Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wireless LAN

Cracking Wireless Networks
It also shows how to prevent people from cracking your wireless network(s). ... (more)...cracking wireless WEP WPA prevention The video shows to how crack WEP- or WPA-secured networks. It also shows how to prevent people from cracking your wireless network

Siemens 6520 Wireless LAN Setup Pt 1
How to set up a wireless LAN for Windows XP using a Siemens 6520 4 port router...Siemens wireless 6520 LAN help router modem broadband orcon

Wireless LAN Security
kick people off of his wireless network. In this case the best offense is a good defense....wireless networking network lan local area security mac address

Monday, February 4, 2008


In 1970 University of Hawaii, under the leadership of Norman Abramson, developed the world’s first computer communication network using low-cost ham-like radios, named ALOHAnet. The bi-directional star topology of the system included seven computers deployed over four islands to communicate with the central computer on the Oahu Island without using phone lines.[3]

"In 1979, F.R. Gfeller and U. Bapst published a paper in the IEEE Proceedings reporting an experimental wireless local area network using diffused infrared communications. Shortly thereafter, in 1980, P. Ferrert reported on an experimental application of a single code spread spectrum radio for wireless terminal communications in the IEEE National Telecommunications Conference. In 1984, a comparison between Infrared and CDMA spread spectrum communications for wireless office information networks was published by Kaveh Pahlavan in IEEE Computer Networking Symposium which appeared later in the IEEE Communication Society Magazine. In May 1985, the efforts of Marcus led the FCC to announce experimental ISM bands for commercial application of spread spectrum technology. Later on, M. Kavehrad reported on an experimental wireless PBX system using code division multiple access. These efforts prompted significant industrial activities in the development of a new generation of wireless local area networks and it updated several old discussions in the portable and mobile radio industry.

The first generation of wireless data modems was developed in the early 1980's by amateur radio operators. They added a voice band data communication modem, with data rates below 9600 bit/s, to an existing short distance radio system, typically in the two meter amateur band. The second generation of wireless modems was developed immediately after the FCC announcement in the experimental bands for non-military use of the spread spectrum technology. These modems provided data rates on the order of hundreds of kbit/s. The third generation of wireless modem [then] aimed at compatibility with the existing LANs with data rates on the order of Mbit/s. Several companies [developed] the third generation products with data rates above 1 Mbit/s and a couple of products [had] already been announced [by the time of the first IEEE Workshop on Wireless LANs]."[4]

"The first of the IEEE Workshops on Wireless LAN was held in 1991. At that time early wireless LAN products had just appeared in the market and the IEEE 802.11 committee had just started its activities to develop a standard for wireless LANs. The focus of that first workshop was evaluation of the alternative technologies. [By 1996], the technology [was] relatively mature, a variety of applications [had] been identified and addressed and technologies that enable these applications [were] well understood. Chip sets aimed at wireless LAN implementations and applications, a key enabling technology for rapid market growth, [were] emerging in the market. Wireless LANs [were being] used in hospitals, stock exchanges, and other in building and campus settings for nomadic access, point-to-point LAN bridges, ad-hoc networking, and even larger applications through internetworking. The IEEE 802.11 standard and variants and alternatives, such as the wireless LAN interoperability forum and the European HIPERLAN specification [had] made rapid progress, and the unlicensed PCS [ Unlicensed Personal Communications Services and the proposed SUPERNet, later on renamed as U-NII, bands also presented new opportunities." [5]

On July 21, 1999, AirPort debuted at the Macworld Expo in New York City with Steve Jobs picking up an iBook supposedly to give the cameraman a better shot as he surfed the Web. Applause quickly built as people realized there were no wires. This was the first time Wireless LAN became publicly available at consumer pricing and easily available for home use. Before the release of the Airport, Wireless LAN was too expensive for consumer use and used exclusively in large corporate settings.

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. 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). An alternative ATM-like 5 GHz standardized technology, HIPERLAN, has so far not succeeded in the market, and with the release of the faster 54 Mbit/s 802.11a (5 GHz) and 802.11g (2.4 GHz) standards, almost certainly never will.

