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Unformatted text preview: All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 C HAPTER Wireless Networking 24 In this chapter, you will learn how to
• Discuss wireless networking components
• Analyze and explain wireless networking standards
• Install and configure wireless networks
• Troubleshoot wireless networks Wireless networks have been popular for many years now, but unlike wired networks,
so much of how wireless works continues to elude people. Part of the problem might
be that a simple wireless network is so inexpensive and easy to configure that most
users and techs never really get into the hows of wireless. The chance to get away from
all the cables and mess and just connect has a phenomenal appeal. Well, let’s change all
that and dive deeply into wireless networking.
EXAM TIP The CompTIA A+ exams assume you know the names and
connectors (or lack thereof) in wireless networking. Historical/Conceptual
Wireless Networking Components
Instead of a physical set of wires running between network nodes, wireless networks
use either radio waves or beams of infrared light to communicate with each other.
Various kinds of wireless networking solutions have come and gone in the past. The
wireless radio wave networks you’ll find yourself supporting these days are based on
the IEEE 802.11 wireless Ethernet standard marketed as Wi-Fi and on Bluetooth technology. Wireless networks using infrared light are limited to those that use the Infrared
Data Association (IrDA) protocol. Finally, the cell phone companies have gotten into
the mix and offer access to the Internet through cellular networks with technologies
such as EDGE and 3G. 1067 ch24.indd 1067 12/11/09 11:44:08 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1068 Wireless networking capabilities of one form or another are built into many modern
computing devices. Infrared transceiver ports have been standard issue on portable computers, PDAs, and high-end printers for years, although they’re absent from most of the
latest PCs and portables. Figure 24-1 shows the infrared transceiver ports on an older
laptop and PDA. Wireless Ethernet and often Bluetooth capabilities are now ubiquitous as integrated components, or you can easily add them by using USB, PCI, PCI
Express, or PC Card adapters. Figure 24-2 shows a desktop PCI Wi-Fi adapter. You can
also add wireless network capabilities by using external USB wireless network adapters,
as shown in Figure 24-3.
Wireless networking is not limited to PCs. Most handheld computers, PDAs, and
smartphones have wireless capabilities built-in or available as add-on options. Figure 24-4
shows a smartphone accessing the Internet over a Wi-Fi connection. Figure 24-1
Infrared transceiver ports on
a laptop and PDA Figure 24-2
add-on card ch24.indd 1068 12/11/09 11:44:08 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1069 Figure 24-3
wireless NIC Figure 24-4
wireless capability ch24.indd 1069 12/11/09 11:44:09 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1070 Essentials
To extend the capabilities of a wireless Ethernet network, such as connecting to a wired
network or sharing a high-speed Internet connection, you need a wireless access point
(WAP). A WAP centrally connects wireless network nodes in the same way that a hub
connects wired Ethernet PCs. Many WAPs also act as switches and Internet routers, such
as the Linksys device shown in Figure 24-5.
that acts as wireless access point,
switch, and router Wireless communication via Bluetooth comes as a built-in option on newer PCs and
peripheral devices, or you can add it to an older PC via an external USB Bluetooth adapter.
Figure 24-6 shows a Bluetooth adapter with a Bluetooth-enabled mouse and keyboard. Figure 24-6
and mouse ch24.indd 1070 12/11/09 11:44:10 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1071 EXAM TIP Wireless Access Points are commonly known as WAPs, APs, or
simply wireless routers. Wireless Networking Software
Wireless devices use the same networking protocols and client that their wired counterparts use, and they operate by using the carrier sense multiple access/collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) networking scheme. The collision avoidance aspect differs slightly from
the collision detection standard used in wired Ethernet. Wireless nodes listen in on the
wireless medium to see if another node is currently broadcasting data. If so, it waits a
random amount of time before retrying. So far, this method is exactly the same as the
method used by wired Ethernet networks. Because wireless nodes have a more difficult
time detecting data collisions, however, they offer the option of using the Request to
Send/Clear to Send (RTS/CTS) protocol. When enabled, a transmitting node that determines that the wireless medium is clear to use sends an RTS frame to the receiving
node. The receiving node responds with a CTS frame, telling the sending node that
it’s okay to transmit. Then, once the data is sent, the transmitting node waits for an
acknowledgment (ACK) from the receiving node before sending the next data packet.
Very elegant, but keep in mind that using RTS/CTS introduces significant overhead to
the process and can impede performance.
EXAM TIP Wireless networks use the carrier sense multiple access/collision
avoidance (CSMA/CA) standard, while wired Ethernet networks use carrier
sense multiple access/collision detection (CSMA/CD).
In terms of configuring wireless networking software, you need to do very little.
Wireless network adapters are plug and play, so any modern version of Windows immediately recognizes one when installed, prompting you to load any needed hardware
drivers. You will, however, need a utility to set parameters such as the network name.
