I admire authors who cover their subjects completely yet remain readable. It's not easy to do that, but John Ross did so here. This is very complete coverage of wireless networking from all points of view. The technical level isn't what someone designing hardware or software would need, but it's far beyond "don't worry about those details". For example, I've never before seen the suggestion that you might want to query your neighbors to find out what channels they are using because nearby channels have enough overlap to cause some interference which can slow down your networks. I also didn't know that there is not one channel that can be used anywhere in the world (10 and 11 come close but are illegal in Israel).
I am also appreciative that he doesn't ignore Linux, Unix and Mac OS X, and it's not just lip service that they exist. They get their own chapters and aren't ignored throughout the rest of the book either. Having Mike Kershaw, the author of Kismet as the books technical reviewer probably helped the attention paid to non-Windows operating systems.
Beyond that, the network admin will find coverage of access points, advice on antennas for point to point networks.. the roaming user gets a chapter on hot spots.. as I said, complete coverage. The author doesn't ignore the future, either. 802.11n is covered and so is broadband wireless.
Of course security is not ignored, and again it's not just one chapter covering WPA and WEP. Indeed, you'd likely miss a lot of good security tips if you didn't read every chapter. I probably should be ashamed to admit that I wasn't aware of some of the security points brought up here (I don't personally use wireless very often so I'll forgive myself this one time).
Good book, well done. Note that this is the second edition; I've not seen the prior book so don't know what's changed here.
Tony Lawrence 2008-02-18 Rating:
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