Troubleshooting Wireless LANs can be a real pain – because ANY problem an end-user experience on their Wi-Fi device is by definition a “Wireless Problem”. Years ago, Lee Badman posted this great graphic trying to help visualize the many facets of troubleshooting Wireless LANs… and titled it “The Soon To Be Famous Cocktail Napkin Wi-Fi Big Picture”.  Well Lee, sorry it has taken me so long to help get your picture famous!

This was the starting point of a new Troubleshooting Wireless LANs course I was developing. But after a lot more research, talking with scores of other WLAN Professionals, alpha testing, beta testing, and holding Train The Trainer sessions… here is the fruit of what Lee Badman started. 

Potential Causes:

As you can see in this first graphic below I was able to crate a more developed version of the “napkin”. This graphic shows 36 ‘Bubbles’ of distinct groups of items that could have problems, plus one BIG item, the big RED BOX on the top left side representing the RF Medium… and there are even more things that can and do go wrong in that group. I use this slide a lot in my training to help give a quick overview of how to think through the potential problems when troubleshooting. We also worked with other WLAN Professionals to get details and specifics of what might possibly be wrong in any one of these bubbles. We have so far documented over 400 individual items that one might need to understand, test, and perhaps troubleshoot just to solve the “Wi-Fi is Slow” complaint! As you can see, troubleshooting can be a heavy task. Hopefully, you find some help in this bundle.

Here’s a quick list of everything that’s include:

  • WLAN Troubleshooting Process Graphic
  • WLAN Troubleshooting Process Flow Chart
  • WLAN Troubleshooting Potential Causes Flow Chart
  • Wired or Wireless Problem? Q&A Chart
  • Wi-Fi Joining Client Chart
  • 802.11n & 802.11ac Chart
  • Db to mW Conversion Table
  • Easy dB Math in 5 Minutes Chart
  • Linux Command Line Cheat Sheet
  • Network Troubleshooting CLI Commands
  • “Green Diamond” Association/Roaming Algorithms Chart
  • Wi-Fi Channel Allocations 5GHz & 2.4GHz Chart
  • Wireshark 802.11 Frame Details Chart
  • Wireshark Filters Cheat Sheet
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