Windows XP and later built-in tools for configuring these settings, but for previous
versions of Windows, you need to rely on configuration tools provided by the wireless
network adapter vendor. Figure 24-7 shows a typical wireless network adapter configuration utility. Using this utility, you can determine your link state and signal strength,
configure your wireless networking mode (discussed next), and set security encryption,
power saving options, and so on. Wireless Network Modes
The simplest wireless network consists of two or more PCs communicating directly
with each other without cabling or any other intermediary hardware. More complicated
wireless networks use a WAP to centralize wireless communication and bridge wireless
network segments to wired network segments. These two methods are called ad hoc
mode and infrastructure mode. ch24.indd 1071 12/11/09 11:44:10 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1072 Figure 24-7
Wireless configuration utility Ad hoc Mode
Ad hoc mode is sometimes called peer-to-peer mode, with each wireless node in direct contact with every other node in a decentralized free-for-all, as shown in Figure 24-8. Two or
more wireless nodes communicating in ad hoc mode form what’s called an Independent Figure 24-8
Wireless ad hoc
mode network ch24.indd 1072 12/11/09 11:44:12 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1073 Basic Service Set (IBSS). Ad hoc mode networks are suited for small groups of computers
(less than a dozen or so) that need to transfer files or share printers. Ad hoc networks are
also good for temporary networks such as study groups or business meetings. Infrastructure Mode
Wireless networks running in infrastructure mode use one or more WAPs to connect the
wireless network nodes to a wired network segment, as shown in Figure 24-9. A single WAP
servicing a given area is called a Basic Service Set (BSS). This service area can be extended by
adding more WAPs. This is called, appropriately, an Extended Basic Service Set (EBSS). Figure 24-9
Wireless infrastructure mode
network Wireless networks running in infrastructure mode require more planning and are more
complicated to configure than ad hoc mode networks, but they also give you finer control
over how the network operates. Infrastructure mode is better suited to networks that need
to share dedicated resources such as Internet connections and centralized databases. Wireless Networking Security
One of the major complaints against wireless networking is that it offers weak security.
In many cases, all you need to do to access a wireless network is walk into a WAP’s
coverage area, turn on your wireless device, and connect! Furthermore, data packets are
floating through the air instead of safely wrapped up inside network cabling. What’s to
stop an unscrupulous PC tech with the right equipment from grabbing those packets
out of the air and reading that data himself?
Wireless networks use three methods to secure access to the network itself and secure
the data that’s being transferred. The service set identifier (SSID) parameter—also called
the network name—is used to define the wireless network. This is very handy when you
have a number of wireless networks in the same area. SSID
One of the main security weaknesses with wireless networks is that, out of the box, no
security is configured at all. Wireless devices want to be heard, and WAPs are usually ch24.indd 1073 12/11/09 11:44:25 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1074 configured to broadcast their presence to their maximum range and welcome all other
wireless devices that respond.
Always change the default SSID to something unique, and change the password right
away. Configuring a unique SSID name and password is the very least that you should
do to secure a wireless network. The default SSID names and passwords are well-known
and widely available online. This is intended to make setting up a wireless network as
easy as possible but can cause problems in places with a lot of overlapping wireless
networks. Each wireless network node and access point needs to be configured with the
same unique SSID name. This SSID name is then included in the header of every data
packet broadcast in the wireless network’s coverage area. Data packets that lack the correct SSID name in the header are rejected.
EXAM TIP Changing the default SSID for the WAP is the first step in setting
up a new wireless network.
Another trick often seen in wireless networks is to tell the wireless device not to
broadcast the SSID. People not authorized to access the network will have a harder time
knowing it’s there. MAC Address Filtering
Most WAPs also support MAC address filtering, a method that enables you to limit access
to your wireless network based on the physical, hard-wired address of the units’ wireless NIC. MAC address filtering is a handy way of creating a type of “accepted users”
list to limit access to your wireless network, but it works best when you have a small
number of users. A table stored in the WAP lists the MAC addresses that are permitted
to participate in the wireless network. Any data packets that don’t contain the MAC address of a node listed in the table are rejected.
NOTE Many techs shorten the term “MAC address filtering” to simply
“MAC filtering.” Either way works. WEP
Early on, Wi-Fi developers introduced the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol to
attempt to ensure that data is secured while in transit over the airwaves. WEP encryption uses a standard 40-bit encryption to scramble data packets. Many vendors also
support 104-bit encryption. Note that some vendors advertise 128-bit encryption, but
they actually use a 104-bit encryption key. Unfortunately, WEP encryption includes a
flaw that makes it extremely vulnerable to attack. Although better than no encryption
at all, keep in mind that WEP will not keep out a knowledgeable intruder.
One important note to consider is that WEP doesn’t provide complete end-to-end
encryption. WEP provides encryption only between the WAP and the wireless device.
Encryption is stripped from the data packet as it travels “up” through the subsequent network layers. For true end-to-end encryption, you need to upgrade to WPA or WPA2. ch24.indd 1074 12/11/09 11:44:26 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1075 WPA
The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol addresses the weaknesses of WEP and acts
as security protocol upgrade to WEP. WPA offers security enhancements such as an
encryption key integrity-checking feature and user authentication through the industrystandard Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). EAP provides a huge security improvement over WEP encryption. After all, MAC addresses are fairly easy to “sniff” out, because they’re transmitted in unencrypted, clear text format. User names and passwords
are encrypted and, therefore, much more secure. Even with these enhancements, WPA
was intended only as an interim security solution until the IEEE 802.11i security standard was finalized and implemented. WPA2
Today, Macintosh OS X and Microsoft Windows support the full IEEE 802.11i standard,
more commonly known as Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2), to lock down wireless networks. WPA2 uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), among other improvements,
to provide a secure wireless environment. If you haven’t upgraded to WPA2, you should. Speed and Range Issues
Wireless networking data throughput speeds depend on several factors. Foremost is
the standard that the wireless devices use. Depending on the standard used, wireless
throughput speeds range from a measly 2 Mbps to a snappy 100+ Mbps. One of the
other factors affecting speed is the distance between wireless nodes (or between wireless nodes and centralized access points). Wireless devices dynamically negotiate the
top speed at which they can communicate without dropping too many data packets.
Speed decreases as distance increases, so the maximum throughput speed is achieved
only at extremely close range (less than 25 feet or so). At the outer reaches of a device’s
effective range, speed may decrease to around 1 Mbps before it drops out altogether.
Speed is also affected by interference from other wireless devices operating in the
same frequency range—such as cordless phones or baby monitors—and by solid objects. So-called dead spots occur when something capable of blocking the radio signal
comes between the wireless network nodes. Large electrical appliances such as refrigerators are very effective at blocking a wireless network signal. Other culprits include
electrical fuse boxes, metal plumbing, air conditioning units, and similar objects.
