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Analytical and Experimental Evaluation of Wireless Protocols

10,000 3,000

Topic Description

Summary
Wireless LAN (WLAN) technology is fast becoming a crucial component of computer
networks. After it’s emergence in the 1980’s, when wireless networks were characterised by
high cost and low performance, it has now become a viable solution for providing users with
a level of mobility far greater than experienced before, in addition to allowing access to a
wide range of network services.
Increased mobility is perhaps the most beneficial advantage provided by wireless LANs.
Given the freedom from conventional network connections, people can now move about
freely, with the ability to access LANs from almost anywhere. The importance of WLAN
technology, however, extends far beyond just the absence of cables. Prior to mainstream
WLAN technology being available, network infrastructures have been solid and fixed, both
expensive and difficult to move. With the implementation of a WLAN, the network
infrastructure can move, and change just as fast as the organisation does.
This project sets out to provide an analytical review of the main areas of the current 802.11
protocols including: transmission protocols, data rates and range, security issues, benefits, and
comparisons to market competitors. The product of this project is a report that provides the
target readership with the depth of understanding and knowledge required to make an
informed decision as to which protocol to invest into for implementation within the office
environment. The most important and original contribution to the report is the experimental
evaluation, which provides an unbiased and independent performance review of both the
802.11a and 802.11b protocols. In addition, the effects of increased security and Bluetooth
interference on the performance of the 802.11a and 802.11b protocols are also measured. Not
only does this project show that the 802.11a protocol offers between 2 to 5 times the
performance of the 802.11b protocol, but it also shows that Bluetooth devices have an impact
on the performance of 802.11b devices when located within a range of 5 metre of each other.
The 802.11a, 802.11b, and the new 802.11g protocol each possess an array of qualities
making them the ideal candidates for different deployment scenarios. The material covered
within this report identifies each of these attributes, as the project identifies the ideal
candidate for deployment within the PricewaterhouseCoopers office.

Table of Contents
1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………………….
1.1. Project Aim……………………………………………………………………………………….
1.2. Minimum Requirements, Objectives and Deliverables…………………………………
1.3. Readership Requirements for Target Audience…………………………………………
1.4. Parameters of Investigation…………………………………………………………….
1.5. Acceptance Criteria…………………………………………………………………………
References……………………………………………………………………………………
2. Project Background…………………………………………………………………………
2.1. Wireless Implementation Strategy………………………………………………………
2.2. Reviewing Needs of the Infrastructure Team…………………………………………..
2.2.1.Functional Requirements………………………………………………………….
2.2.2.Performance Requirements………………………………………………………..
2.2.3.Security Requirements…………………………………………………………….
2.2.4.Budget Requirements………………………………………………………………
2.2.5.Information Flow Requirements…..………………………………………………..
2.2.6.Geographical Coverage Requirements………………………………………………..
2.2.7.Number of User Requirements……………………………………………………
References…………………………………………………………………………………..
3. Technology Overview………………………………………………………………………
3.1. Ad-Hoc Mode Network Configuration…………………………………………………….
3.2. Infrastructure Mode Network Configuration……………………………………………
References…………………………………………………………………………………..
4. Transmit Frequency……………………………………………………………………….
4.1. Interference Concerns…………………………………………………………………..
4.2. Summary……………………………………………………………………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………………..
5. IEEE 802.11 Transmission Protocols……………………………………………………..
5.1. High-Rate Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum……………………………………………..
5.2. Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing…………………………………………….
5.3. 802.11g and OFDM / HR-DSSS……………………………………………………….
5.4. Summary……………………………………………………………………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………..
6. Transmit Data Rates and Range…………………………………………………………..
6.1. Performance Comparison of 802.11a and 802.11b Protocols………………………….
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IV
Analytical and Experimental Evaluation of Wireless Protocols
6.2. Performance Comparison of 802.11a and 802.11g Protocols………………………….
6.3. Factors Effecting Wireless Throughput………………………………………………..
6.3.1.Multi-Path…………………………………………………………………………
6.3.2.Delay-Spread………………………………………………………………………
6.4. Summary………………………………………………………………………………..
References…………………………………………………………………………..
7. IEEE 802.11 Medium Access Control Sublayer………………………………………….
7.1. Accessing the Wireless Medium……………………………………………………….
7.1.1.Distributed Coordination Function………………………………………………..
7.1.1.1. Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA)
7.1.1.2. Physical Carrier-Sensing……………………………………………….
7.1.1.3. Virtual Carrier-Sensing………………………………………………..
7.1.1.4. Request To Send / Clear To Send……………………………………..
7.1.2. Point Coordination Function……………………………………………………..
7.1.2.1. Reservation of the Contention-Free Period…………………………….
7.1.2.2. The Polling List………………………………………………………..
7.1.2.3. Transmission from the Access Point…………………………………..
7.2. Joining a Network………………………………………………………………………
7.2.1. Passive Scanning………………………………………………………………….
7.2.2. Active Scanning………………………………………………………………….
7.3. Providing Authentication………………………………………………………………
7.3.1.Open / Closed Authentication…………………………………………………….
7.3.2.Shared Key Authentication……………………………………………………….
7.3.3.WEP Privacy using RC4………………………………………………………….
7.3.4.The 802.1x Standard………………………………………………………………
7.4. Summary……………………………………………………………………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………..
8. Performance Evaluation…………………………………………………………………..
8.1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….
8.2. Measurement Setup…………………………………………………………………….
8.3. Testing Scenarios……………………………………………………………………….
8.4. Performance Evaluation (File Replication)……………………………………………..
8.5. Performance Evaluation (With Varying Levels of Encryption)…………………………
8.6. Performance Evaluation with Controlled Bluetooth Interference……………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………..
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V
Analytical and Experimental Evaluation of Wireless Protocols
9. Benefits of the Wireless LAN in the Business Environment…………………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………..
10. Comparison to Competitors……………………………………………………………….
10.1. HiperLAN/2……………………………………………………………………………
10.2. Ultrawideband…………………………………………………………………………
10.3. 802.11b+………………………………………………………………………………
10.4. Summary………………………………………………………………………………
References…………………………………………………………………………..
11. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………..
11.1. 802.11b Standard………………………………………………………………………
11.2. 802.11a Standard………………………………………………………………………
11.3. 802.11g Standard………………………………………………………………………
11.4. Summary and Recommendation……………………………………………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………..
12. Evaluation…………………………………………………………………………………..
12.1. Acceptance Criteria……………………………………………………………………
12.1.1. Minimum Requirements and Objectives……………………………………….
12.1.2. A Solution to the Problem………………………………………………………
12.1.3. A Usable Report………………………………………………………………..
12.1.4. Enhancements Made to the Original Specification…………………………….
12.2. Possibilities for Extension…………………………………………………………….
References…………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix A……………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix C……………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix D……………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix E……………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix F……………………………………………………………………………………..
Appendix G……………………………………………………………………………………..
Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………

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