Comparison Of Mesh Wi-Fi Routers On The Market, Decoding The Secrets For AP Selection(PartII): Applications Functions

Allion Labs / Ryan Huang

In the previous article, we’ve compared the basic specifications of the three Mesh Wi-Fis: Netgear Orbi RBK50, Asus Lyra MAP-AC2200, and eero Pro Wi-Fi System. In this article, we are going to simulate actual user-scenarios and make comparisons on the performance of the four common functions, which are easy setup, APP function, band steering, and seamless roaming of the three Mesh Wi-Fi APs.

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Operating your Wi-Fi network on the 5GHz band? Make sure you deploy DFS first!

Allion Labs/ Flash Liu

The under-capacity, over-crowdedness and poor efficiency of the 2.4GHz band have long been common knowledge. The number of channels on the 5GHz is greater than that one the 2.4GHz. However, a large portion of these channels is DFS channels. The advantage of the 5GHz is reduced by more than half if the DFS channels are not in use.
What exactly is DFS? Why is it so influential?

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Next-Generational Wi-Fi System: Wi-Fi Mesh AP- I

Allion Labs / Ryan Huang

Nowadays, the Wi-Fi network plays an indispensable role in our lives. Consumer electronics products frequently used by family members, including smartphones, tablets, and the application of IoT such as smart TVs and household appliances, all have to link to Wi-Fi network to enjoy online functions and cloud services. To ensure all household IoT devices can be connected to Wi-Fi network, full coverage Wi-Fi was born.

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Everything you need to know about Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has become an indispensable part of our lives. Before Wi-Fi was invented, wireless connections were conducted via infrared technologies. Users had to carry their devices with them and sit next to each other so that the data could be transferred wirelessly. With Wi-Fi, users can now transfer data wirelessly even if they are a few meters or even a hundred meters away from each other. This “wireless” experience has definitely brought convenience and fun to users worldwide.

The Evolution of Wi-Fi
The application of Wi-Fi was first established by the IEEE, which ratified the CSIRO invented Wi-Fi—802.11 as the industry’s standard Wi-Fi technology in 1999. Since then, all Wi-Fi technologies are based on the 802.11 standards, and the Wi-Fi Alliance has become the key player in promoting and solving issues related to Wi-Fi connection and interoperability. Thanks to the early established standardization, the Wi-Fi technology has advanced significantly in just 20 years and made a huge impact on our lives.

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Validate your Smart Device with Real World Factors: Allion’s Heat Map Analysis Program

According to research firm IHS Markit, the number of IoT devices will increase on average 12% each year from 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030. As more devices go on the Net, the limited wireless channels have become more congested that brings plenty of connectivity issues to the real-world and further deteriorates user’s experiences.

Unlike one-to-one communication of traditional devices, communication of IoT devices has become one-to-many. The performance of IoT devices should involve in three factors: product capability, network connectivity and user environment/ behavior. Vendors thus need a new methodology to verify products before launching to the market. This article will discuss a new methodology of IoT device validation “Heat Map Analysis”, which is used to perceive real-world factors and further discover and resolve common wireless connectivity issues.

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[Smart Home Hub Test] Making Sure You Get Extra Coverage When It Matters Most

With the advancement and wide adoption of Smart Home technology, the status of the Router (AP) as the nerve center for the entire operation has become ever more paramount. Hence, as far as WiFi is concerned, it could be seen as the equilibrium in the purview of one’s home. If connectivity and performance are your key concerns then you should be concerned with your choice of wireless AP’s. With the gargantuan scope of choices from brand, price, aesthetics to the array of platforms from Apple’s Home Kit, MI, etc. All of which offers various functions and applications; however, most of us only require a multifunction internet control center and would do quite well with it. Thus, embodying us with the ability to control the majority of household products and the ability to becoming more energy-efficient, convenient and safe. Overall uplifting the quality and standard of living for all families.

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Smartphone Wi-Fi Analysis

Smartphones have many functions. We have talked about four functions in the previous articles (display, camera, audio and touch). This time around, we introduce Wi-Fi testing for smartphones. In Wi-Fi testing, we test in the laboratory and in simulated real-world environments, such as office and home. By testing in different environments, our tests results will more closely resemble consumer behavior.

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Wireless certified™ Passpoint Release 2 Simple, Secure, Seamless mobile Connectivity

Wi-Fi Passpoint is a key enabling technology that helps satisfy increasing consumer demand for mobile broadband service. This demand is being driven by the increased use of mobile devices, such as laptops, smart phones and tablets. High-bandwidth applications, such as VoIP and video streaming, are putting an added strain on cellular networks, especially in high-density locations, such as airports, shopping malls, conference halls, and coffee shops. As a result, cellphone carriers and mobile device manufacturers are increasingly turning to Wi-Fi Passpoint as a practical solution that balances peak cellular network loads in high-density locations.

When Passpoint certified devices enter an area with supported wireless service they seamlessly switch from cellular to wireless mode. Wi-Fi Alliance has prepared this introduction to Passpoint: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw2Z6OuNQE4

Passpoint Features

In 2012, Wi-Fi Alliance introduced Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Passpoint R1 (Release 1) with support for the following features.

R1 Features

In 2014, Wi-Fi Alliance launched Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Passpoint R2 (Release 2). This release builds on the solid security and seamless connectivity of the first release by making it even more valuable for service providers, while opening up new opportunities for other players. These new features are introduced below.

