a client to connect to the AP