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Posts Tagged ‘wifi

Guayaquil goes Wi-Fi

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Juan Pueblo is an allegoric figure and a emblematic character of our city, Guayaquil

Some good news for the fellow citizens interested in Wi-Fi and Wireless Technologies: the City Hall of Guayaquil has started a project called “Guayaquil Digital”, which is essentially the deployment of free Wi-Fi along parks, schools and colleges within Guayaquil, my home city.

From this month, three high schools, three Universities and two near zones will benefit from this project. While the service has a limited backhaul (internet) bandwidth -1 or 2 Mbps-, it’s still enough to cover some of the student needs.

One drawback so far seems to be the number of Access Points that will be installed and thus the complete coverage that they will provide. The Vicente Rocafuerte high school’s rector, for instance, stated that although they have been told that 2 Access Points will be installed, they are not aware of the total coverage that they will provide yet.

This rises up the question of whether a limited internet bandwidth along with a limited number of Access Points will ultimately deliver an appropriate service that will meet the students’ needs or not. Some problems that could arise from this type of installation would be the excessive number of students per Access Point, or an excessive coverage that would give a poor service on far distances, between many others.

My concern is based on what Jaime Nebot, Mayor of Guayaquil, said, a kind of black or white statement: “it’s simple, it works or it doesn’t work. You sit down in your high school or park, open your laptop and if you have a wireless internet connection, it works. If not, it doesn’t”, referring to the fact that in these two-year service contract with Telconet will be continuously evaluated. In the long run, chances are that the number of students using the service will increase are high, and capacity will some day become a bigger concern.

Nonetheless, my overall score for this initiative is positive, and I hope that the City Hall will continue with this project to provide Wi-Fi coverage to other zones within the city.

In Spanish
In English (google translate)


Written by Wirelezz

October 21, 2011 at 11:06 am

Posted in News

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TKIP and WEP: Game Over

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So the other day I read the following in WiFiNews:

TKIP and WEP won’t be allowed in new devices with the Wi-Fi stamp in a staged elimination over three years starting in 2011.

My first reaction was: “Why did it take so long?”. It is well known that WEP is one insecure standard for IEEE 802.11 Networks. I’m no security expert, but there’s something I’ve learned in the past 7 years from different sources of information: “Don’t implement WEP on your wireless network”.

According to the post, “While TKIP hasn’t been broken, it has known vulnerabilities, such as a susceptibility to dictionary-based attacks for short keys, and some very clever ways to insert packets through manipulating a flaw in the packet integrity protocol.”.

However, it looks like it’s going to take some time to be accomplished:

At the start of 2011, access points will no longer be certified with TKIP as an option by itself, commonly revealed as WPA-PSK, WPA-TKIP, or WPA Personal. Mixed modes, in which an AP can accept either TKIP or AES keys, will still be allowed. But also starting in 2011, manufacturers can opt to ship Wi-Fi hardware preset to use WPA2 out of the box.

In 2012, new Wi-Fi adapters (so-called stations in 802.11 parlance) won’t be allowed to support TKIP.

In 2013, WEP is finally disallowed for APs. While that seems incredibly late, its inclusion is there only for certain categories of legacy devices for which no other option is available.

In 2014, the mixed TKIP/AES mode for access points can no longer be included in certified devices, and WEP cannot be available to new client devices.

As you may also know, 802.11n implements 802.11i security and gives TKIP support for those non-AES devices (however, 802.11n with TKIP won’t support data rates higher than 54Mbps).

While I think this should have been done severals years ago and that security standards should walk together with 802.11 innovations (such as 802.11n), I’m also interested in finding out how to meet the point in which new security schemes will not affect 802.11 handoffs as more handshakes and protocols are added in the process.

Source: WiFiNews

Written by Wirelezz

June 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Posted in News

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Meraki WiFi Stumbler

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During the time I was working on my thesis, I had to do a quick Site Survey in order to prepare the testbed for my VoWLAN call tests. So I started looking for the software that did the “site survey” magic.

This kind of software (as you might already know) is called Stumbler. What a Stumbler basically does is taking a look at the wireless medium and search for active Access Points, as well as their SSIDs, the signal received, etc.

There are plenty of tools that do the job. For instance, there’s NetStumbler, which is a great piece of software. However, after reading a @meraki tweet, I tried it and I have to say: it’s very cool.

Here’s the link to the Meraki Stumbler site

First of all, you don’t need to install it: it’s web-based, so it saves you the work of looking for the right installer for your OS and, of course, skip the installation requirements.

It has a friendly interface. Clean and easy to use and understand.

It shows you a graph of the channels versus the number of clients that are using each channel. Which is pretty useful to start doing the site survey. Why would I care that much about looking for a level of interference of channel 1 if I can see that there are 10 APs using it and that the channel 11 is clean?

It’s Java-based: I’m sorry, I really love Java. You might not need to install it (it’s not a installing requirement), but there’s a prerequisite: you need the JRE to use the Stumbler.

Here’s a video showing how it works. Pretty simple.

I’m aware that this may not be as complete as Netstumbler is, but I found Meraki Stumbler a very minimalistic yet clean approach for a quick “hey what’s going on around here?” survey.

What’s your favorite site survey software? Leave a comment!

Written by Wirelezz

June 26, 2010 at 12:05 am

Posted in Tools

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