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#131751 - 03/13/04 03:01 PM Wireless Local Area Network
Frank Cinker Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 317
Loc: Pennsylvania
In the most recent edition of EC Magazine I read about how contractors should become familiar with basics of wireless local area networks. Approx. how long will it be before it replaces the standard structured wiring system?

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#131752 - 03/14/04 08:27 AM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
There are many cases where you simply don't want wireless. A few years ago I worked in a place (defence contractor) where all the computers were on an optical network to prevent eavesdropping.

That said, there wireless networks are improving and it seems likely that they will replace traditional networks very soon in places where security is not an issue.

[This message has been edited by C-H (edited 03-14-2004).]

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#131753 - 03/16/04 05:32 AM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
C-H Offline

Member

Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 1508
Loc: Stockholm, Sweden
I just talked to the network guys in the office and it seems I was a bit too optimistic. According to them, there are limitations that stem from the limited spectrum for wireless networks. This means that if a lot of people go wireless, the devices will interfere with each other. So for the time being, the cables will dominate.

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#131754 - 03/16/04 06:05 AM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
rlrct Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/03
Posts: 25
Loc: South Windsor, CT
I don't agree with the position of not learning about wireless technology.

Fiber, then wired, networks will always be more secure because you need a physical connection to the network to snoop. Hardwired networks will also be faster, if for no other reason than you don't need to add the wireless transmission time to the network response.

Still, here some examples of places where wireless technology works in a commercial setting, even if hard-wired networks are the basis for their connectivity:

1) Meeting and Conference Rooms. As more and more people migrate to laptops (so they can take work home with them), wireless connectivity in meeting rooms will become desireable.
2) Cafeterias. During non-meal hours, cafeterias become prime spots for impromptu meetings because you don't have to sign up for the space. Wireless connectivity in the cafe means that meeting, or the worker who needs to escape from the phone, can be more productive.
3) Warehouse/loading dock areas.
4) Retail/POS - if all you need is a 120 VAC line for a register, you can put them almost anywhere. Flexibility in store layout becomes a merchandizing advantage.

Computers are my profession. We haven't gone to wireless for our office networks because of the cost, performance and, as long as workers are in our existing cubicles (OK - cells), it's not a big deal to use the already established hard-wire network. When wireless technology achieves current hardwire throughput (eg 100 Mbps and beyone), I'll bet that you start to see wireless stations popping up when the modular furniture is replaced.

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#131755 - 03/16/04 06:42 PM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
Nick Offline
Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 603
Loc: Riverside, CA
Be careful with those wireless networks. I now of a guy on another forum I visit that bought a wireless card and built a makeshift antenna. He now has access to 3 of his neighbors wireless networks. The scary part is he is savvy enough to know how to watch what they are downloading and he can hack into there computers and do whatever he wants in there personnel files.

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#131756 - 03/16/04 08:27 PM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
Bjarney Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/10/02
Posts: 2561
Loc: West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
An aspect of wireless data is as a condition of unlicensed transmitting, the user has to accept potential interference from other gear with the same frequency assignments—and the non-licensed bands may be used other {conceivably non-data} communications.

Although—an associate’s business gets 100Mb/sec fiber channels in his neighborhood for almost peanuts as part of a trial internet-access program. He told me if I moved into a packing create across the alley from his office, he’d give me free off-hours 45Mb/sec wireless data to my laptop. [These will help… www.safetycentral.com/norgearlecso.html but I just need to work out a way to wirelessly recharge batteries.]

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#131757 - 03/17/04 11:32 PM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and
Member

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
WiFi (IEEE 802.11) is really a neat option to physical hard-wired setups (structured cabling systems) - especially for the Home Office users with Laptops.

Not having to install cabling (tearing into walls, etc.) is a nice trade-off.

Having said that, the technology leaves users wide open to intrusion by Hacks of all levels
- low end Hacks (creators of flakey lame E-mail WORMS which are simple to identify);
to the most skilled ones - Guys/Gals that write stuff like Melissa and such (have really intelligent password and credit card number harvesters).

No Security is 100% Security, so keep this in mind at all times!

Myself, I have no crucial (read $$$) information on my machines - only the EE stuff that bores many, many, many-many-many people!

Even this still detours me from using WiFi on my home LAN. Not all conserns are lack of privacy, there is also the irritation of dropped packets from RFI found from many sources besides Radios (Cell Phones, Cordless Phones, etc.).

Being in a Neighborhood with many HAM users, I would not want to contribute to added nuiscance noise in their bands (making things suck for them), or transient interference stepping into my LAN (making things suck for me).
Judging from the Antennas, they have all bands covered - from the lower 10 Meter VHF upto UHF, plus some CB users - all within a 10 House radius.

Back to the topic...
Do any Wireless LAN setups have ability to employ encryption in the "Close to Strong" ranges?
Like 32 Bit, 64 Bit or actual Strong Encryption (128 Bit).
That would at least detour intrusion for some time.

Need to do studies in this area of technology, so I have actual answers and things to contribute, instead of questions and speculation!

So anyhow, what was the question??? ...
just kidding...

Scott35

BTW, had to edit a run-on sentence. I do not like those sentences they make it hard to read the message gets ambiguous and sometimes can be read wrong so you can see why I am so conserned about run on sentences like this one...


[This message has been edited by Scott35 (edited 03-18-2004).]
_________________________
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

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#131758 - 03/18/04 05:04 AM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
Frank Cinker Offline
Member

Registered: 07/29/01
Posts: 317
Loc: Pennsylvania
Scott-

One of these days when time permits would you consider making a block / single line drawing of a wireless local area network? Something very simple, even more so than previous drawing of LAN. As an electrician, I'd like to get an image of the basic concept.
I hope I'm not pushing a good thing by requesting yet another drawing from you.

Frank Cinker

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#131759 - 03/18/04 07:16 AM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
rlrct Offline
Member

Registered: 07/03/03
Posts: 25
Loc: South Windsor, CT
 Originally Posted By: "Scott35"


Do any Wireless LAN setups have ability to employ encryption in the "Close to Strong" ranges? Like 32 Bit, 64 Bit or actual Strong Encryption (128 Bit).



Yes.

Pretty much any of the wireless routers you can get at all the retail outlets that sell computer stuff are capable of 128-bit encryption. The key point is that level of encryption is not the default and must be enabled. You should also change the password to the encryption periodically and shouldn't use simple things like your name.

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#131760 - 03/24/04 08:53 PM Re: Wireless Local Area Network
JCooper Offline
Member

Registered: 12/30/02
Posts: 229
Loc: Kendall Park, NJ USA
Wireless is definetly starting to take off everywhere, I was in Manhatten and needed to download a file for a security system, all I had to do was walk down to the street and I have my choice of 6 wireless lans to jump on to. I did the right thing and used my Verizon account to connect, but there were three other unencrypted wlans to jump on. There can be some security configured, Cisco probably had the best where you need a certificate to connect, and you need a RADIUS server and so on. The problem with the current encryption is that anybody can hack it, all you need to do is download a sniffer, capture enough packets and you have the WEP key. Yet people still want wireless, I just put together a bid to link a construction trailer back to their home office over wireless, its only about 500'. And for their suituation wireless was the easiest and most cost effective solution. All we need now is for manufactures to pick up on 802.11I once it hits the street, maybe we will have some security for a few weeks before the new encryption is cracked....

Jim

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