As your network grows, additional wireless and wired devices can be connected to the network to access
For help in setting up your WLAN, refer to the information provided by your router manufacturer or your
Protecting your WLAN
It is essential to understand that because the WLAN standard was designed with only limited security
capabilities—basically to foil casual eavesdropping rather than more powerful forms of attack—WLANs
are vulnerable to well-known and well-documented security weaknesses.
WLANs in public areas, or "hotspots," like coffee shops and airports may not provide any security. New
technologies are being developed by wireless manufacturers and hotspot service providers that make
the public environment more secure and anonymous. If you are concerned about the security of your
device in a hotspot, limit your network activities to noncritical e-mail and basic Internet surfing.
When you set up a WLAN or access an existing WLAN, always enable security features to protect your
network from unauthorized access. The common security levels are Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)-
Personal and Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Because wireless radio signals travel outside the
network, other WLAN devices can pick up unprotected signals and either connect to your network
(uninvited) or capture information being sent across it. However, you can take precautions to protect
Use a wireless transmitter with built-in security
Many wireless base stations, gateways, or routers provide built-in security features such as
wireless security protocols and firewalls. With the correct wireless transmitter, you can protect your
network from the most common wireless security risks.
Work behind a firewall
A firewall is a barrier that checks both data and requests for data that are sent to your network,
and discards any suspicious items. Firewalls are available in many varieties, both software and
hardware. Some networks use a combination of both types.
Use wireless encryption
A variety of sophisticated encryption protocols is available for your WLAN. Find the solution that
works best for your network security:
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a wireless security protocol that encodes or encrypts all
network data before it is transmitted using a WEP key. Usually, you can allow the network to
assign the WEP key. Alternatively, you can set up your own key, generate a different key, or
choose other advanced options. Without the correct key, others will not be able to use the
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access), like WEP, uses security settings to encrypt and decrypt data
that is transmitted over the network. However, instead of using one static security key for
encryptions as WEP does, WPA uses "temporal key integrity protocol" (TKIP) to dynamically
generate a new key for every packet. It also generates different sets of keys for each device
on the network.
Close your network
If possible, prevent your network name (SSID) from being broadcast by the wireless transmitter.
Most networks initially broadcast the name, telling any device nearby that your network is available.
By closing the network, other devices are less likely to know that your network exists.
Chapter 3 Internet