NOTE You can see the speed and signal strength on your wireless network
by looking at the wireless NIC’s properties.
Wireless networking range is difficult to define, and you’ll see most descriptions listed
with qualifiers, such as “around 150 feet” and “about 300 feet.” This is simply because,
like throughput speed, range is greatly affected by outside factors. Interference from other
wireless devices affects range, as does interference from solid objects. The maximum
ranges listed in the next section are those presented by wireless manufacturers as the ch24.indd 1075 12/11/09 11:44:27 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1076 theoretical maximum ranges. In the real world, you’ll experience these ranges only under the most ideal circumstances. True effective range is probably about half what you
You can increase range in a couple of ways. You can install multiple WAPs to permit
“roaming” between one WAP’s coverage area and another’s—an EBSS, described earlier
in this chapter. Or you can install a replacement that increases a single WAP’s signal
strength, thus increasing its range. If that is still not enough, signal boosters are available that can give you even more power.
EXAM TIP Look for basic troubleshooting questions on the CompTIA A+
certification exams dealing with factors that affect wireless connectivity,
range, and speed. Wireless Networking Standards
To help you gain a better understanding of wireless network technology, here is a brief
look at the standards they use. IEEE 802.11-Based Wireless Networking
The IEEE 802.11 wireless Ethernet standard, more commonly known as Wi-Fi, defines
methods by which devices may communicate by using spread-spectrum radio waves.
Spread-spectrum broadcasts data in small, discrete chunks over the frequencies available within a certain frequency range.
NOTE In the early days of wireless networking, many techs and marketing
people assumed Wi-Fi stood for Wireless Fidelity, a sort of play on the
common sound signal of high fidelity. It might have at one time, but the Wi-Fi
Alliance, the governing standards body for 802.11-based networking, just uses
the term Wi-Fi today.
The 802.11-based wireless technologies broadcast and receive on one of two licensefree industrial, scientific and industrial radio bands: 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Even though
the ISM band is 5.8 GHz, we just say “5 GHz” for reasons I can’t answer. Over the
years, the original 802.11 standard has been extended to 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and
802.11n variations used in Wi-Fi wireless networks. Each of these versions of 802.11
uses one of the two ISM bands, with the exception of 802.11n, which uses one but may
use both. Don’t worry; I’ll break this down for you in a moment.
NOTE Wi-Fi is by far the most widely adopted wireless networking type
today. Not only do millions of private businesses and homes have wireless
networks, but many public places such as coffee shops and libraries also offer
Internet access through wireless networks. ch24.indd 1076 12/11/09 11:44:27 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1077 Newer wireless devices can communicate with older wireless devices, so if you are
using an 802.11n WAP, all of your 802.11g devices can use it. The exception to this is
802.11a, which requires that all of the equipment directly support it. The following
paragraphs describe the important specifications of each of the popular 802.11-based
wireless networking standards.
NOTE Devices that use the original 802.11 (with no letter) standard are
obsolete these days. You’re likeliest to find them in service on some brave
early wireless adopter’s network—or in a museum. The original 802.11
standard was hampered by both slow speeds (2 Mbps maximum) and limited
range (about 150 feet). The 802.11 standard employed some of the same features that are
in use in the current wireless standards; 802.11 uses the 2.4-GHz broadcast range.
802.11a Despite the “a” designation for this extension to the 802.11 standard,
802.11a was actually on the market after 802.11b. The 802.11a standard differs from
the other 802.11-based standards in significant ways. Foremost is that it operates in the
5-Ghz frequency range. This means that devices that use this standard are less prone to
interference from other devices that use the same frequency range. 802.11a also offers
considerably greater throughput than 802.11 and 802.11b at speeds up to 54 Mbps,
though its actual throughput is no more than 25 Mbps in normal traffic conditions.
Although its theoretical range tops out at about 150 feet, its maximum range will be
lower in a typical office environment. Despite the superior speed of 802.11a, it isn’t as
widely adopted in the PC world as some of the following 802.11 versions.
802.11b 802.11b was the first standard to take off and become ubiquitous in wireless networking. The 802.11b standard supports data throughput of up to 11 Mbps
(with actual throughput averaging 4 to 6 Mbps)—on par with older, wired 10BaseT
networks—and a maximum range of 300 feet under ideal conditions. In a typical office
environment, its maximum range is lower. The main downside to using 802.11b is, in
fact, that it uses a very popular frequency. The 2.4-GHz ISM band is already crowded
with baby monitors, garage door openers, microwaves, and wireless phones, so you’re
likely to run into interference from other wireless devices.
802.11g 802.11g came out in 2003, taking the best of 802.11a and b and rolling
them into a single standard. 802.11g offers data transfer speeds equivalent to 802.11a,
up to 54 Mbps, with the wider 300-foot range of 802.11b. More important, 802.11g
runs in the 2.4-GHz ISM band so it is backward compatible with 802.11b, meaning that
the same 802.11g WAP can service both 802.11b and 802.11g wireless nodes. 802.11g
is incredibly popular and is only just now starting to lose out to the newest version of
802.11n The 802.11n standard brings several improvements to Wi-Fi networking,
including faster speeds and new antenna technology implementations.
The 802.11n specification requires all but hand-held devices to use multiple antennae to implement a feature called multiple in/multiple out (MIMO), which enables the
devices to make multiple simultaneous connections. With up to four antennae, 802.11n ch24.indd 1077 12/11/09 11:44:27 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1078 devices can achieve amazing speeds. (The official standard supports throughput of up
to 600 Mbps, although practical implementation drops that down substantially.)
Many 802.11n WAPs employ transmit beamforming, a multiple-antenna technology
that helps get rid of dead spots—or at least make them not so bad. The antennae adjust
the signal once the WAP discovers a client to optimize the radio signal.
