CHROMEBOOK, is it WiFi Kryptonite?

krytonite

Google proclaims that their Chromebook “…is for everyone.” The Chromebook first shipped in 2011.  And actually there have been mixed reviews ever since.

Chromebook is supposed to be a reasonably priced alternative to the laptop and the i-Pad.  It runs on Chrome OS and is designed for Internet access and data in the cloud.  Picture a creature that exists between a dumb terminal and a full-fledged PC.  The Chromebook is manufactured by numerous companies such as Acer, Dell and Samsung.  It has a single USB port and limited programs that run locally: music player, photo editor, and document viewer.  All other applications are available for purchase and download from Google Play.

Because the Chromebook is simple is does boot quickly.  The price is cheap and Google claims “…the proprietary architecture eliminates the need for Anti-virus software.”  I have yet to encounter a virus in my limited interaction with this platform.  However where this simplicity is attractive for younger and senior users alike, if you are a technie or just like to tweak stuff the Chromebook may not be for you.

From a WiFi connectivity prospective the Google Chromebook does have challenges.  The area in which we have seen the most traction for the Chromebook is in schools K-12.  In the classroom Chromebooks will first try to log-on and if the connection to the Google cloud is not operating properly connecting can be quite frustrating.  Also there are limited settings available in the wireless connections for customization.  Typically in schools there are many devices competing for the wireless medium so a strong underlying WiFi design is crucial.

When possible it may make sense to limit Chromebooks to single band either 2.4 or 5.0 GHz.  This will reduce its choices and eliminate selecting one over the other.  Also use a single SSID profile so it cannot switch to other SSIDs.  Another helpful tip I discovered is using Google’s DNS servers as they are the most accurate for the Google/Chrome services.

I think the Chromebook definitely has its place and that is chiefly in k-12 schools.  I believe that as the product matures it will operate more effectively.  In the meantime here are some resources that you may find helpful.

Chromebook troubleshooter

Google Support

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjopODVurXQ

WIN_20150519_094638

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ARUBA NETWORKS 270 Series Outdoor Access Points

aruba-270-series-access-points,S-A-423514-13

Posted originally on July 7, 2014 By: John Busso, CISSP, ACMP, ITIL

Aruba AP270 Highlights

  • 802.11ac in 5.0 GHz band with up to 1.3 Gbps data rate
  • 802.11n   in 2.4 GHz band with up to 600 Mbps data rate
  • AP275 has an integrated MIMO Omnidirectional antennas
  • AP274 allows for external MIMO N-type antennas
  • Aesthetic design mimics common fixture for lighting/cameras
  • NEMA and IP-rated (IP66/67) for harsh environments
  • ClientMatch enabled to leverage 802.11k,r,and v standards
  • Flexibility for use as campus, remote or independent AP
  • 48VDC 802.3at-compliant or  100-240-Volt AC Power

I have been designing and implementing wireless networks since the ratification of 802.11 (yes prior to 802.11a or b).  I have seen many technologies come and go, such as WiFi using 900 MHz and Free Space Optics (FSO), which was essentially wireless using lasers as opposed to microwaves.  Aruba gets it right again improving on their existing outdoor wireless access point (see full product line here).  The AP270 series outdoor access point is a purpose-built, state-of-the-art device that will survive extreme conditions and anticipated wireless standards, making it “future-proof” for years to come.

To understand what makes the AP270 such a great WiFi access point we need to look at a few key factors: being future-proof, easy install and manage, flexible, and high-performing.

  • AP270 access points are future-proof because they are fortified against extreme weather and environmental contaminants.  The AP270 can operate between -40° F and  150° F.  It withstands humidity in a range of 5%-95%.  The access point can withstand up to 165 mph winds.  The Aruba 270 series AP is also future-proof because it uses the latest IEEE specification 802.11ac .
  • This outdoor access point is easy to install with only two mounting template one for wall-mounting and one for pole-mounting.  The mounting kits come in long and short depending on your specific application. Ethernet and serial console access makes configuring the AP270 easy and flexible.  The AP275 comes with integrated internal 3×3 MIMO antennas.  The AP274 can utilize any N-type antennas needed for your application .
  • Managing Aruba APs is easy and flexible because one can use the virtual controller resident on iAPs, controllers for campus and remote APs, or AirWave network management system for all of the above.
  • Aruba’s AP274/275 Access Points are high performing 802.11ac Access points that leverage several technologies.  Transmit Beam Forming is used for increased reliability in signal delivery.  Low Density Parity Check allows for high-efficiency error correction and increased throughput.  Maximal Rate Combining improves receiver performance.  Advanced Cellular Coexistence is employed to minimize interference from cellular systems.  To improve downlink RF performance the AP270 uses Cyclic Delay Diversity.

So to sum it up, Aruba’s AP274’s and AP275’s are good looking, easy to install, flexible, and high-performing.  Remember that they can be used as APs, iAPs or RAPs.  You can use the turnkey AP275 with its integrated antennas or select the AP274 when antenna tuning is desired.  Aruba offers all this at a list price of$1595 USD for the AP274.  For more information Click Here

ClarkKent

WiFi Superman’s alter ego

RTLS: BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING, but he is helping out too.

big-brother-is-watching-you

Posted by (originally May 20, 2014): John Busso

Real Time Locating Systems are no longer a secret.  For many years now companies like Ekahau, Pango and AeroScout have been selling tags to help track devices that do not have a wireless card to communicate via WiFi (802.11).

Sure tagging an item is great to track it along the supply chain, it is great to tag a heart monitor and retrieve it before it leaves the hospital for the laundry wrapped up in the  bed sheets.  But when your company asks you to wear a badge that tracks you  that is when you become very interested.

First off do not worry.  You can already be tracked by your smartphone, tablet and laptop.

The reality is that this can provide much value in the areas of supply chain, workflow, and shrinkage.  Aruba believes so strongly in RTLS and its ,many uses that it bought the company Meridian:

https://gigaom.com/2013/05/17/aruba-buys-indoor-location-startup-meridian-heres-why/

http://wirednot.wordpress.com/tag/aruba-ale/

Industry experts believe that the proliferation of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) exciters will accelerate the accuracy and adoption of RTLS technology.  Click here to learn more about how Aruba and RTLS can work together for you.

BigBro

Why do you need 802.11ac?

me                 REASONS YOU NEED 802.11AC

Originally posted 14 February, 2014

More, more, more

  • There are more devices which cries for efficiency
  • There are more applications which demands higher performance
  • There is more multimedia which necessitates getting users off and on quicker

Better coverage

  • Thanks to explicit transmit beam forming  your coverage is much more effective

Backwards compatibility

  • 802.11ac is backwards compatible for all other IEEE 802.11 standards
  • Even older chipset will benefit from many of the enhancements of 802.11ac

Security

  • If you do not have 802.11ac then you will not have any visibility into emerging 802.11ac threats
  • Even if you are not ready to rip and replace your legacy system you could benefit by adding some 802.11ac APs as monitors.

To read more on this topic go here:

https://meraki.cisco.com/solutions/80211ac

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/enterprise-networks/802-11ac-solution/index.html

http://www.arubanetworks.com/blogs/the80211acplunge/

Everything wireless: cut the cord and hack your life!