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WIRELESS NETWORKING

ABSTRACT sword. WLAN’s use electromagnetic waves


to transmit information, the radio waves can
The term “Computer Network” to mean a
easily penetrate outside the building, it’s a
collection of autonomous computers
risk that the network can be hacked from the
interconnected by a single technology. By
parking lot or the street. So it’s very
this interconnection they are able to
important to put enough attention on the
exchange information. Local Area
WLAN’s security aspects. With wireless
Networks are privately owned networks
networking, there is no physical security.
within a single building or campus of few
The radio waves that make wireless
kilometers in size. In a traditional LAN we
networking possible are also what make
are connecting computers to the network
wireless networking so dangerous. An
through cables. But the Wireless Local
attacker can be anywhere nearby listening to
Area Network (WLAN) is a flexible data
all the traffic from the network. By properly
communication system that can use either
engineering and using your wireless
infrared or radio frequency technology to
network, we can keep attackers at bay.
transmit and receive information over the
air. Here each computer has a radio Modem 1.INTRODUCTION
and Antenna with which it can communicate As we know “Computer Network” is the
with other systems. One important linking of two or more computers within a
advantage of WLAN is the simplicity of its well defined area. Of the common networks
used today Local Area Networks(LAN)
installation. Installing a wireless LAN serve to provide solutions of the most
system is easy and can eliminate the needs general interest. A Wireless Local Area
to pull cable through walls and ceilings. Network (WLAN) is a flexible data
communication system implemented as an
WLANs allow greater flexibility and
extension to, or as an alternative for a wired
portability than do traditional wired local LAN. As the name suggests a wireless LAN
area networks (LAN). 802.11 was is one that makes use of wireless
transmission medium, i.e. wireless LAN
implemented as the first WLAN standard. It
transmits and receives data over air, and
is based on radio technology operating in the minimizing the need for the wired
2.4 GHz frequency and has a maximum connection. Thus wireless LAN combines
data connectivity with user mobility.
throughput of 1 to 2 Mbps.Unfortunately,
WLAN’s also allow greater flexibility and
wireless networking is a double-edged portability than traditional wired LAN

Dept. of ECE,AITS, Rajampet Page 1


which requires a wire to connect a user  Full connectivity among attached
computer to the network. The initial cost for stations.
WLAN hardware can be higher than the cost
of wired LAN hardware. But the overall  Broadcast Capability
installation expenses and lifecycle cost can In addition there are no of requirement
be significantly lower. With WLAN users specific to wireless LAN environment.
can access shared information without
looking for a place to plug in, and network  Throughput:
managers can setup or argument networks
The MAC protocol should make as
without installing or moving wires. There
are many reasons people choose to deploy a efficient use as possible of the wireless
wireless LAN; increase the productivity due media to maximize capacity.
to increase mobility; lower infrastructure
cost compared to wired networks; rapid  Number of nodes
deployment schedules.
The wireless LAN may need to
2.WHAT IS WIRELESS support hundreds of nodes across multiple
The term “wireless “reflects any means of
cells.
communication that occurs without wires.
The wireless is also called unguided media,  Service Area

i.e. wireless provide a means for A typical coverage area for WLAN

transmitting electromagnetic waves but not has a diameter of 100 to 300 meters.

guided them. Wireless technology in


 Connection to backbone LAN
simplest sense enables one or more devices
For infrastructure WLAN this is easily
to communicate with out any physical
accomplished through the access points
connection, without requiring network of
(AP) that connect to both type of LAN
peripheral cabling.
 Battery and power consumption
2.WIRELESS LAN Mobile workers use battery and
REQUIREMENTS powered work stations that need to have a
A wireless LAN must meet some sort of long battery life cycle when used with
requirements typical of any LAN wireless adapters. Typical wireless LAN
implementations have features to reduce
 High capability
power consumptions while not using the
 Ability to cover short distances
network, such as sleep mode.

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 Transmission Robustness And adapters provide an interface between client
Security network operating system (NOS) and
wireless via antenna. The nature of the
Unless properly design a WLAN may
wireless connection is transparent to the
be interference prone and easily NOS.
eavesdropped. The design of a WLAN must
They are available in three footprints:
permit reliable transmission even in noisy
environment and should provide some level  USB based.

of security from eavesdropping.  PCMCIA based (primarily


for portable PCs)
2.1 WLAN COMPONENTS
 PCI cards for fixed PCs or
A wireless LAN comprises two types of
components. Desktop PCs.
ACCESS POINT (AP)
 Wireless Station
It acts as a bridge between the wireless
 Access point
and wired network interface such as 802.3
WIRELESS STATION and bridging software .The access point
(AP) functions as a base station for the
A wireless station or client is typically
wireless network aggregating multiple
a laptop or notebook personal computer
wireless stations to the wired network. The
(PC) with Wireless Network Interface Card
access point (AP) is a stationary device that
(NIC). A WLAN client may also be a
is a part of wired LAN.
desktop or handheld device within publicly
Bridging Function
addressed area. Wireless laptops and
notebooks-“Wireless enabled”-are identical Access Points (AP) may also provide a
to laptops and notebooks except that they
use Wireless NIC to connect to the access bridging function. Bridging connects two or
point (AP) in the network. more networks together and allows them to
NETWWORK INTERFACE CARD communicate –to exchange network traffic.
(NIC) Bridging involves:
The wireless (NICs) is
commonly inserted in the clients Personal a. Point –to-Point bridging:
Computer Memory Card International
Association (PCMCIA) slot or Universal In a point-to-Point architecture
Serial Bus (USB) port. The NIC use radio
two LANs are connected to each other via
signals to establish connection to the
WLAN. It is also called wireless adapter or the LANs respective APs.
WLAN cards. It consists of the radio
transceiver and the logic to interact with the
client machine and software. WLAN

