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Security <--> Performance trade-offs

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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January 15, 2010 9:54:20 PM

My wireless AP (Linksys WRT54G router being used for AP and wired switch) is primarily used to stream/transfer video files, so wireless security has not been that high on my priority list. From the beginning, I have not broadcast the SSID and I used a MAC filter list to act as bit of a speed bump, but overall the only real concern I had about somebody using my AP was its impact on performance.

A couple times on a whim I decided to experiment with encryption and found the impact on file transfer performance to be noticeable. Last night I tested out WPA2-Personal and PKIT+AES with a random 15 character key and found that streaming video performance was nearly cut in half!

Where is the best trade-off between security and performance? Is there a setup that will give me improved security over what I've been doing from the beginning without negatively impacting the performance I've been enjoying? Or is the only way to go with wireless-n components?
Anonymous
a b F Wireless
a b 8 Security
January 16, 2010 8:09:34 AM

It's a problem -- ideally one would use no security -- hiding the SSID or MAC filtering are useless anyway and may cause you problems.

My experience is that WPA is slightly slower to connect than WEP -- perhaps because it renegotiates the password encryption each time (or at least that's my understanding).

WEP can be cracked fairly easily but it's better than nothing (though some people say it's worse because it lulls you into a false sense of security).
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