View Full Version : Wireless (WiFi) Networking

05-24-2005, 06:26 PM
A wireless LAN or WLAN is a wireless local area network that uses radio waves as its carrier: the last link with the users is wireless, to give a network connection to all users in a building or campus. The backbone network usually uses cables.

WLAN is expected to continue to be an important form of connection in many business areas. The market is expected to grow as the benefits of WLAN are recognized. Frost and Sullivan estimate the WLAN market to have been 0.3 billion US dollars in 1998 and 1.6 billion dollars in 2005. So far WLANs have been installed in universities, airports, and other major public places. Decreasing costs of WLAN equipment has also brought it to many homes. However, in the UK the exhorbitant cost of using such connections has so far limited use to airports' Business Class lounges, etc. Large future markets are estimated to be in health care, corporate offices and the downtown area of major cities. New York City has even begun a pilot progam to cover all five burroughs of the city with wireless internet.

Originally WLAN hardware was so expensive that it was only used as an alternative to cabled LAN in places where cabling was difficult or impossible. Such places could be old protected buildings or classrooms, although the restricted range of the 802.11b (typically 30ft.) limits its use to smaller buildings. WLAN components are now cheap enough to be used in the home, with many being set-up so that one PC (eg parents) can be used to share an Internet connection with the whole family (whilst retaining access control at the parents' PC).

Early development included industry-specific solutions and proprietary protocols, but at the end of the 1990s these were replaced by standards, primarily the various versions of IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) (see separate articles) and HomeRF (2 Mb/s, intended for home use, unknown in the UK). An alternative ATM-like 5 GHz standardized technology, HIPERLAN, has so far not succeeded in the market and with the release of the faster 54Mb/s 802.11a standard, almost certainly never will.

The lack of default security of Wireless connections is fast becoming an issue, especially in the UK, where many Broadband (ADSL) connections are now offered together with a Wireless Basestation/ADSL Modem/firewall/Router access point. Further, many laptop PCs now have Wireless Networking built in (cf. Intel 'Centrino' campaign) thus eliminating the need for an additional plug-in (PCMCIA) card. This might even be enabled, by default, without the owner ever realising it, thus 'broadcasting' the laptop's accessibility to any computer nearby.

The use of Windows XP as the 'standard' in home PCs makes it very easy to setup a PC as a Wireless LAN 'basestation' and (using XP built in Internet Connection Sharing mode) allows all the PCs in the home to access the Internet via the 'base' PC. However lack of expertise in setting up such systems often means that your nextdoor neighbour also shares your Internet connection, sometimes without you (or they) ever realising it.

The frequency which 802.11b operates at is 2.4Ghz, which can lead to interference with many cordless phones.

There are two possible types of infrastructure: Peer-to-peer or ad-hoc mode and the so called infrastructure mode.

Peer-to-peer: This mode is a method for wireless devices to directly communicate with each other. Operating in ad-hoc mode allows wireless devices within range of each other to discover and communicate in peer-to-peer fashion without involving central access points. Typically used by two PCs to connect to one another, so that one can share the other's Internet connection for example.

Infrastructure mode: This mode of wireless networking bridges a wireless network to a wired Ethernet network. Infrastructure mode wireless also supports central connection points for WLAN clients. A wireless access point is required for infrastructure mode wireless networking, which serves as the central WLAN communication station. Typically used by a stand-alone base-station (such as a Broadband/ADSL connection box).

God Bless,

02-10-2007, 12:16 PM

There are several reasons why wireless networks are currently less secure than their wired counterparts.

First of all, there is the fact of their physical nature. They are wireless, broadcasting a signal out over an area.

Many of the earliest 802.11b routers came with lax security features and extremely weak security key options.

Finally, check your wireless router owner’s manual for instructions on how to implement security settings.

I hope this helps.

Michael C. Watson
Security Consultant
Directory of Internet Security (http://www.all-internet-security.com)

02-12-2007, 09:09 PM
One of the biggest concern for end users/corporations in wireless networking is security. That is why, most corporations have two/three level of securities enabled.

For home users, who normally don't even know how to setup security for wireless end up sharing their broadband connections which inevitably increases their bandwidth usage. Even for novice user who decides to read the user manual, WEP is easily breakable.