In November 2006, the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) won a legal battle in the US federal court of Texas against Buffalo Technology which found the US manufacturer had failed to pay royalties on a US WLAN patent CSIRO had filed in 1996. CSIRO are currently engaged in legal cases with computer companies including Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Netgear which argue that the patent is invalid and should negate any royalties paid to CSIRO for WLAN-based products.


The popularity of wireless LANs is a testament primarily to their convenience, cost efficiency, and ease of integration with other networks and network components. The majority of computers sold to consumers today come pre-equipped with all necessary wireless LAN technology.

The benefits of wireless LANs include:

-Convenience: The wireless nature of such networks allows users to access network resources from nearly any convenient location within their primary networking environment (home or office). With the increasing saturation of laptop-style computers, this is particularly relevant.
-Mobility: With the emergence of public wireless networks, users can access the internet even outside their normal work environment. Most chain coffee shops, for example, offer their customers a wireless connection to the internet at little or no cost.
-Productivity: Users connected to a wireless network can maintain a nearly constant affiliation with their desired network as they move from place to place. For a business, this implies that an employee can potentially be more productive as his or her work can be accomplished from any convenient location.
-Deployment: Initial setup of an infrastructure-based wireless network requires little more than a single access point. Wired networks, on the other hand, have the additional cost and complexity of actual physical cables being run to numerous locations (which can even be impossible for hard-to-reach locations within a building).
-Expandability: Wireless networks can serve a suddenly-increased number of clients with the existing equipment. In a wired network, additional clients would require additional wiring.
-Cost: Wireless networking hardware is at worst a modest increase from wired counterparts. This potentially increased cost is almost always more than outweighed by the savings in cost and labor associated to running physical cables.


Wireless LAN technology, while replete with the conveniences and advantages described above, has its share of downfalls. For a given networking situation, wireless LANs may not be desirable for a number of reasons. Most of these have to do with the inherent limitations of the technology.

-Security: Wireless LAN transceivers are designed to serve computers throughout a structure with uninterrupted service using radio frequencies. Because of space and cost, the antennas typically present on wireless networking cards in the end computers are generally relatively poor. In order to properly receive signals using such limited antennas throughout even a modest area, the wireless LAN transceiver utilizes a fairly considerable amount of power. What this means is that not only can the wireless packets be intercepted by a nearby adversary's poorly-equipped computer, but more importantly, a user willing to spend a small amount of money on a good quality antenna can pick up packets at a remarkable distance; perhaps hundreds of times the radius as the typical user. In fact, there are even computer users dedicated to locating and sometimes even cracking into wireless networks, known as wardrivers. On a wired network, any adversary would first have to overcome the physical limitation of tapping into the actual wires, but this is not an issue with wireless packets. To combat this consideration, wireless networks users usually choose to utilize various encryption technologies available such as Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). Some of the older encryption methods, such as WEP are known to have weaknesses that a dedicated adversary can compromise. (See main article: Wireless security.)
-Range: The typical range of a common 802.11g network with standard equipment is on the order of tens of meters. While sufficient for a typical home, it will be insufficient in a larger structure. To obtain additional range, repeaters or additional access points will have to be purchased. Costs for these items can add up quickly. Other technologies are in the development phase, however, which feature increased range, hoping to render this disadvantage irrelevant. (See WiMAX)
-Reliability: Like any radio frequency transmission, wireless networking signals are subject to a wide variety of interference, as well as complex propagation effects (such as multipath, or especially in this case Rician fading) that are beyond the control of the network administrator. In the case of typical networks, modulation is achieved by complicated forms of phase-shift keying (PSK) or quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), making interference and propagation effects all the more disturbing. As a result, important network resources such as servers are rarely connected wirelessly.
-Speed: The speed on most wireless networks (typically 1-108 Mbit/s) is reasonably slow compared to the slowest common wired networks (100 Mbit/s up to several Gbit/s). There are also performance issues caused by TCP and its built-in congestion avoidance. For most users, however, this observation is irrelevant since the speed bottleneck is not in the wireless routing but rather in the outside network connectivity itself. For example, the maximum ADSL throughput (usually 8 Mbit/s or less) offered by telecommunications companies to general-purpose customers is already far slower than the slowest wireless network to which it is typically connected. That is to say, in most environments, a wireless network running at its slowest speed is still faster than the internet connection serving it in the first place. However, in specialized environments, higher throughput through a wired network might be necessary. Newer standards such as 802.11n are addressing this limitation and will support peak throughputs in the range of 100-200 Mbit/s.