Like 802.11g, 802.11n WAPs can run in the 2.4-GHz ISM band, supporting earlier,
slower 802.11b/g devices. However, 802.11n also has a more powerful, so-called dualband. To use dual-band 802.11n, you need a more advanced (and more expensive) WAP
that runs at both 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz simultaneously; some support 802.11a devices as
well as 802.11b/g devices. Nice!
Table 24-1 compares the important differences among the versions of 802.11. Standard 802.11a 802.11b 802.11g 802.11n Max.
throughput 54 Mbps 11 Mbps 54 Mbps 100+ Mbps Max. range 150 feet 300 feet 300 feet 300+ feet Frequency 5 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz 2.4 and 5 GHz Security SSID, MAC
SSID, MAC filtering, SSID, MAC filtering,
filtering, indus- industry-standard
WEP, WPA SSID, MAC
WEP, WPA Compatibility 802.11a 802.11b 802.11b, 802.11g 802.11b, 802.11g,
in some cases) SpreadDSSS
spectrum method OFDM OFDM OFDM Communication
mode Ad hoc or
infrastructure Ad hoc or
infrastructure Ad hoc or
infrastructure Ad hoc or
infrastructure Description Products that
are considered Wi-Fi
Eight available channels.
Less prone to
and 802.11g. Products that
adhere to this
in the 2.4 GHz
band (only eleven
of which can be
used in the U.S.
due to FCC
channels. Products that
adhere to this
security enhancements. Fourteen
channels available in
the 2.4 GHz band
(only eleven of
which can be used
in the U.S. due to
Three non-overlapping channels. Same as 802.11g
but adds the
5-GHz band that
also make use of
multiple antennae (MIMO) to
increase its range
and speed. Table 24-1 Comparison of 802.11 Standards ch24.indd 1078 12/11/09 11:44:27 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1079 EXAM TIP
802.11n. Know the differences among 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and Other Wireless Standards Infrared Wireless Networking
Wireless networking using infrared technology is largely overlooked these days, probably because of the explosion of interest in the newer and faster wireless standards. But
it is still a viable method to transfer files on some older devices.
Communication through infrared devices is enabled via the Infrared Data Association
(IrDA) protocol. The IrDA protocol stack is a widely supported industry standard and
has been included in all versions of Windows since Windows 95.
NOTE Apple computers also support IrDA, as do Linux PCs. In speed and range, infrared isn’t very impressive. Infrared devices are capable of
transferring data up to 4 Mbps—not too shabby, but hardly stellar. The maximum distance between infrared devices is 1 meter. Infrared links are direct line-of-sight and
are susceptible to interference. Anything that breaks the beam of light can disrupt an
infrared link: a badly placed can of Mountain Dew, a coworker passing between desks,
or even bright sunlight hitting the infrared transceiver can cause interference.
Infrared is designed to make a point-to-point connection between two devices only
in ad hoc mode. No infrastructure mode is available. You can, however, use an infrared
access point device to enable Ethernet network communication using IrDA. Infrared
devices operate at half-duplex, meaning that while one is talking, the other is listening—
they can’t talk and listen at the same time. IrDA has a mode that emulates full-duplex
communication, but it’s really half-duplex. The IrDA protocol offers exactly nothing in
the way of encryption or authentication. Infrared’s main security feature is the fact that
you have to be literally within arm’s reach to establish a link. Clearly, infrared is not the
best solution for a dedicated network connection, but for a quick file transfer or print
job without getting your hands dirty, it’ll do in a pinch.
Table 24-2 lists infrared’s important specifications.
Infrared Specs Infrared (IrDA) Max. throughput Up to 4 Mbps Max. range 1 meter (39 inches) Security None Compatibility IrDA Communication mode ch24.indd 1079 Standard Point-to-point ad hoc 12/11/09 11:44:28 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1080 NOTE Many modern laptops still come with a little infrared window, but
don’t let that fool you into thinking the laptop has IrDA networking. These IR
receivers are for use with remotes so you can use the laptop just like a TV or
DVD player. Bluetooth
Bluetooth wireless technology (named for ninth-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth)
is designed to create small wireless networks preconfigured to do very specific jobs.
Some great examples are audio devices such as headsets that connect to your smartphones, personal area networks (PANs) that link two PCs for a quick-and-dirty wireless
network, and input devices such as keyboards and mice. Bluetooth is not designed to be
a full-function networking solution, nor is it meant to compete with Wi-Fi. If anything,
Bluetooth has replaced infrared as a means to connect PCs to peripherals.
Bluetooth, like any technology, has been upgraded over the years to make it faster
and more secure. Two major versions of Bluetooth are widespread today. The first generation (versions 1.1 and 1.2) supports speeds around 1Mbps. The second generation
(2.0 and 2.1) is backward compatible with its first-generation cousins and adds support
for more speed by introducing Enhanced Data Rate (EDR), which pushes top speeds to
The IEEE organization has made first-generation Bluetooth the basis for its 802.15 standard for wireless PANs. Bluetooth uses the FHSS spread-spectrum broadcasting method,
switching between any of the 79 frequencies available in the 2.45-GHz range. Bluetooth
hops frequencies some 1600 times per second, making it highly resistant to interference.
Generally, the faster and further a device sends data, the more power it needs to do
so, and the Bluetooth designers understood a long time ago that some devices (such as
a Bluetooth headset) could save power by not sending data as quickly or as far as other
Bluetooth devices may need. To address this, all Bluetooth devices are configured for
one of three classes that define maximum power usage in milliwatts (mW) and maximum distance:
Class 1 100 mW 100 meters Class 2 2.5 mW 10 meters Class 3 1 mW 1 meter Bluetooth is not designed to be a full-fledged wireless networking solution. Bluetooth is made to replace the snake’s nest of cables that currently connects most PCs
to their various peripheral devices—keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers, scanner, and
the like—but you won’t be swapping out your 802.11-based networking devices with
Bluetooth-based replacements anytime soon.
