Ac Wave 1 vs Wave 2

There has been much discussion on the performance of going from an N Series outdoor wireless system to AC.  Not all AC is created equal.  Right now there is AC Wave 1 and AC Wave 2.  Just about all the AC stuff currently in the pipeline for outdoor wireless is wave 1.  There is wave 2 indoor gear available, but for a WISP you are interested in the outdoor gear.

So what’s the difference?
For some reading about spatial streams, channel sizes, etc. look at this article https://info.hummingbirdnetworks.com/blog/80211ac-wave-2-vs-wave-1-difference

For the WISP folks who want the Cliff Notes version here are some key differences.

-Wave 1 uses 20,40,and 80 Mhz Channels.  Wave 2 can support 80 and 160mhz channels.  The 160mhz channel would be two 80mhz channels bonded together.

-Wave 1 can do 3 spatial streams.  Wave 2 does 4. This requires an additional antenna to take advantage of wave2.  This is a hardware upgrade from wave1 to wave 2.

-Wave 2 supports MU-MIMO. The AP can talk to 4 clients individually at once.  The client must also support this, which is a hardware upgrade from wave 1 to wave 2 on both the client and the AP.

The question to ask your vendors is what is the upgrade path if you are using existing AC gear.  If you are running AC currently you are most assuredly going to have to replace your AP radios and antennas.  Will your existing clients work with the new AC wave 2 aps? An important thing to ask.

 

DHCP Starvation attack

DHCP starvation attacks are designed to deplete all of the addresses within the DHCP scope on a particular segment. Subsequently, a legitimate user is denied an IP address requested via DHCP and thus is not able to access the network.  Yersinia is one such free hacking tool that performs automated DHCP starvation attacks. DHCP starvation may be purely a DoS mechanism or may be used in conjunction with a malicious rogue server attack to redirect traffic to a malicious computer ready to intercept traffic. Imagine a user filling up the dhcp pool and then re-directing users to their own DHCP server.

How do you fix this?
802.11 has several mechanisms built in. DHCP Proxy is one way. Port security is another. If you are running Mikrotik there are some scripts which can alert you to rogue DHCP servers, but that is an after-the-fact kind of thing.

 

UBNT Air Cube first impressions

I have been meaning to start this review for several weeks.  Due to the holidays and sickness that has not happened until now.  Recently Ubiquiti Networks released the airCubeAC. I won’t bore you with all the stats, just some of the highlights.  For the complete list go here…

-AC radio containing 5ghz and 2.4 Radios (AC Model)
-4 Gigabit ethernet ports
-Supports POE in and Out

One of the first things you notice about the modern UBNT products like this is the nice retail looking package.  This could be on the shelf of Best Buy, or on the shelf of any computer shop. The packaging is modern and eye-catching.

After unboxing we find a very minimal packaging.

All that is contained in the packaging is the airCube itself, quick start guide, and the power cord. One of the first things I noticed as I went to plug this in was the length of the power cord.  Too many companies give you a short power cord you are always fighting against.  This cord has to be 7-8 feet long. In addition, the power plug is a compact size to fit into most surge protectors with ease.  It’s the little design features like this which can really make a product shine.

While waiting for it to boot a quick tour around the outside reveals the four gigabit ethernet ports, one of them being the WAN port.

The quickstart guide was very helpful, except for the terminology used for the UMOBILE app. On the IOS store, I finally figured out the UNMS app was the correct one to use. This might be confusing for some folks. Maybe newer documentation reflects the change in the naming.

I connected the Cube to my home network and fired up the app, the wizard was very helpful in getting me connected to the Cube.

The use of the QR code to customize the instructions is a very nice time saver.  I was up and connected within 40 seconds.  Most of that time was switching over to my settings to connect to the wifi and switching back to the app. A nice feature would be launching the settings app for you.  Not sure if such system calls are allowed on iOS but something to consider.  On a side note, there is Puerto Rico listed as a country yet again. Not sure why this is a recurring theme with UBNT.

Anytime I get a new device like this one of the first things I do is upgrade the firmware to the latest. This was a very easy process. The app even had a little orange information thing directing me to go check it. The addition of the changelog within the app is a very nice touch. The total firmware upgrade took about 2 minutes.

I made the mistake of switching out of the app before the upgrade was done. The unit was not reporting the firmware was upgraded, and when I tried to upgrade again it gave me an error. Hitting logout on the app and logging back in refreshed the app and confirmed I was indeed at the latest firmware.

It’s getting late, but I wanted to get this out there and get the ball rolling.  Look for part 2 coming shortly when I go over the interface in detail. For now, I will leave you with my first impression summary.

