Sydney Wireless

October 20, 2005

RF Math Made Easy

Filed under: Information — evilbunny @ 9:26 am

At some point, you’ll probably need to perform “RF mathematics” when installing or supporting a wireless LAN. In most cases, this will involve dealing with logarithmic relationships, which is a bit beyond what most of our brains can handle directly. So let’s take a look at what might make this pesky math a bit easier.

October 19, 2005

Two Firewalls Too Much of a Good Thing

Filed under: Information — evilbunny @ 9:24 am

One Internet connection and two computers each running firewall software can mean PCs that refuse to talk to each other. Here’s an easy way to break down walls. Plus, diagnosing the cause of a dysfunctional wireless network.

Q. I recently purchased a new PC and moved my old PC into the kids room. We have only the one printer and the kids needed access to the Internet anyway, so I decided to setup a small network to give them access to these things. It went smoothly except for one small problem. For some reason I can’t seem to access either PC without first disabling my ZoneAlarm firewall. When the firewall is disabled, everything works fine. However, the moment I turn it on I lose all conductivity with the other PC. I don’t understand why I have to disable my firewall in order to access my new PC. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions you have to fix this would be helpful. Thank you.

October 18, 2005

Mesh Networking a Viable Alternative

Filed under: Miscellaneous — evilbunny @ 9:24 am

With traditional Wi-Fi networks, access points form radio cells that provide wireless connectivity to users, and these access points require cabling that interconnects them with Ethernet switches to enable roaming and connections to servers and the Internet. This is the most common wireless LAN configuration, but a problem for many applications is that it’s costly and not feasible to run cabling to each access point. As a result, vendors such as BelAir Networks, Firetide and Tropos Networks are delivering mesh networking solutions to ease installations where cabling gets in the way.

In general, mesh networking replaces the access points with “backhaul nodes” that are entirely wireless, except for the electrical cord. One side of the node interfaces with Wi-Fi users, typically via 802.11b/g. The Wi-Fi user associates with the mesh network node just as it does with an access point. The other side of the backhaul node has radios that interconnect the node to other backhaul nodes that comprise the mesh network.

October 17, 2005

WEP, WPA and Wireless Security

Filed under: Information — evilbunny @ 9:11 am

Wireless networking is relatively easy to setup, but it’s also easy to forget the importance of protecting yourself. We dissect WEP and WPA and also offer some commonsense advice.

Q. I’ve often heard that wireless networks aren’t very secure and as a result have resisted the temptation of implementing one for myself. However, between the wife and kids constantly taking over my office to use the Internet and the cost associated with having Ethernet cable run throughout the house, I decided that it was time to give Wi-Fi a chance.

While researching wireless routers I kept coming upon the terms WPA and WEP. From what I read, I understand that these are related to wireless security and that WPA is supposedly the successor to WEP, due to its inadequate security capabilities. Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand a lot of what I read. So I was hoping you might me able to explain it to me in a way that might be a bit easier to understand. Also I was wondering what additional steps I could take to better secure my wireless network once it’s up and running. Thanks in advance for all of your help.

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