Having said that, Bluetooth-enabled wireless networking is comparable to other
wireless technologies in a few ways:
• Like infrared, Bluetooth is acceptable for quick file transfers where a wired connection (or a faster wireless connection) is unavailable. ch24.indd 1080 12/11/09 11:44:28 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1081 • Almost all wireless headsets are now Bluetooth.
• Bluetooth’s speed and range make it a good match for wireless print server
Bluetooth hardware comes either integrated into many newer portable electronic
gadgets such as PDAs and cell phones or as an adapter added to an internal or external
expansion bus. Bluetooth networking is enabled through ad hoc-styled PC-to-PC (or
PDA, handheld computer, or cell phone-to-PC) connections, or in an infrastructurelike mode through Bluetooth access points. Bluetooth access points are very similar to
802.11-based access points, bridging wireless Bluetooth PAN segments to wired LAN
A cellular wireless network enables you to connect to the Internet through a networkaware PDA, cell phone, or smartphone. Using an add-on PC Card or USB dongle, you
can connect any laptop to a cellular network as well. Figure 24-10 shows an AT&T USBConnect Mercury 3G device for just that purpose.
AT&T USBConnect Mercury 3G In areas with broad cell phone coverage, such as big cities, cellular wireless networks
offer high-speed access (around 1.5-Mbps download speeds) anywhere you go. Carriers use many protocols to provide the higher speeds, and collectively they are known
as 3G. Just fire up your smartphone or portable computer and start surfing the Web!
In remote areas where the 3G networks have not been built out, the speed drops down
to something closer to modem connection speeds. (See Chapter 25, “The Internet,” for
the scoop on modems.)
Cellular networks use various protocols to connect, such as Global System for Mobile
Communications (GSM), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), and Code Division Multiple
Access (CDMA). The 3G networks make use of protocols such as UMTS/HSPA (AT&T), ch24.indd 1081 12/11/09 11:44:29 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1082 EV-DO (Verizon), and UMTS (T-Mobile). These protocols are handled seamlessly by the
software and hardware. What end users see is TCP/IP, just as if they connected through
a wired network. Practical Application
Installing and Configuring Wireless Networking
The mechanics of setting up a wireless network don’t differ much from a wired network.
Physically installing a wireless network adapter is the same as installing a wired NIC,
whether it’s an internal PCI card, a PC Card, or an external USB device. Simply install
the device and let plug and play handle detection and resource allocation. Install the
device’s supplied driver when prompted, and you’re practically finished. Unless you’re
using Windows XP and later, you also need to install the wireless network configuration
utility supplied with your wireless network adapter so you can set your communication
mode, SSID, and so on.
As mentioned earlier, wireless devices want to talk to each other, so communicating
with an available wireless network is usually a no-brainer. The trick is in configuring the
wireless network so that only specific wireless nodes are able to use it and securing the
data that’s being sent through the air. Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi networks support ad hoc and infrastructure operation modes. Which mode you
choose depends on the number of wireless nodes you need to support, the type of data
sharing they’ll perform, and your management requirements. Ad hoc Mode
Ad hoc wireless networks don’t need a WAP. The only requirements in an ad hoc mode
wireless network are that each wireless node be configured with the same network
name (SSID) and that no two nodes use the same IP address. Figure 24-11 shows a wireless network configuration utility with ad hoc mode selected.
The only other configuration steps to take is to make sure that no two nodes are using the same IP address (this step is usually unnecessary if all PCs are using DHCP) and
ensuring that the File and Printer Sharing service is running on all nodes. Infrastructure Mode
Typically, infrastructure mode wireless networks employ one or more WAPs connected
to a wired network segment, a corporate intranet or the Internet, or both. As with ad
hoc mode wireless networks, infrastructure mode networks require that the same SSID
be configured on all nodes and WAPs. Figure 24-12 shows a NETGEAR Wi-Fi configuration screen set to infrastructure mode and using WPA security.
WAPs have an integrated Web server and are configured through a browser-based
setup utility. Typically, you fire up your Web browser on one of your network client ch24.indd 1082 12/11/09 11:44:29 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1083 Figure 24-11 Selecting ad hoc mode in wireless configuration utility Figure 24-12 Selecting infrastructure mode in wireless configuration utility ch24.indd 1083 12/11/09 11:44:29 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1084 workstations and enter the WAP’s default IP address, such as 192.168.1.1, to bring up
the configuration page. You will need to supply an administrative password, included
with your WAP’s documentation, to log in (see Figure 24-13). Setup screens vary from
vendor to vendor and from model to model. Figure 24-14 shows the initial setup screen
for a popular Linksys WAP/router. Figure 24-13
Security login for
Linksys WAP Figure 24-14 Linksys WAP setup screen Configure the SSID option where indicated. Channel selection is usually automatic,
but you can reconfigure this option if you have particular needs in your organization (for example, if you have multiple wireless networks operating in the same area).
Remember that it’s always more secure to configure a unique SSID than it is to accept the well-known default one. You should also make sure that the option to allow
broadcasting of the SSID is disabled. This ensures that only wireless nodes specifically
configured with the correct SSID can join the wireless network. ch24.indd 1084 12/11/09 11:44:30 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1085 To increase security even more, use MAC filtering. Figure 24-15 shows the MAC filtering configuration screen on a Linksys WAP. Simply enter the MAC address of a wireless node that you wish to allow (or deny) access to your wireless network. Set up
encryption by turning encryption on at the WAP and then generating a unique security
key. Then configure all connected wireless nodes on the network with the same key
information. Figure 24-16 shows the WEP key configuration dialog for a Linksys WAP.
