Understanding me103 wireless security options, Understanding me103 wireless security options -4 – NETGEAR ME103 User Manual

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Reference Manual for the ME103 802.11b ProSafe Wireless Access Point

Basic Installation and Configuration


August 2003

Understanding ME103 Wireless Security Options

Unlike wired network data, your wireless data transmissions can be received well beyond your
walls by anyone with a compatible adapter. For this reason, use the security features of your
wireless equipment. The ME103 Access Point provides highly effective security features which
are covered in detail in this chapter. Deploy the security features appropriate to your needs.

Figure 3-1: ME103 wireless data security options

There are several ways you can enhance the security of your wireless network:

Restrict Access Based on MAC address. You can restrict access to only trusted PCs so that
unknown PCs cannot wirelessly connect to the ME103. MAC address filtering adds an
obstacle against unwanted access to your network, but the data broadcast over the wireless link
is fully exposed.

Turn Off the Broadcast of the Wireless Network Name (SSID). If you disable broadcast of
the SSID, only devices that have the correct SSID can connect. This nullifies the wireless
network ‘discovery’ feature of some products such as Windows XP, but the data is still fully
exposed to a determined snoop using specialized test equipment like wireless sniffers.

Use WEP. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) data encryption provides data security. WEP
Shared Key authentication and WEP data encryption will block all but the most determined

Implement 802.1x. IEEE 802.1x provides very strong security. Although it can use the same
data encryption scheme as WEP, it enables stronger authentication as well as the ability to
dynamically vary the encryption keys.


1) Open System: Easy but no security
2) MAC Access List: No data security
3) WEP: Security but some vulnerabilities
4) 802.1x: Secure

Wireless Data

Security Options

Range: Up to 500 Feet




ProSafe Wireless Access Point



Wireless LAN