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Wireless setup

I have some questions about Wreless lan setup.

How does a Windows XP based laptop detect that its in a 802.11b area? Does its constantly send out DHCP discovery packets? Does a "wireless link light" come on that the os detects? Also could this automatic network dectection be setup on a linux based laptop.

If I purchase a Aironet 350 and Aironet 350 pc card - does that come w/ a vpn setup utility? I'd like for hosts(both windows and linux based) connecting to the WAP to use WEP and a VPN, I've heard that yes this'll cut down on throughput(alot) but it'll be a little safer.

Other then restricting access to known mac addresses - how do I make sure my wireless lan is being access by hosts I trust? I'm not yet familiar w/ WEP, how to distributed authentication keys and such..

I heard that 22M/bit WAP's are coming soon? Will Aironet 350 WAPs support that speed via firmware upgrade or is that speed a new protocol requiring a new WAP?

I'm not sure what the difference between the Aironet 340 and 350 WAP? Can someone clue me into what exactly was changed.

Also just a observation - other WAP's from 3com and Netgear cost only 150 bucks, while the 350 costs about 500. What does that extra cost buy me? I can't really justify the extra cost when I'm not really sure what those extra dollars are getting me.

Sorry to ask a sales question on a tech help forum.

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New Member

Re: Wireless setup

Lots of people know more about the mechanics of XP than I do, but here are some of your answers:

- Aside from WEP, MAC filters and SSID, you can use a VPN or a 3rd party Policy/Security Management product to limit access to approved users.

- Cisco is starting to ship 802.11a and will likely ship 802.11g products, but is very unlikely to ship the non-standard 22Mbps devices which use the spec that was shot down as a basis for .11g. D-Link and a few others are shipping and we have provided a few for clients who can't wait for .11g (and for whom .11a is not appropriate). Worst case, these products can still act as .11b devices, so you won't toss out your entire investment when *real* .11g ships.

- There are lots of manufacturers out there. Consumer-grade products tend to have weaker Transmit Power and Receive Sensitivity, some do not have external connectors. They also often have exposed reset buttons (a risk in some places).

- Other differences include the ability to filter, to replicate firmware upgrades, Telnet access, Power-over-Ethernet and other IT-friendly features. And then there's SmartNet.

There's no better AP than an Aironet 350 (the 1200 is a close 2nd). The only question is - are your needs simple enough to get by with a less expensive AP?

Matthew Wheeler

Chief Wireless Architect

www.BlueModal.com

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