Wireless networks have been plagued with many well-publicized issues since they became popular at the end of the 1990s. Because of such problems and the risks they pose, some people might argue that they shouldn’t be used at all. But due to their ease of use and convenience, it’s clear that wireless networks are here to stay, so you’d better do everything you can to make them as secure as possible.
Because of the many problems that have afflicted Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), anyone seeking to implement a secure wireless network should realize that it’s not a good solution. And, while the pre-shared key (PSK) varieties of WiFi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2 offer better security than WEP, they still have their problems. As you’ll see in this chapter, the best solution is to use WPA or WPA2 with 802.1X to provide fine-grained authentication for your wireless network. You’ll also see how to unleash the potential of your commodity wireless router or access point (AP) by replacing its firmware with a compact Linux distribution.
For more community-minded users who want to share their wireless networks, this chapter also covers the use of captive portals. By using a captive portal, you can provide open wireless access to nearby users but still maintain some control over who can access your network.
Upgrade your SOHO wireless router into a sophisticated network device with ...