R2 Features

Business Case for Passpoint R2

Up until now, mobile device interoperability has been a major pain point for end users. For example, when users enter a coffee shop and wish to connect to the local wireless network, they are presented with a series of hoops to jump through. At a minimum, users need to find the correct network SSID and connect to it manually. For proprietary or secured networks, an additional authentication procedure is required, usually in the form of a user login. In most cases, the login procedure needs to be repeated each time that there is a loss of connection. In comparison, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Passpoint greatly improves the wireless connection experience. It automates all the procedures described above, to the point where end users can simply sit down in the same coffee shop and immediately begin using their device.

Wi-Fi Alliance planned to let Passpoint R2 replace Passpoint R1 in April 2015. Although Passpoint belong to non-mandatory provision verification category, the manufactures still recommend Wi-Fi Passpoint R2 need to be treated as high consideration of product quality, such as incompatible and using problems need to be eliminated.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint R2 improves the wireless performance of mobile devices; and as shown in Figure 1, this improved performance will result in some tangible benefits for service providers, device vendors and consumers. For example, consumers will experience more reliable and secure connections; while service providers will enjoy an increase in customer loyalty and infrastructure cost savings.

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Figure 1: Passpoint R2 – Benefits

As service providers and customers begin to experience these benefits, the installed base of Passpoint R2 compatible hotspots and mobile devices will grow.

Passpoint R2 – Mobile Device Requirements

Networking equipment and mobile device vendors should already be aware of Passpoint R2. However, they may not realize that Passpoint R2 certification requires additional Wi-Fi certification, as outlined in Figure 2 below.

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Figure 2: Passpoint R2 – Certification

  • Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ n/abg (with EAP authentication)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Management Frames
  • Wi-Fi Direct (if DUT supports)

 

Main Technique and Certified Content of Passpoint R2

Wi-Fi Passpoint uses standard networking protocols and techniques. For example, ANQP protocol uses the IEEE 802.11u standard; WPA2 Enterprise Security uses the IEEE 802.11i standard; various EAP methods (EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS with MSCHAPv2) use the IEEE 802.1x standard; and the Wi-Fi Alliance standard uses Operator Policy & Online Signup.

Passpoint R1 provides support for the following four types of back-end servers: DHCPv4, AAA, DNS and PPSMO Web. Passpoint R2 supports these server types, but also adds four new server types: Subscription Remediation, OSU, Policy, and OCSP Responder. In addition, Passpoint R2 content is divided into three forms:

1. Setting DUT standards: Includes APUT and STAUT and needs to conform to preset parameters, other need to check whether DUT packets include ANQP.

2. Compatible Verification: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Passpoint products need to provide downward compatibility features and verification device needs to connect on the network without Passpoint CERTIFIED.

3. Passpoint Verification Procedure: The verification maintains the original Passpoint R1 connection and the stored procedure function. It also add the new R2 Registration and Provisioning function (see Figure 3).

a. Discovery function

b. Registration function

c. Provisioning function

d. Access function

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Figure 3: Wi-Fi Passpoint Provisioning Functionality

To get Passpoint R2 CERTIFIED, you also need to get other Wi-Fi verification test. The whole process might need 10 days of work, with repeat testing, debugging and other analysis problems. Therefore we usually advise manufactures to reserve some time when planning to obtain Passpoint R2 verification.

Wi-Fi Passpoint Release 2 with secured Wi-Fi user experience and uninterrupted connection

The technique of Wi-Fi Passpoint has fully used the Wi-Fi of user’s equipment normally, and provide more attractive service event for users. This technique also let users use Wi-Fi network as seamless and securely changed the automatic cellular connection.

Most wireless hotspots have a limited range due to the rapid reduction of signal strength as a function of distance from the central hub. Wireless signal coverage is also often uneven due to interference with other signals and objects, such as walls.

For this year’s Wi-Fi Passpoint Release 2, it also newly added (Online sign-up with immediate account provisioning and Secure registration) and (Operator policy) to make the technique more integrated. As Alliance planned to let Passpoint R2 replace Passpoint R1 in 2015 April, any Wi-Fi Passpoint product that need to be verify will be more functional and compatible. And will make greater market efficiency for service providers, equipment manufactures and end users in the future.

Wi-Fi association had setup many authorized test lab in different countries and areas. So far, Allion is one of the test labs that can completely provide all eighteen Wi-Fi verification services, including the new edition of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ Passpoint R2. (Pic 5: Allion, the all aspects of Wi-Fi verification services). According to Allion’s years of Wi-Fi experiences, we are proud to say that no matter the client need Wi-Fi verification test or product development advisory service, Allion can provide you a full service and verification. For further information of Wi-Fi service, please visit our website – http://www.allion.com.tw/wi_fi.html .

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Wi-Fi Alliance CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct® Connections Provide Convenient High Speed Network Services Direct to Customers

Wi-Fi Direct® is an IEEE 802.11 wireless network protocol that supports direct wireless connections between compatible devices. Wi-Fi Direct uses peer-to-peer connections to perform common networking tasks. With Wi-Fi Direct users can quickly and securely share, print, display, and sync files between linked devices.

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Comparative Analysis of 802.11ac Wireless Access Points

As a leading global engineering validation and consulting company, Allion has already cultivated and built strong capabilities in the field of wireless device validation and testing. With the increasing penetration of the IEEE 802.11ac wireless standard across a wide range of electronic devices, increasing the overall availability and quality of compatible wireless access points (APs) is attracting more market attention.

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