Pictured above is Oscium’s WiPry-Pro Combo measuring the 2.4 GHz wireless spectrum and using an iPhone 5s for the measurement display. The revised peak power meter and spectrum analyzer from Oscium gives users better resolution, faster processing and SSID capability.
Wireless Networking Crash Course
A service set is a computer networking term used to describe all the devices associated with a wireless local area network (WLAN), as defined by IEEE 802.11. The basic service set is the fundamental structure and building block of an 802.11 wireless LAN.
A network consists of Access Points and Stations. An access point is the source or hub of the network. Stations, therefore, are the peripheral devices that surround the hub. The wireless router in an office or residence would be the AP, and the Wi-Fi enabled devices connected to that router would be the Stations.
The figure below shows two wireless networks in close proximity. The devices in one network are in blue boxes with the SSID #1 name, while the devices in the second network are in the green boxes with the name SSID #2.
Each BSS is uniquely identified by a basic service set identification (BSSID). The BSSID is the formal name of the BSS and is associated with only one BSS. In common applications, the BSSID is the MAC Address of the wireless access point and generated by combining two 24-bit numbers relating to the AP manufacturer’s unique identifier and the chipset inside the AP device.
The SSID is the informal name of the BSS. Since the SSID must be entered or selected into the Station Device manually by a human user, it is usually human readable text and is commonly called the network name.
The figure below is a screen shot from an iPhone menu prompting the user to select a wireless network. Modern Wi-Fi enabled devices allow users to select the wireless network from those available and when secured, prompt users to enter the required password to gain access to the network.
WiPry-Pro Combo Analyses The Spectrum
This figure is a screen shot from WiPry-Pro Combo analyzing the Wi-Fi networks in a residential apartment complex. The various networks for the individual tenants are represented by the unique SSIDs named in the display.
Next Up: Actual WiPry-Pro Combo And SSID Measurements
In the next post, WiPry-Pro Combo looks at potentially conflicting wireless local area networks in two locations: an apartment complex and in an industrial office space.