Tech

Top 6 Wi-Fi Myths Demystified

Wi-Fi has evolved a lot in the course of the last few years. So have the techniques to secure the wireless network. An online search could unearth information that is outdated and is no longer relevant or secure; it can also be simply a myth.

Today, we will separate signals from the noise, debunking some of the popular Wi-Fi myths.

  1. WEP is Safe to Use in the Privacy of Home

WEP was invented long ago. The hackers have come a long way since that time. WEP is quite easy to crack; it is possible to be cracked even by a ten-year-old child. Since this was easy to crack, WPA and WPA2-Personal came into being.

  1. Wireless Network will Remain Safe if WPA or WPA2-Personal is Used

Even while using WPA, a weak password can prove to be the Achilles heel of wireless security. It is thus critical to create strong passwords and share them only with the trusted people. The passwords can be a combination of 8 to 20 letters, characters and numbers that you can remember easily but the hackers will find hard to crack.

  1. There is Little Need of the Dual or Tri-Band Routers

Most people think that the dual or the tri-band routers are for the individuals who are on the lookout for the greatest features in router technology always. This is not right. You can at least use a dual band router.

By separating your network into several bands, you are widening your network. Separating the devices causes fewer slowdowns ensuring greater reliability across the network.

  1. Not Broadcasting the SSID Hides the Network

All the wireless routers or networks have a network name assigned to them. The full form of SSID is Service Set Identifier. The routers broadcast the SSID. Thus, all the users in a given range will see the network on the PC or any other device.

Preventing the router from broadcasting this information and thus making it somewhat invisible is a nice idea.

However, some devices will still see all the networks existing; identifying the hidden SSID is quite a simple task. In fact, the attempt to hide the SSID in this way suggests that the network contains sensitive data, thereby making the nearby Wi-Fi hackers interested.

You can prevent the router from including SSID but it’s tough to stop it from including the details in the data packets, association or re-association requests and the probe request or responses.

Though disabling of SSID broadcasting can hide your network from the average people, it is far from being a significant issue for people who intend to hack your network.

  1. It is Possible to Overcome Interference through a Higher Density of Access Points

The comparatively cost effective nature of the 802.11 access points makes it tempting to deploy with a high density. Some networks are deployed with APs in all the rooms. This kind of deployment is beneficial as it increases the capacity of the network.

However, if you deploy a number of access points, it is essential to bring down the transmit signal power of each of these points. If you are not reducing the power, the access points will generate interference. Reduction in the transmit power of access points offset the potential benefit of interference immunity. Interference immunity of networks with a dense deployment of the access points is not much better than a less dense deployment.

  1. Enabling MAC Address Filter Secures Network

All the devices come with MAC address. The Bluetooth adapter in your phone comes with one, so does the Wi-Fi adapter, 3G radio and so on. This is the same on the computer as well as other connected devices. This MAC address is allotted by the manufacturer. It is a great idea to use the identifier to limit the devices that can connect to a network.

It seems logical theoretically, but this is not practical. MAC addresses are not secret. Moreover, making matters worse, cloning MAC addresses take less than a second.

Remember that not broadcasting SSID of a given network cannot hide the name of the network. This is possible to reveal using a few tools and MAC address filtering can be easily bypassed. Take the requisite measures to ensure better security for your wireless network.

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Steven Scheck is the Principal of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of multifamily wifi and healthcare wifi. When he isn't bringing Wi-Fi to the masses, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife and 4 kids and occasionally gets in a round of golf. He is also very involved in philanthropic causes in Miami and nationally.

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