If security is your main concern then you should always enable WEP key, and also add additional security by only allowing MAC addresses of your systems to Wireless Access Point.

__________________________________________________ ___________________________
Future of networking with Power line Adapters.
Powerline adapter solutions for homes and enterprises

05-14-2007, 04:51 PM
Wireless security IS a huge concern these days but there are several “carrier class” devices on the market these days that employ AES encryption on top of proprietary scrambling algorithms. With AES encryption you are basically creating a VPN tunnel through the air. This is extremely safe and the bridges are extremely reliable. Below I have included some examples of wireless devices that offer AES encryption.

Here are a couple of examples:

Exalt EX-5r (http://www.wlanmall.com/exalt-communications-m-36.html)
Motorola Canopy PTP400 and PTP600 Series, Backhaul (http://www.wlanmall.com/motorola-canopy-m-37.html?filter_id=108&sort=3a)
Motorola Canopy Point to Multi-Point, Wireless Broadband Access (http://www.wlanmall.com/access-point-motorola-canopy-c-3_110.html)
Airaya Wireless Grid (http://www.wlanmall.com/airaya-m-11.html)
Proxim Wireless Mesh Products (http://www.wlanmall.com/ap700ap4000ap4900-series-wireless-mesh-e-161.html)
Strix Wireless Mesh Products (http://www.wlanmall.com/strix-systems-m-40.html)

I hop you find this interesting...


01-06-2008, 01:06 AM
Can anyone add anything to expand this resource discussion?

06-21-2008, 09:55 AM
Wireless networks are not that secure but we can take some precautions to make it more secure:

1) Secure your wireless router or access point administration interface

2) Don't broadcast your SSID

3)Enable WPA encryption instead of WEP

4) Remember that WEP is better than nothing

5) Use MAC filtering for access control

6) Reduce your WLAN transmitter power

7) Disable remote administration

09-24-2008, 04:32 PM
The BEST way to do this is to simply have a tracking system implemented on your server.

That way, you can be alerted when anything unwarranted accesses the internet.

09-24-2008, 06:24 PM
Can anyone add anything to expand this resource discussion?

I have a couple of questions. Why is it so important to secure your connection? Now of course, I have secured mine. But, when I am out in town, I can pick up various signals to access. When I pick up an unsecured connection, I will get the message that others might be able to access my computer. To what extinct is this true? Are others able to see what files I have on my computer, cookies I have accessed or could they even download viruses on my computer?

10-20-2008, 02:13 PM
I think there are a lot of baseless speculations regarding security over the wi-fi network. To get to know what I am talking about, make sure to read the Myths of Wi fi security risks.
Technically True: The Ugly Myth Of WiFi Security Risks (http://technicallytrue.blogspot.com/2005/07/ugly-myth-of-wifi-security-risks.html)

Steve Baker
09-18-2009, 06:13 PM
Wi-Fi also allows connectivity in peer-to-peer (wireless ad hoc network) mode, which enables devices to connect directly with each other. This connectivity mode can prove useful in consumer electronics and gaming applications.

When wireless networking technology first entered the market many problems ensued for consumers who could not rely on products from different vendors working together. The Wi-Fi Alliance began as a community to solve this issue — aiming to address the needs of the end-user and to allow the technology to mature. The Alliance created the branding Wi-Fi CERTIFIED to reassure consumers that products will interoperate with other products displaying the same branding.

06-21-2010, 04:56 AM
While going through a IM Chat with a friend who has got a 1MBPS Internet Connection i came to know that he is experiencing low broadband speed and after doing a speed check he found that the download speed comes to around 60kbps which is 50% of the full capacity he should receive. The next question to him was the way he connected to this ISP or the ADSL Router, and his answer was using a Wifi Router, so that he can move around his house and still stay connected to the Internet on his Laptop and Apple iPhone. If he didnt setup a Wifi Hotspot through his Laptop, then the final call would be that his Wifi Router is completely unsecured and opened to public access. This means that anyone in the router connectivity area can connect to this Wireless Network Connection for free and get access to the Internet.

04-18-2011, 04:35 PM
In computer networking, wireless technology is a modern alternative to networks that use cables. A wireless arrangement transmits abstracts by microwave and added radio signals. Any kind of network technology increases the usefulness of home and business computers. Wireless networks offer even more benefits than wired ones.