The airCube has many nice physical features.  The long power cable makes the flexibility of installation easy.  No longer do you have to set it in an awkward place just because the power cable did not reach.  It does POE in and out, so you could power the unit with a wireless CPE POE if you were a WISP running UBNT gear. This would save on a power plug because you would only need one for your outdoor radio and the airCube. However, if you are deploying these with non-UBNT gear, or simply in a home with fiber or cable the small power plug makes for a neat and compact installation.

Setup was easy, minus the documentation issue on the app to get.  This is probably simply the app being updated for whatever reason and the documentation that came with my Cube being behind.

Look for part two coming soon.

 

Mimosa G2 first look

So Scott @ On-Ramp Indiana ordered a few of these and figured I would borrow one for a few days and do a first look and review on them.

Mimosa G2 Box

Nice and compact box.  I am a fan of the cover.  If this way on a store shelf I would notice.

G2 Insert
The very first thing you see is this wireless information card. Very handy for the home user. Many of my clients throughout the years save such things so having this in a bright card is a nice touch.  Another nice feature of this card is it has sticky tape on the back.  You can actually peel it off and stick it somewhere.  Not everyone has a network rack, so affixing it to there might not be the best bet.  We are in the day and age where there are not “telephone stations”.  The only thing I could come up with might be in a desk drawer or something like that.  I could see guests asking for the key so you would want this handy.  Any thoughts on a good place to put this?

Information Card
On the back of the card is a very handy diagram on the 3 modes of this device.  You can use it as a Wifi router. You can also use it as a repeater.  In this mode it works both wired and wireless.  As with some other manufactures it will auto-configure itself to join in with the rest of the network.  It learns the configuration and away it goes.  Thirdly, is a simple pass through mode. This is helpful if there is another router involved.

G2 contents
The box contained the unit, a slip on power plug, and the compliance paperwork no one reads. Thank you Lawyers.  One of the first things I noticed about this unit is the well made feel to it.  The plastic does not feel cheap, and it feels heavy.  That is always a scientific measure right?

G2 Ports
Mimosa has done a good job of helping the uneducated user on the use of this product.  A good example of this is plug, which is in the POE port.  This plug takes a little bit of effort to remove.  As you can see in the picture, it is also marked with a red label to distinguish this from the customer side.  This is so the customer doesn’t feed 48 volt to their router, laptop or whatever gets plugged in.

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Also, you have holes on the top and bottom for cooling.  On the side is a very easy to get to reset button. Another nod to Mimosa paying attention to common issues home users run into is there is a very clear sticker on the top of the unit which has the Home network SSID and passphrase on it.  A user can simply walk to the unit, look down and easily read the needed information.

G2 Plug

The power plug simply slides in a groove and snaps in place.  Nice clean setup.

In closing, my first impressions of this product are positive.  Packaging and instructions are put together well and easy to understand. The product feels good and has a good number of things to address common issues. Look for part two of this for a look of how this actually works, configuration, and testing.

If you are a manufacturer and have a product you think we would be interested in reviewing please contact us.

Mikrotik wAP first looks

The routerboard at the USA Mikrotik User Meeting (MUM) this year was the wAP. For the official specifications on this little gem visit here.  Some highlights of this AP.
-802.11 b/g/n
-Weatherproof
-Secure mounting
-802.3at POE
-11-57volt
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As you can see a great deal of thought was given into the included parts with this unit.  Mount, screws, poe, and even a thick paper template for drilling the wall and ceiling mount.

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Whomever is in charge of package and documentation design at Mikrotik gets high marks in my book for this setup. Included is a little instruction sheet which has topics for first use, powering, booting, connecting are all included on the first page in a concise manner.  On the second page instructions on netinstall, bootloader, and even enabling CAPs mode are all explained.

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At a street price of $45 for this model these have many uses.  Outbuildings, work shops, patios, and many other places where an AP needs a little protection from the elements, are all good deployment choices.

Open Source Box Design

One of the biggest challenges WISPs and anyone deploying wireless gear is power and distribution.  I have put together a checklist for purchasing items to make a standard box MTIN would deploy. This is not designed to be a how-to, but rather a “What to buy” guide.

Link to the PDF (7Meg Download)

Throughout this documents I make notes based upon experience. As with anything, these are not hard rules. They are meant to be guidelines to follow. Please adapt to your uses. For example, if you don’t have any non-cambium radios you don’t need the POE injectors found on page 5.

If you find this document useful please feel free to send your thoughts, beer money, or other admiration. Links to http://www.mtin.net/blog are always appreciated, as well as twitter ( @j2sw ) or facebook follows (http://www.facebook.com/mtinnet )are always appreciated.   If you reproduce any parts of this Open Source document please give credit to the original source.

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Box in deployment. Fiber has not been dressed so don’t worry it gets better protected.

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Basic no frills box with 2 PacketFlux gigabit injectors

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