Access points, which require interconnecting cabling, generally play a dominant role for providing coverage in most wireless LAN deployments. Wireless repeaters , however, are a way to extend the range of an existing wireless LAN instead of adding more access points. There are few standalone wireless LAN repeaters on the market, but some access points have a built-in repeater mode. A repeater simply regenerates a network signal to extend the range of the existing network infrastructure.
See Figure A wireless LAN repeater does not physically connect by wire to any part of the network. Instead, it receives radio signals from an access point, end-user device, or another repeater; it retransmits the frames. This makes it possible for a repeater located between an access point and distant user to act as a relay for frames traveling back and forth between the user and the access point.
As a result, wireless repeaters are an effective solution to overcome signal impairments such as RF attenuation. For example, repeaters provide connectivity to remote areas that normally would not have wireless network access. An access point in a home or small office might not quite cover the entire area where users need connectivity, such as a basement or patio. The placement of a repeater between the covered and uncovered areas, however, will provide connectivity throughout the entire space.
The wireless repeater fills holes in coverage, enabling seamless roaming. A downside of wireless repeaters, however, is that they reduce performance of a wireless LAN. A repeater must receive and retransmit each frame on the same radio channel, which effectively doubles the amount of traffic on the network.
Securing Enterprise Wireless Networks
This problem compounds when using multiple repeaters, because each repeater will duplicate the data sent. Therefore, be sure to plan the use of repeaters sparingly. Most antennae for wireless LANs are omnidirectional and have low gain. Nearly all access points, routers, and repeaters come standard with omnidirectional antennae. Omnidirectional antennae satisfy most coverage requirements; however, consider the use of optional directive antennae to cover a long, narrow area.
In some cases, the antenna is integrated within a radio card or access point and there is no choice to make.
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If a need exists to use a directive antenna higher gain , ensure that the radio card or access point has an external antenna connector. Toggle navigation.
See also. Home Networking Wireless networks first-step. Access Points An access point contains a radio card that communicates with individual user devices on the wireless LAN, as well as a wired NIC that interfaces to a distribution system , such as Ethernet. Wireless LAN Access Points Connect Wireless LANs to Wired Networks Photo Courtesy of Linksys In most cases, the access point provides an http interface that enables configuration changes to the access point through an end-user device that is equipped with a network interface and a web browser.
Routers By definition, a router transfers packets between networks. Repeaters Access points, which require interconnecting cabling, generally play a dominant role for providing coverage in most wireless LAN deployments. Antennae Most antennae for wireless LANs are omnidirectional and have low gain.
Remember the name: eTutorials. Wireless Networks first-step. About the Technical Reviewers. Goals of This Book. Who Ought to Read This Book. How This Book Is Organized.
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Stuff You'll Find in This Book. Chapter 1.
Learn Wireless Basics
Wireless Networks Defined. Wireless Network Applications. Wireless Network Benefits. Chapter Summary.
Home networking: Everything you need to know
Chapter Review Questions. Chapter 2. Wireless Network System Components. Network Architecture. Information Signals. Flow of Information Through a Wireless Network. Chapter 3.
Wireless Transceivers. Understanding RF Signals. Understanding Light Signals. Modulation: Preparing Signals for Propagation. Chapter 4. Wireless PAN Components. Wireless PAN Systems. Wireless PAN Technologies. Chapter 5. As networks grow in size and complexity, security concerns also increase. Unlike wired networks, which have robust security tools—such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, content filters, and antivirus and anti-malware detection programs—wireless networks also called Wi-Fi provide wireless access points that can be susceptible to infiltration.
Because they may lack the same protections as wired networks, wireless networks and devices can fall victim to a variety of attacks designed to gain access to an enterprise network. See Securing Wireless Networks for more information on threats to wireless networks. Network security protocols have advanced to offset the constant evolution of attacks.
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IT security professionals and network administrators should also consider these additional best practices to help safeguard their enterprise Wi-Fi networks:. WIDS provides the ability to automatically monitor and detect the presence of any unauthorized, rogue access points, while WIPS deploys countermeasures to identified threats. Was this document helpful?
View Previous Tips. Like Me. What is enterprise network security?
Wireless Home Networking For Dummies Cheat Sheet
What security threats do enterprise wireless networks face? How can you minimize the risks to enterprise Wi-Fi networks? IT security professionals and network administrators should also consider these additional best practices to help safeguard their enterprise Wi-Fi networks: Deploy a wireless intrusion detection system WIDS and a wireless intrusion prevention system WIPS on every network. Ensure existing equipment is free from known vulnerabilities by updating all software in accordance with developer service pack issuance.
Use existing equipment that can be securely configured. Ensure compliance with the most current National Institute of Standards and Technology. Establish multifactor authentication for access to your network.
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