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Wireless Notworks

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This article is over 18 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

Despite lots of hype, strong consumer interest, and cheap bandwidth and hardware, wireless networks are not yet everwhere. Read | Waiting for Wi-Fi [via Saltire]

March 6, 2002 5:43 PM

I read somewhere a long time ago about communities setting up multiple WAPs in order to stay wired into WIFI. Now that would rock. Hell, enough people and you could have your whole town hooked up. I'm not sure about the exact technology to make that happen, but it sounds feasible. Hopefully 802.11a will be more secure, because I guess current encryption sucks. 802.11g coming on board in the next year will be important due to it's ability to communicate with 802.11b. Seems to me if you are going ground up, I'd wait for a to get cheaper. If you already have b, g will be an important upgrade...(wow, does any of that makes sense!?)

Adam Kalsey
March 6, 2002 7:29 PM

It's amazing the number of people that badmouth 802.11b because the wireless link isn't secure. Having a wireless link that can be accessed by anyone isn't much different than having open ethernet ports in your lobby or conference room. Just because someone can connect via the wireless link doesn't mean your network isn't secure. You can take a few simple steps to make sure your wireless net is locked down. First, make sure the access point is outside your firewall. If it is inside, anyone connected to it from the parking lot can poke around on your network. Second, force anyone that wants to connect to the internal network to use a VPN. PPTP is very easy to set up and will encrypt all of the traffic over the wireless link without relying on WEP. Third, make sure that people can't connect to your corporate files without a valid account. That way, no matter how an outsider connects to your network (over wireless or through an unprotected ethernet jack), they won't get to access anything sensitive.

March 6, 2002 9:44 PM

Right. Good points/tips. I was only really relaying what I had read, etc. That one reason I try to stay tuned in to blogs like yours and others...I learn so much. ;-)

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