CWNACWNA Course Outline

Enterprise Wi-Fi Administration, Official course for the CWNA-106 Certification Exam

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Australia’s sole CWNP Authorised Learning Partner (ALP) for over a decade.

CWNA Introduction

The CWNA, Enterprise Wireless LAN Administration course, whether in an academic format or a 4-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.

  • Associated Certifications: CWNA
  • Price: $3,250.00 (ex)
  • Duration: 4 days, Classroom
  • Delivery Options : 4 day fast track or 1 day per week over 4 weeks
  • Availability: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. Perth coming in Q2 2018
  • Prerequisites: Basic networking knowledge, including OSI model and IP subnetting

CWNA Course Outline

The following list contains the official materials covered in the lecture portion of the course and available only through SpectroTech within Australia.

Introduction to WLAN Standards

  • Introduction to WLAN industry organisations
  • Discuss protocol standards and compliance
  • Overview of 802.11 standard and amendments
  • Discuss additional networking standards that are commonly used to enhance WLANs

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

RF Math

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

Regulatory Domains

  • Regulatory domains
  • Factors considered

WLAN Operations

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

Power over Ethernet

  • PoE device types
  • Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) categories
  • Powering 802.11n and 802.11ac APs

802.11 Service Sets

  • Service set types
  • Authentication and association
  • Network infrastructure
  • Roaming
  • Load balancing

Basic WLAN Analysis

  • Protocol Analysis
  • 802.11 Frame Types
  • Protection mechanism
  • Legacy power save
  • Transmission rates

Coordinating Frame Transmissions

  • Distributed Coordination Function (DCF)
  • Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Power management

Modern 802.11 MACs / PHYs

  • Challenges addressed by modern MACs / PHYs
  • HT and VHT enhancements
  • Coexistence mechanisms
  • Integration and deployment
  • 802.11ac enhancements

Wireless Site Survey Fundamentals

  • Defining RF site surveys
  • Spectrum analysis
  • Types of site surveys
  • Site survey considerations
  • Site survey report

Basic WLAN Security

  • The importance of WLAN security
  • Security policy
  • Legacy WLAN security mechanisms
  • Trusted WLAN security mechanisms
  • Baseline WLAN security practices

Modern Challenges

  • Mobile Device Management (MDM)
  • BYOD
  • Guest access
  • High density wireless

Hands-on Lab Exercises

Spectrum Analysis

This lab is designed to familiarize the student with a laptop-based spectrum analyzer, specifically covering the following areas:

  • Swept Spectrogram
  • Real Time FFT
  • FFT Duty Cycle
  • Channel Utilization
  • Interference with Wi-Fi Channels
  • Interfering Device Discovery

In the first sections of this lab, students will install the spectrum analyzer software followed by loading the pre-recorded spectrum captures for review as a class. In the last section of this lab, the instructor may optionally do a live capture of the RF environment for classroom discussion purposes. Doing a live capture requires spectrum analysis hardware (typically a USB or CardBus radio adapter).

Wireless LAN Performance

This lab is built around measuring WLAN throughput under various circumstances and is separated into three sections:

  • Section A: VHT vs. HT vs. Legacy throughput (802.11ac vs. 802.11n vs. 802.11a, b, g)
  • Section B: Mixed mode throughput
  • Section C: Adjacent and co-channel interference

Understanding the speeds and feeds of all Wi-Fi technologies is crucial to optimizing WLAN installations, applications, and good network design. This lab demonstrates the varying throughputs for Wi-Fi connectivity standards by using FTP to transfer large files from client devices to servers. You will see and compare actual throughputs of each different standard technology and the impact of using mixed technologies.

Using Laptop Analyzers

This lab is focused on the use of laptop analyzers for WLAN discovery and protocol analysis. Understanding security and performance related protocol analysis will aid the WLAN administrator in policy compliance, proper implementation, and troubleshooting. The following steps will be covered in this lab exercise.

  • Installing and configuring a WLAN discovery tool.
  • Installing and configuring a laptop protocol analyzer
  • Locating 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WLANs
  • Capturing and analyzing Management, Control, and Data frames
  • Capturing and analyzing a WPA2-Personal authentication
  • A protocol analyzer is provided on the student CD

Site Survey

Two specific classes of site survey methodology exist and are used in the WLAN market today. This exercise is separated into two sections identifying each methodology:

  • Section A: Manual site surveys (sometimes called the walkabout)
  • Section B: Predictive analysis (sometimes called automated site surveying)

Within each class exist two distinct categories. Manual site surveying can be categorized as active mode or passive mode, one or both modes can be used at any given time.

Predictive analysis software tools are based on a mathematical model of a facility blueprint and can be performed in two distinct ways. First, importing an AutoCAD (vector graphic) drawing allows the predictive analysis software tool to understand detailed complex layers of a facility’s construction, including wall attenuation, attenuation between floors, and channel interference. Second, importing of raster graphics, such as .jpg or .bmp, allows for faster but often less accurate modeling.

Neither methodology is 100% accurate, since each has its own individual weaknesses. Used together, the surveyor can create a more complete RF snapshot of any facility.

In this exercise, students will conduct both manual and predictive analysis surveying, using software and hardware tools (determined by the instructor or specific class needs).

Basic WLAN Security

The Wi-Fi Alliance has standardized security mechanisms for SOHO and enterprise environments. Two distinct classes of security mechanisms exist:

  • WPA compliant
  • WPA2 compliant

Within each class are two categories: Personal and Enterprise. WPA implies a pre-802.11i snapshot that addresses only TKIP encryption. WPA2 implies 802.11i compliant CCMP (default) and/or TKIP. Enterprise implies the use of 802.1X/EAP authentication mechanisms, and Personal implies that passphrases are the authentication mechanism being used.


Wi-Fi Alliance security mechanisms are only applicable at Layer 2 of the OSI model. Other security mechanisms for WLANs exists such as VPNs and secure applications, but this lab exercise addresses only those security mechanisms provided by the 802.11-2007 standard.

Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems

This lab is focused on Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS). WIPS are known for three specific functions: security monitoring, performance monitoring, and reporting. In this lab exercise, we will focus only on security monitoring and reporting. Areas of particular interest include:

  • Installation and configuration of WIPS
  • Properly classifying authorized, rogue/unauthorized, and external/interfering access points or clients
  • Event monitoring and notification
  • Identifying and mitigating rogue devices


Note: Although WIPS can identify, and often act upon, hundreds of wireless attacks, we will only use one type of common attack in this lab exercise to demonstrate WIPS functionality. If time permits, the instructor may perform additional attacks that can be recognized and perhaps mitigated.



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