How to troubleshoot and secure your wireless network

The wireless network's security is something crucial thing that can protect or facilitate in the theft of the data. The main thing in the security is the encryption of the data. Encryption is a process of obscuring information to make it unreadable. In simple words, it is the translation of data into a secret code. The most effective way to achieve data security is Encryption. One cannot gain access to an encrypted file without the secret key or password. Password decrypts the encrypted document. Encryption converts the data into a form called cipher text, which cannot be understood by unauthorized people. The stronger the cipher the harder it is for the unauthorized people to break it. Cost is the main factor for the strength of encryption. Here are some ways through which one can ensure that the data is encrypted and the wireless network is safe;



WPA

All wireless computers are radio transmitters and receivers which anyone can listen in. To make sure that the information remains private, the solution is to encrypt the data so that a limited access is achieved. Only people with the password can transmit and can read the data. One can have the security control of the network through the QPA. But for many of the public Wi-Fi, one might not be able to give the same statement.



WPA2

WPA2 was the final certified version of WPA which came out in 2004. It introduced Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP).



WEP

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is an encryption methodology. By using this system one can set up different levels of encryption key strength, either 40-bit key or 104-bit key. In the year 2001 many WEP cryptographic vulnerabilities were identified. One of them is that WEP used static keys, the keys never changed. All the people were using the same keys and the keys were static. This made it easy to crack into any WEP connection in just a few minutes. So it was recommended not to use WEP. When the encryption vulnerability was found out then Wi-Fi protected access was introduced. It was referred to WPA, WPA2 and WPA2-Enterprise.



EAP

Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). It is a common set of frameworks that can be used to authenticate people onto wireless networks. It provides many different ways to authenticate based on RFC standards. WPA and WPA2 use five EAP types such as authentication mechanisms



PEAP

PEAP stands for Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol. It is created by Cisco, Microsoft and RSA Security. To come up with a way to encrypt all of these communications that is very much a standard network across mini wireless devises what this essentially does is create a TLS tunnel, one certificate on the server. And the entire authentication is encrypted in that tunnel.



LEAP

A common way of setting up the authentication methods especially early on wireless networks was created as a proprietary method by Cisco it is called Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP). LEAP uses passwords only; no detailed certificate management is required. It is based on MS-CHAP (including MS-CHAP security shortcomings).



MAC filter

MAC stands for Media Access Control, it is the hardware address. It limits access through the physical hardware by keeping the neighbours out and by maintaining an additional administration with visitors. It is easy to find working MAC addresses through wireless LAN analysis. MAC addresses can be spoofed and it's free open-source software. In reality it provides a security through obscurity.



Disable SSID broadcast

SSID stands for Service set identifier. To ensure safety one must change the SSID to something not-so obvious. One might also be able to disable the SSID broadcasting from the configuration settings of the access point by turning the broadcast on or off. SSID is easily determined through wireless network analysis. Applying this provides security through obscurity.



TKIP

When WPA came out it used TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol). TKIP provides the rotation of keys. This was an improvement over WEP primarily because TKIP allowed changing the keys in every packet. And the rotation made it very difficult to decrypt the data. The mechanism which is used in the TKIP is almost same as the WEP. Hence the one, who is using such network, is prone to get attacked by the similar attacks.



CCMP

The CCMP is the encryption protocol which has been designed especially for the WLAN products. They can help implementing the standards of the IEE 802. It is the enhanced data encryption mechanism which is designed for the confidentiality of the data and it also meets the AES standards, With the help of this, one can get ensured that ne would be able to maintain the data encryption and the data would stay safe and in the confidentiality. Also, the protocol ensures that only the authorized parties, which are authorized by one, can get access to the information. Also, one can get some authentication and the proof of the genuineness and the last but not the least, one can also benefit the other perks like the layer management conjunction. Also, one can be very comfortable using this since the CCMP is has a block chipper mode. It uses the 128 key and hence it can secure some attacks against the operation.