Wireless LANs present a host of issues for network managers. Unauthorized access points, broadcasted SSIDs, unknown stations, and spoofed MAC addresses are just a few of the problems addressed in WLAN troubleshooting. Most network analysis vendors, such as Network Instruments, Network General, and Fluke, offer WLAN troubleshooting tools or functionalities as part of their product line.



All components that can connect into a wireless medium in a network are referred to as stations.

All stations are equipped with wireless network interface cards (WNICs).

Wireless stations fall into one of two categories: access points, and clients.

Access points (APs) are base stations for the wireless network. They transmit and receive radio frequencies for wireless enabled devices to communicate with.

Wireless clients can be mobile devices such as laptops, personal digital assistants, IP phones, or fixed devices such as desktops and workstations that are equipped with a wireless network interface.

Basic service set

The basic service set (BSS) is a set of all stations that can communicate with each other.

There are two types of BSS: independent BSS, and infrastructure BSS.

Every BSS has an identification (ID) called the BSSID, which is the MAC address of the access point servicing the BSS.

An independent BSS is an ad-hoc network that contains no access points, which means they can not connect to any other basic service set.

An infrastructure BSS can communicate with other stations not in the same basic service set by communicating through access points.

Extended service set

An extended service set (ESS) is a set of connected BSSes. Access points in an ESS are connected by a distribution system. Each ESS has an ID called the SSID which is a 32-byte (maximum) character string. For example, "linksys" is the default SSID for Linksys routers.

Distribution system

A distribution system connects access points in an extended service setup.

Types of wireless LANs


A peer-to-peer (P2P) allows wireless devices to directly communicate with each other. Wireless devices within range of each other can discover and communicate directly without involving central access points. This method is typically used by two computers so that they can connect to each other to form a network.

If a signal strength meter is used in this situation, it may not read the strength accurately and can be misleading, because it registers the strength of the strongest signal, which may be the closest computer.

802.11 specs define the physical layer (PHY) and MAC (Media Access Control) layers. However, unlike most other IEEE specs, 802.11 includes three alternative PHY standards: diffuse infrared operating at 1 Mbit/s in; frequency-hopping spread spectrum operating at 1 Mbit/s or 2 Mbit/s; and direct-sequence spread spectrum operating at 1 Mbit/s or 2 Mbit/s. A single 802.11 MAC standard is based on CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance). The 802.11 specification includes provisions designed to minimize collisions. Because two mobile units may both be in range of a common access point, but not in range of each other. The 802.11 has two basic modes of operation: Ad hoc mode enables peer-to-peer transmission between mobile units. Infrastructure mode in which mobile units communicate through an access point that serves as a bridge to a wired network infrastructure is the more common wireless LAN application the one being covered. Since wireless communication uses a more open medium for communication in comparison to wired LANs, the 802.11 designers also included a shared-key encryption mechanism, called wired equivalent privacy (WEP), or Wi-Fi Protected Access, (WPA, WPA2) to secure wireless computer networks.


A bridge can be used to connect networks, typically of different types. A wireless Ethernet bridge allows the connection of devices on a wired Ethernet network to a wireless network. The bridge acts as the connection point to the Wireless LAN.

Wireless distribution system

Main article: Wireless Distribution System
When it is difficult to connect all of the access points in a network by wires, it is also possible to put up access points as repeaters.

The notebook is connected to the wireless access point using a PC card wireless card.

The notebook is connected to the wireless access point using a PC card wireless card.

An embedded RouterBoard 112 with U.FL-RSMA pigtail and R52 mini PCI Wi-Fi card widely used by wirel

An embedded RouterBoard 112 with U.FL-RSMA pigtail and R52 mini PCI Wi-Fi card widely used by wirel