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Wireless FAQ: Security

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June 30, 2006 4:12:22 PM

Got a question about wireless security? Consult our Wireless Security FAQ.

More about : wireless faq security

July 5, 2006 1:30:46 PM

Quote:
Is traffic on a Wireless Distribution System (WDS) bridge more secure than other wireless data?

No. Although data in a WDS connection can be WEP encrypted, WDS requires the MAC addresses in each packet's header to be unencrypted.

Also, the current version of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) does not handle WDS.

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• Do any products support Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) over a WDS bridged connection?

No. In general, you won't find products that support WPA through a WDS-bridged connection. The reason is that WDS uses MAC addresses to communicate, and WPA is designed to encrypt the MAC addresses. [Thnx to Buffalo Technology for their help on this question.]



But now at my home I am connecting my wireless router with the Apple Airport Extreme with WDS using WPA-PSK without any problem. Does it mean something else?
July 10, 2006 9:48:02 PM

Quote:
But now at my home I am connecting my wireless router with the Apple Airport Extreme with WDS using WPA-PSK without any problem. Does it mean something else?

I checked with my expert contacts who said that WPA and WPA2 are still not supported through a WDS connection.

You can have clients using WPA or WPA2 associated with a wireless router that also supports WDS. But if that router connects to another router via a WDS connection, that router-to-router WDS connection cannot be encrypted with WPA or WPA2.
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July 11, 2006 2:09:49 PM

I have a good question.

Is it possible to set multiple security settings in a WDS environment? I have one setup at my house but have a laptop with embedded NIC that only supports WEP and I have other nodes that support WPA. I leave it all on WEP so they can all play nicely but I would like the added security. I know I can set one AP for WEP and once for WPA and have each connect to whichever is needed but....
July 11, 2006 2:36:56 PM

Quote:
Is it possible to set multiple security settings in a WDS environment? I have one setup at my house but have a laptop with embedded NIC that only supports WEP and I have other nodes that support WPA. I leave it all on WEP so they can all play nicely but I would like the added security. I know I can set one AP for WEP and once for WPA and have each connect to whichever is needed but....

Good question, which I should add to the FAQ. There were some products a year or so back that supported mixed WEP / WPA environments. But most products do not allow this in a single AP since the WEP connection compromises the security of the WPA clients.
July 11, 2006 8:43:26 PM

Ok, I dont think I would be willing to overhaul my AP's once again so I will just leave it as is or set seperate settings for each AP.
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