Antenna Placement

Where one might put the antenna can make a huge difference on the security level. The access points can be layered and overlapped a little bit so that frequencies don't create any problem. One might adjust the power levels or use different types of antennas. The best thing about the antenna is that we can know that we should be putting the router closer to get some full access. Like, if one has router located at the ground floor and he is working at the upper floor, then one should put the antenna at some place where he can get maximum signals. Another thing that he can do is, to install new router there. Normally, the antennas that one has have some limited range, are not being used these days. But they can be very helpful for one. Like, if one wants to get the signals become limited then it is a great tool to apply at home.



Power level controls

One should set the power level to as low as they can in a wireless configuration. In this way the control of the signal level can be achieved. Some additional study is required to know the exact amount of power that should be set. The power control is actually said to be the intelligent selection of some power output of a transmitter it helps the communication system get some good performance there in the system. One should know that the good performance can actually depends on the optimizing metrics and the context as well.



Captive portals

This is the technique which forces the HTTP client who is on a network, to see some special webpage before he starts using the internet in a normal way. Hence, it helps turning the web browser in the authentication device. One can get it done by some interception the packets, not caring about the ports or the addresses. At such time, the browser becomes directed towards a web page which can have some authentication required or the payment as well. So when someone open up the browser and finds out a message that he hasn't paid the previous bills and he needs to do that in order to keep enjoying the services, then the network provider has dome it through the usage of the technique mentioned. Also, the web browser can also be directed towards some page which can require the authentication. One can find these captive portals are several places which can include the wireless routers at home, offices, hotels rooms, some business centres and the jacks for open Ethernet as well. The thing is that the login page ah to be presented to the client itself. That login page has to be stored in the gateway locally, or in the hosting of webserver. There the page has to be listed through some walled gardened so it can get bypassed the given authentication process. It also depends on the set features of the gateway.



Antenna types

The signal might also depend on the receiver. High gain antennas can hear a lot. It also depends hugely on the location, where the connection is used. The antennas are of any types and one can find them in the market. They can be the yogi type, the ones which were used decades ago for the TV signals receiving. The antenna can be the dipoles and the monopole as well and one should know about them all in order to develop some better understanding of how this antenna system works and how it can help someone get and send some really good signals.



Site surveys

the site survey, which is the wireless survey, is also known as the RF site or the wireless survey. Is basically a process which includes the planning and the design of the wireless network? It helps one getting some wireless solution which can deliver the demanded wireless coverage's, network capacities and the roaming abilities. This survey also includes some site visits to the testing d RF and to have some ability to get the optimum install locations for the access point. Also, it requires some analysis of the building of facility inception, floor plans, and the survey site tools. One should also know that it includes the interviews done with the IT management and with the end users too to help understand that what are demanded design parameters which related to the wireless network. One should also know that when the wireless site survey is done, some of the effective boundary is set up as well. It helps ne defining the area upon which the signals levels would support the applications intended. Also, it would be involving the minimum of the signals and noise ratio. Also, the survey can also include some auditing, diagnosing, walk testing etc. One should also know about the process of the wireless sites. They are done with the help of some computer software's which helps collecting the data and analysing the metrics of the WLAN and the spectrum characteristics. Before the survey is conducted, some site map of first imported to the survey site application and then is calibrated to the scale. Also, during one survey, the person taking that survey walks into the facility and keeps a portable computer with him which can help recording the data continuously. Also, then he marks the position he currently holds on the map manually, and then clicks at the floor plan and sues the GPS receiver that also marks the position automatically. This helps a lot if the survey is being conducted outdoors. After this survey is done, then the analysis of this data is performed. The results which are gained by the survey are then documented in some reports of the survey which is generated through the application.



VPN (over open wireless)

VPN is the standard way to secure communication between a remote user and their primary network.

It is basically the part of some comprehensive network access which includes the authentication support and the authorization services. One can find two main strategies which can help someone secure the connection between the private networks and then can enable the access for the remote users as well. The systems and methods listed above only provide a security through obscurity. They have marked changes in securing the wireless network but many changes are yet to come, which may provide one with the high level security that one wishes to achieve. Hackers are everywhere and one must be careful with their valuable data.



So basically, one should know what parameters are available out there, which can help someone improve the security of the wireless network. Also, one can know which steps should be taken in order to improve the performance and the signals range. The encryption types, specially can lead someone have the security of the data and the power settings can ensure some really good performance is the devices which are used by one.


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