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another by means of bridging is
approximately 2 miles. This distance may

vary depending on several factors including


the specific receiver or transceiver being
used
Fig.1: Point to Point to bridging

Figure illustrates point-to-point bridging


BSS and ESS
between two LANs. In the example, wireless Basic Service Set (BSS)
data is being transmitted from Laptop A to The basic building block of wireless LAN is
Laptop B, from one building to the next the cell. The area covered by an access point
using each building’s appropriately (AP) is called cell or Basic Service Set. This
is the area in which wireless communication
positioned AP. Laptop A connects to the
takes place. The coverage area of cells
closest AP within the building A. The depends on the strength of the propagated
receiving AP in building A then transmits the radio signal and the type and the
construction of walls partitions and often-
data (over the wired LAN) to the AP bridge
physical characteristics of the indoor
located on the building’s roof. That AP environments.
Bridge then transmits the data to the bridge
Extended Service Set (ESS)
on nearby building B. The building’s AP
The collection of all cells of an
Bridge then sends the data over its wired
infrastructure is called an Extended Service
LAN to Laptop B. Set (ESS).

b. Multipoint Bridging: 3.RADIO TRANSMISSION


Wireless Networking is accomplished by
Sending and receiving radio waves
In this one student on a LAN is between transmitter and receiver. The
connected to several other subnets on basic concepts in radio transmission are,
another LAN via each subnets AP. For  .DATA RATE
example, if a computer on Subnet A needed Radio waves consist of
to connect to computers on Subnets B, C, electromagnetic energy. Regardless of type
and D, Subnet A’s AP would connect to B’s, or purpose of the electromagnetic energy
C’s, and D’s respective APs. Enterprises these waves can be measured by several
may use bridging to connect LANs between metrics. Frequency: Of radio waves is how
different buildings on corporate campuses. often the waveform completes a cycle in a
Bridging AP devices are typically placed on given amount of time and its unit is Hz.
top of buildings to achieve greater antenna Generally faster the frequency more
reception. The typical distance over which information we can transmit and
one AP can be connected wirelessly to

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receive. i.e. frequency of carrier is directly approximates 50 meters (163 feet) indoors.
related to the transmission and reception of
A range of 400 meters, nearly ¼ mile makes.
information. The method of encoding (or
modulating) the data affects the amount that WLAN the ideal technology for many
can be transmitted. Some encoding
campus applications. It is important to
techniques are more resilient to errors but
end up with lower data rates. Conversely recognize that special high gain antennas
high data rate modulation mechanisms may
can increase the range of several miles.
be more susceptible to outside interference.
 SIGNAL STRENGTH
In the most general sense the strength of
signal is the amplitude of its radio
waveform. The unit of measurement of
amplitude (or power) of a radio wave is
watt. WLAN devices typically transmit with
power of 30milli watts. The strength of the
signal decreases as it travels through its
transmission medium such as air, water. The
ratio of power of the received signal versus
the power of the received noise is called the
Fig.2: range of typical WLAN
signal to noise ratio (SNR). The higher the
SNR, the better the quality of the data
signal. 3.1WLAN TECHNOLOGIES
 ANTENNA There is a wide range of diverse, often
Antennas are critical to radios sending and incompatible, technology options available
receiving radio waves. They turn electrical for WLAN manufactures to choose them..
impulses into radio waves form and The important technologies are
viceversa. The important types are, A. NARROWBAND
TECHNOLOGY
 Directional
A narrowband radio system
 Omni directional.
 RANGE transmits and receives user information on
a specific radio frequency. Narrowband
The reliable coverage range for 802.11
WLANs depends on several factors radio keeps the radio signal frequency as
including,
narrow as possible just to pass the
 Data rate required and capacity.
information. Undesirable crosstalk
 Sources of RF interference.
between communications channels is
 Physical area characteristics.
avoided by carefully coordinating different
Theoretical ranges are from
Users on different channel frequencies. A
29meters (11Mbps) in a closed office, to
private telephone line is much like a radio
485meters (1Mbps) in open area. Through
frequency. When each home in a
empirical analysis the typical range for
neighborhood has its own private
connectivity of 802.11equipment, is
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telephone line, people in one home cannot This band is known as the ISM-band
listen to calls made to other homes. In a (Industrial, Scientific and Medical-band).
radio system, privacy and non interference The transmissions use 100 milli watts
are accomplished by the use of separate maximum (North America).In the original
radio frequencies. The radio receiver standard, there were two different types of
filters out all radio signals except the ones spread spectrum transmissions defined for
on its designated Frequency. the Physical Layer.