EXAM TIP As noted earlier in the chapter, the WEP protocol provides
security, but it’s easily cracked. Use WPA2 or, if you have older equipment,
settle for WPA until you can upgrade. Figure 24-15 MAC filtering configuration screen for a Linksys WAP ch24.indd 1085 12/11/09 11:44:30 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1086 Figure 24-16 WEP Encryption key configuration screen on Linksys WAP When setting up WEP, you have the option of automatically generating a set of encryption keys or doing it manually; save yourself a headache and use the automatic
method. Select an encryption level—the usual choices are either 64-bit or 128-bit—and
then enter a unique passphrase and click the Generate button (or whatever the equivalent button is called on your WAP). Then select a default key and save the settings. The
encryption level, key, and passphrase must match on the wireless client node or communication will fail. Many WAPs have the capability to export the WEP encryption key
data onto a media storage device for easy importing onto a client workstation, or you
can manually configure encryption by using the vendor-supplied configuration utility,
as shown in Figure 24-17.
WPA and WPA2 encryption is configured in much the same way as WEP. There are
two ways to set up WPA/WPA2: Pre-shared Key (PSK) or Enterprise. WPA/WPA2-PSK is
the most common for small and home networks. Enterprise is much more complex,
requires extra equipment (a RADIUS server), and is only used in the most serious and
secure wireless networks.
If you have the option, choose WPA2 encryption for the WAP as well as the NICs in
your network. You configure WPA2 the same way you would WPA. Note that the settings
such as WPA2 for the Enterprise assume you’ll enable authentication by using a device
called a RADIUS server (Figure 24-18). This way, businesses can allow only people with ch24.indd 1086 12/11/09 11:44:30 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1087 Figure 24-17
screen on client
adapter configuration utility Figure 24-18 Encryption screen with RADIUS option ch24.indd 1087 12/11/09 11:44:31 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1088 the proper credentials to connect to their Wi-Fi networks. For home use, select the PSK
version of WPA/WPA2. Use the best encryption you can. If you have WPA2, use it. If not,
use WPA. WEP is always a last choice.
NOTE Always try WPA2-PSK first. If you then have wireless computers that
can’t connect to your WAP, fall back to WPA-PSK. With most home networks, you can simply leave the channel and frequency of the
WAP at the factory defaults, but in an environment with overlapping Wi-Fi signals,
you’ll want to adjust one or both features. To adjust the channel, find the option in the
WAP configuration screens and simply change it. Figure 24-19 shows the channel option in a Linksys WAP. Figure 24-19 Changing the channel With dual-band 802.11n WAPs, you can choose which band to put 802.11n traffic
on, either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. In an area with overlapping signals, most of the traffic
will be on the 2.4-GHz frequency, because most devices are either 802.11b or 802.11g.
In addition to other wireless devices (such as cordless phones) microwaves also use
2.4-GHz frequency and can cause a great deal of interference. You can avoid any kind of
conflict with your 802.11n devices by using the 5-GHz frequency instead. Figure 24-20
shows the configuration screen for a dual-band 802.11n WAP. ch24.indd 1088 12/11/09 11:44:31 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1089 Figure 24-20 Selecting frequency Placing the Access Point(s)
The optimal location for an access point depends on the area you want to cover,
whether you care if the signal bleeds out beyond the borders, and what interference
exists from other wireless sources. You start by doing a site survey. A site survey can be
as trivial as firing up a wireless-capable laptop and looking for existing SSIDs. Or it
can be a complex job where you hire people with specialized equipment to come in
and make lots of careful plans, defining the best place to put WAPs and which wireless
channels to use. To make sure the wireless signal goes where you want it to go and not
where you don’t, you need to use the right antenna. Let’s see what types of antennae
are available. ch24.indd 1089 12/11/09 11:44:31 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1090 Omni-directional and Centered For a typical network, you want blanket
coverage and would place a WAP with an omni-directional antenna in the center of the
area (Figure 24-21). With an omni-directional antenna, the radio wave flows outward
from the WAP. This has the advantage of ease of use—anything within the signal radius
can potentially access the network. Most wireless networks use this combination,
especially in the consumer space. The standard straight-wire antennae that provide
most omni-directional function are called dipole antennae. Figure 24-21 Room layout with WAP in the center Gaining Gain An antenna strengthens and focuses the radio frequency (RF) output
from a WAP. The ratio of increase—what’s called gain—is measured in decibels (dB).
The gain from a typical WAP is 2 dB, enough to cover a reasonable area but not a very
large room. To increase that signal requires a bigger antenna. Many WAPs have removable antennae that you can replace. To increase the signal in an omni-directional and
centered setup, simply replace the factory antennae with one or more bigger antennae
(Figure 24-22). Get a big enough antenna and you can crank it all the way up to 11! Bluetooth Configuration
As with other wireless networking solutions, Bluetooth devices are completely plug and
play. Just connect the adapter and follow the prompts to install the appropriate drivers
and configuration utilities (these are supplied by your hardware vendor). Once they’re ch24.indd 1090 12/11/09 11:44:33 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1091 Figure 24-22
antenna on WAP installed, you have little to do: Bluetooth devices seek each other out and establish the
master/slave relationship without any intervention on your part.
Connecting to a Bluetooth PAN is handled by specialized utility software provided by
your portable device or Bluetooth device vendor. Figure 24-23 shows a screen of an older
PDA running the Bluetooth Manager software to connect to a Bluetooth access point.
access point ch24.indd 1091 12/11/09 11:44:34 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1092 Like their Wi-Fi counterparts, Bluetooth access points use a browser-based configuration
utility. Figure 24-24 shows the main setup screen for a Belkin Bluetooth access point.
