Whether you've made it to this point by skipping Chapters 3-16, or whether you've read all the theory, we're now going to get our hands dirty and start installing equipment.
Development of 802.11 management interfaces has followed the familiar progression of Windows applications. In the beginning, there was a great deal of variation between individual vendors. As popularity grew, Microsoft integrated 802.11 configuration into the operating system, subsuming vendor-specific management tools into an overall framework.
From the standpoint of practical system and network administration, working with 802.11 is similar to working with Ethernet. Installing 802.11 drivers is nearly identical to installing Ethernet drivers, and the network interfaces behave almost exactly like Ethernet interfaces. 802.11 interfaces cause an ARP cache to be brought into existence, and other software may even perceive the wireless interface as an Ethernet interface. Unlike many Ethernet drivers, however, 802.11 drivers can have a number of advanced knobs and features that reflect the additional management features presented in Chapter 8.
This chapter discusses Windows configuration of wireless cards on both Windows XP and Windows 2000. I strongly advise using Windows XP for wireless-enabled machines because it is generally easier to use and has substantial additional support for new protocols. Third-party supplicants generally disable the built-in supplicant. Occasionally, however, a driver will refuse to work with a security system other than Microsoft security stack.
Introduction to Wireless Networking
Overview of 802.11 Networks
11 MAC Fundamentals
11 Framing in Detail
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
User Authentication with 802.1X
11i: Robust Security Networks, TKIP, and CCMP
Contention-Free Service with the PCF
Physical Layer Overview
The Frequency-Hopping (FH) PHY
The Direct Sequence PHYs: DSSS and HR/DSSS (802.11b)
11a and 802.11j: 5-GHz OFDM PHY
11g: The Extended-Rate PHY (ERP)
A Peek Ahead at 802.11n: MIMO-OFDM
Using 802.11 on Windows
11 on the Macintosh
Using 802.11 on Linux
Using 802.11 Access Points
Logical Wireless Network Architecture
Site Planning and Project Management
11 Network Analysis
11 Performance Tuning
Conclusions and Predictions