An Easier Way To Secure Wireless Networks

    Date23 May 2005
    Posted ByBrittany Day
    Best Buy reports that its most frequently returned products are Wi-Fi networking gear. While many end users want the benefits of Wi-Fi, apparently very few can figure out how to set the wireless security features and get them working properly. Even experienced networking pros have trouble configuring security on today's Wi-Fi networks.

    If you set up Wi-Fi networks for your clients with any degree of regularity, you've probably come across security set-up issues of your own. Sometimes, WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) won't set-up properly, so you reduce the level of security to WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), the older, more easily crack-able scheme. Or maybe you've thrown in the towel altogether to run wireless networks without any protection at all--a dangerous setup.

    Combine lax security with Wi-Fi security threats--such as drive-by spamming, man-in-the-middle attacks, and network snooping, sniffing and spoofing--and you're leading your users into trouble. They could lose intellectual property, suffer privacy breaches, or fall prey to malicious network attacks.

    Fortunately, wiress equipment makers are improving their security set-up wizards and interfaces, though that does nothing for users of existing equipment. In this TechBuilder Recipe, I'll show you how secure existing wireless networks by choosing and positioning the Wi-Fi hardware, understanding important options (like 802.11a, b, g and n), installing the equipment, and locking down security settings.

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