Use this setup screen to check on the status of connected Bluetooth devices; configure
encryption, MAC filtering, and other security settings; and use other utilities provided
by the access point’s vendor. Figure 24-24
access point NOTE Bluetooth network access points are a rare sight out in the real
world. Today small portables, PDAs, and smartphones almost certainly
connect by using Wi-Fi or cellular network. Cellular Configuration
There is no single standard for configuring a cellular network card, because the cards
and software vary based on which company you have service though. Fortunately, those
same cell phone companies have made the process of installing their cards very simple.
All that is required in most cases is to install the software and plug in the card.
Once you’ve installed all of the correct drivers, simply plug in the card and start up
the application. From here just follow the instructions that came with the software; in
this case, double-click on the VZAccess network listed in the window (Figure 24-25).
This initiates the connection to (in this case) Verizon’s network. You can also go to the
Options menu and select Statistics and see the specifics of your connection, as shown
in Figure 24-26. ch24.indd 1092 12/11/09 11:44:34 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1093 Figure 24-25
Manager Figure 24-26
Manager ch24.indd 1093 12/11/09 11:44:34 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1094 The key thing to remember about cellular Internet access is that it is almost completely configured and controlled by the cellular company. A tech has very little to do
except to make sure the cellular card is plugged in, is recognized by the computer, and
its drivers are properly installed. Troubleshooting Wi-Fi
Wireless networks are a real boon when they work right, but they can also be one of the
most vexing things to troubleshoot when they don’t. Let’s turn to some practical advice
on how to detect and correct wireless hardware, software, and configuration problems.
As with any troubleshooting scenario, your first step in troubleshooting a wireless
network is to break down your tasks into logical steps. Your first step should be to figure
out the scope of your wireless networking problem. Ask yourself who, what, and when:
• Who is affected by the problem?
• What is the nature of their network problem?
• When did the problem start?
The answers to these questions dictate at least the initial direction of your troubleshooting.
So, who’s affected? If all machines on your network—wired and wireless—have lost
connectivity, you have bigger problems than that the wireless machines cannot access
the network. Troubleshoot this situation the way you’d troubleshoot any network failure.
Once you determine which wireless nodes are affected, it’s easier to pinpoint whether
the problem lies in one or more wireless clients or in one or more access points.
After you narrow down the number of affected machines, your next task is to figure
out specifically what type of error the users are experiencing. If they can access some,
but not all, network services, it’s unlikely that the problem is limited to their wireless
equipment. For example, if they can browse the Internet but can’t access any shared
resources on a server, they’re probably experiencing a permissions-related issue rather
than a wireless one.
Finally, determine when the problem started. What has changed that might explain
your loss of connectivity? Did you or somebody else change the wireless network configuration? For example, if the network worked fine two minutes ago, and then you
changed the WEP key on the access point, and now nobody can see the network, you
have your solution—or at least your culprit! Did your office experience a power outage,
power sag, or power surge? Any of these might cause a WAP to fail.
Once you figure out the who, what, and when, you can start troubleshooting in
earnest. Typically, your problem is going to center on your hardware, software, connectivity, or configuration. Hardware Troubleshooting
Wireless networking hardware components are subject to the same kind of abuse and
faulty installation as any other hardware component. Troubleshooting a suspected
hardware problem should bring out the technician in you. ch24.indd 1094 12/11/09 11:44:35 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1095 Open Windows Device Manager and look for an error or conflict with the wireless
adapter. If you see a big yellow exclamation point or a red X next to the device, you have
either a driver error or a resource conflict. Reinstall the device driver or manually reset
the IRQ resources as needed.
If you don’t see the device listed at all, perhaps it is not seated properly in its PCI slot
or not plugged all the way into its PC Card or USB slot. These problems are easy to fix.
One thing to consider if you’re using an older laptop and PC Card combination is that
the wireless adapter may be a CardBus type of PC Card device. CardBus cards will not
snap into a non-CardBus slot, even though both new and old cards are the same size.
If your laptop is older than about five years, it may not support CardBus, meaning you
need to get a different PC Card device. Or, if you’ve been looking for a reason to get a
new laptop, now you have one!
NOTE As with all things computing, don’t forget to do the standard
PC troubleshooting thing and reboot the computer before you do any
configuration or hardware changes! Software Troubleshooting
Because you’ve already checked to confirm that your hardware is using the correct drivers, what kind of software-related problems are left to check? Two things come immediately to mind: the wireless adapter configuration utility and the WAP’s firmware
As I mentioned earlier, some wireless devices won’t work correctly unless you install
the vendor-provided drivers and configuration utility before plugging in the device.
This is particularly true of wireless USB devices. If you didn’t do this, go into Device
Manager and uninstall the device; then start again from scratch.
Some WAP manufacturers (I won’t name names here, but they’re popular) are notorious for shipping devices without the latest firmware installed. This problem often
manifests as a device that enables clients to connect, but only at such slow speeds that
the devices experience frequent timeout errors. The fix for this is to update the access
point’s firmware. Go to the manufacturer’s Web site and follow the support links until
you find the latest version. You’ll need your device’s exact model and serial number—
this is important, because installing the wrong firmware version on your device is a
guaranteed way of rendering it unusable!
Again, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for updating the firmware to the letter.
Typically, you need to download a small executable updating program along with a
data file containing the firmware software. The process takes only minutes, and you’ll
be amazed at the results. Connectivity Troubleshooting
Properly configured wireless clients should automatically and quickly connect to the
desired SSID. If this isn’t taking place, it’s time for some troubleshooting. Most wireless connectivity problems come down to either an incorrect configuration (such as an ch24.indd 1095 12/11/09 11:44:35 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1096 incorrect password) or low signal strength. Without a strong signal, even a properly
configured wireless client isn’t going to work. Wireless clients use a multi-bar graph
(usually five bars) to give an idea of signal strength: zero bars indicates no signal and
five bars indicates maximum signal.
