Understanding the Effects of Radio Frequency (RF) Interference on WLAN Performance and Security

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Executive Summary

Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) based on the IEEE 802.11 standards have become the de-facto standard for wireless connectivity within buildings. These networks are commonly called Wi-Fi networks. With the newest IEEE physical layer standard (IEEE 802.11n), Wi-Fi solutions can now support distribution of high-throughput applications such as streaming video. Wi-Fi networks, however, are prone to Radio-Frequency (RF) interference which can have drastic effects on the performance of the WLAN. Some interfering devices can completely block an 802.11 channel even when they are a significant distance from the WLAN Access Point (AP) or client device.

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