Whether configuration or signal strength, the process to diagnose and repair uses the
same methods you use for a wired network. First, check the wireless NIC’s link light to
see whether it’s passing data packets to and
from the network. Second, check the wireWindows XP
less NIC’s configuration utility. Typically the
utility has an icon in your system tray that
wireless configushows the strength of your wireless signal.
Figure 24-27 shows Windows XP Professional’s built-in wireless configuration utility—
called Wireless Zero Configuration (or just Zeroconf)—displaying the link state and
NOTE If you’re lucky enough to have a laptop with an internally installed
NIC (instead of a PC Card), your device may not have a link light. The link state defines the wireless NIC’s connection status to a wireless network:
connected or disconnected. If your link state indicates that your computer is currently
disconnected, you may have a problem with your WAP. If your signal is too weak to
receive a signal, you may be out of range of your access point, or there may be a device
You can fix these problems in a number of ways. Because Wi-Fi signals bounce off of
objects, you can try small adjustments to your antennae to see if the signal improves.
You can swap out the standard antenna for one or more higher-gain antennae. You can
relocate the PC or access point, or locate and move the device causing interference.
Other wireless devices that operate in the same frequency range as your wireless
nodes can cause interference as well. Look for wireless telephones, intercoms, and so
on as possible culprits. One fix for interference caused by other wireless devices is to
change the channel your network uses. Another is to change the channel the offending
device uses, if possible. If you can’t change channels, try moving the interfering device
to another area or replacing it with a different device. Configuration Troubleshooting
With all due respect to the fine network techs in the field, the most common type of
wireless networking problem is misconfigured hardware or software. That’s right—the
dreaded user error! Given the complexities of wireless networking, this isn’t so surprising.
All it takes is one slip of the typing finger to throw off your configuration completely.
The things you’re most likely to get wrong are the SSID and security configuration.
Verify SSID configuration on your access point first, and then check on the affected
wireless nodes. With most wireless devices you can use any characters in the SSID, ch24.indd 1096 12/11/09 11:44:35 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1097 including blank spaces. Be careful not to add blank characters where they don’t belong,
such as trailing blank spaces behind any other characters typed into the name field.
If you’re using MAC address filtering, make sure the MAC address of the client that’s
attempting to access the wireless network is on the list of accepted users. This is particularly important if you swap out NICs on a PC, or if you introduce a new PC to your
Check the security configuration to make sure that all wireless nodes and access
points match. Mistyping an encryption key prevents the affected node from talking to
the wireless network, even if your signal strength is 100 percent! Remember that many
access points have the capability to export encryption keys onto a floppy disk or other
removable media. It’s then a simple matter to import the encryption key onto the PC
by using the wireless NIC’s configuration utility. Remember that the encryption level
must match on access points and wireless nodes. If your WAP is configured for 128-bit
encryption, all nodes must also use 128-bit encryption. Chapter Review Questions
1. Under ideal conditions, the 802.11g standard supports data throughput
of up to _______________ and has a range of up to _______________.
A. 11 Mbps/150 feet
B. 11 Mbps/300 feet
C. 54 Mbps/150 feet
D. 54 Mbps/300 feet
2. Which encryption protocol offers the best security?
3. Which device enables you to extend the capabilities of a wireless network?
4. In which mode do all the wireless devices connect directly to each other?
A. Ad hoc mode
B. Circular mode
C. Infrastructure mode
D. Mesh mode ch24.indd 1097 12/11/09 11:44:35 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24 CompTIA A+Certification All-in-One Exam Guide 1098 5. What determines the name of a wireless network?
B. MAC address
6. What technology enables 802.11n networks to make multiple simultaneous
connections and thus improve speed over previous Wi-Fi standards?
A. Use of the 2.4-GHz frequency
B. Use of the 5-GHz frequency
7. What’s the top speed for data transfers using IrDA technology?
A. 2 Mbps
B. 4 Mbps
C. 11 Mbps
D. 54 Mbps
8. Bluetooth technology enables computers to link into what sort of network?
A. Bluetooth area network (BAN)
B. Personal area network (PAN)
C. Local area network (LAN)
D. Wide area network (WAN)
9. What is the name for the common omni-directional antennae found on
wireless access points?
A. Bipole antennae
B. Dipole antennae
C. Omni antennae
D. RF antennae
10. Ralph has installed a wireless network in his house, placing the wireless access
point in the kitchen, a centralized location. The Wi-Fi works fine in the living
room and dining room but goes out almost completely in the bedroom. What’s
most likely the problem?
A. Interference with some metal object
B. Improper antennae set up
C. Use of the default SSID
D. The SSID overlapping with a neighbor’s SSID ch24.indd 1098 12/11/09 11:44:36 AM All-In-One / CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide / Meyers & Jernigan / 170133-8 / Chapter 24
All-In-One Chapter 24: Wireless Networking 1099 Answers
1. D. Under ideal conditions, the 802.11g standard supports data throughput of
up to 54 Mbps and has a range of up to 300 feet.
2. D. WPA2 is the best of the encryption technologies listed.
3. A. A wireless access point (WAP) enables you to extend the capabilities of a
4. A. In ad hoc-mode networks, all the nodes connect directly to each other.
5. C. The SSID determines the name of a wireless network.
6. C. The multiple in/multiple out (MIMO) technology implementing multiple
antennae enables 802.11n networks to run at much faster speeds than previous
7. B. Data transfers using the IrDA protocol top out at 4 Mbps.
8. B. Bluetooth creates personal area networks.
9. B. Standard omni-directional antennae are called dipole antennae.
10. A. Watch out for microwave ovens, refrigerators, and pipes in the walls. They
can interfere with a Wi-Fi signal and create dead spots. ch24.indd 1099 12/11/09 11:44:36 AM ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2010 for the course COMPTIA 1201 taught by Professor N/a during the Spring '10 term at Galveston College.
- Spring '10