B. .SPREAD SPECTRUM  Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum


Spread Spectrum is a modulation
(DSSS)
technique that spreads the data transmission
 Frequency Hopping Spread
across the entire available frequency band.
Spectrum (FHSS)
By spreading the signal across the entire
i. Frequency Hopping Spread
band, the signal becomes less vulnerable to Spectrum
noise or interference. Because the signal is
less vulnerable, it can be used in most With FHSS, a transmitting and
environments. Spread spectrum also permits receiving station (with Wireless LAN:
many users to share the same frequency Access Point and Network Interface Card cf.
band with Minimal interference from other infra) are synchronized to hop from channel
users or from devices (such as microwave to channel in predetermined (pseudo
ovens).Spread spectrum first was developed random) sequence. The predefined hopping
for use by the military because it uses sequence is only known to the transmitting
Wideband signals that are difficult to detect and receiving station. By doing so, it is very
and that resist attempts at jamming. In difficult for someone to catch up the signal,
Recent years, researchers have turned their because he doesn’t know on which channel
attention to applying spread spectrum the signal will be transmitted next. In the
Processes for commercial purposes, 802.11 standard, 79 channels are defined
especially in local area wireless networks. within the 2.4GHz band. If one channel is
jammed, the data is simply retransmitted on
The original 802.11 standard,
the next channel in the hopping sequence.
which had specifications for 1Mbps and
Networks using 802.11 and FHSS are
2Mbps wireless Ethernet transmissions,
limited to maximum 2Mbps.Frequency-
using Spread Spectrum in the 2.4 GHz band.
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hopping spread-spectrum (FHSS) uses a original data without the need for
narrowband carrier that changes frequency retransmission. To an unintended receiver,
in a pattern known to both transmitter and DSSS appears as low-power
receiver. Properly synchronized, the net
( C ) INFRARED TCCHNOLOGY
effect is to maintain a single logical channel.
To an unintended receiver, FHSS appears to Infrared (IR) systems use very high
be short-duration impulse noise. frequency, light waves to carry data. The
waves are just below visible light in the
ii. Direct Sequence Spread
electromagnetic spectrum. IR cannot
Spectrum
penetrate opaque objects and it either directs

Under DSSS the information to be (Line –of –sight) of diffuse technology. In

transmitted is divided into small pieces. expensive direct systems provide a very

These small pieces are spread across the limited range up to three feet and are

entire available frequency band. The pieces typically used for (PANs)Personal Area

of information are encoded by using a Networks .High performance direct

redundant pattern, called a chip. This chip is technology is impractical for mobile users

only known by the transmitting and and is only implemented on fixed networks.

receiving device. This makes it difficult for


4.WLAN ARCHETECHTURE
an intruder to intercept and decipher The IEEE standard
wireless data endoed in this manner. The permits devices to establish either peer-to-
peer network (P2P), or network based on
redundant pattern also makes it possible to
fixed access point (AP), with mobile nodes
recover data without retransmitting it if one can communicate. Hence the standard
or more bits are damaged. This means that defines two basic network topologies,
the signal is less susceptible for interference. Infra structure network.

The longer the chip, the greater the 1. Ad hoc or independent network.
probability that the original data can be
This is the fundamental 802.11
recovered (and, of course, the more
WLAN topology. The Infrastructure is
bandwidth required). Even if one or more
meant to extend the range of the wired
bits in the chip are damaged during
LAN to Wireless LAN cells. A laptop or
transmission, statistical techniques
other moving device may move from
embedded in the radio can recover the
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cells to cell (from AP to AP) while configuration is similar to a peer-to-peer
maintaining access to resources of the office network in which no node is
LAN. This topology is useful for required to function as a server. As an
providing wireless coverage of building Adhoc WLAN, laptops, desktops and
or campus area. A WLAN environment other 802.11 devices can share files
has wireless client station that use radio without the use of an access point (AP).
modems to communicate to an access
4.1WORKINNG OF WLAN
point (AP).The client stations are AD HOC MODE
generally equipped with Network
For an Ad hoc mode there is
Interface Card (NIC) .By deploying no access point (AP), only wireless devices
multiple Access Point’s with overlapping are present in this network. Beaconing and
synchronization are handled by a station
coverage areas organizations can achieve
(laptop).Some enhancements are not
broad network coverage. WLAN available to the ad hoc network such as
technology can be used to replace wired relying frames between two stations that
cannot hear each other.
LAN totally end to extend LAN
infrastructure. Although most WLANs INFRASTRUCTURE MODE
operate in the Infrastructure mode and
architecture described above. The laptop or smart device
characterized as a station in wireless LAN
2. ADHOC OR INDEPENDENT system first has to identify the available
MODE access points and networks. This is done
through monitoring beacon frames from
The second topology access points announcing themselves or
supported by IEEE 802.11 standard is ad actively probing for a particular network by
probe frames. The station chooses a network
hoc network, is meant to easily from those available and goes through an
interconnect mobile devices that are in authentication process with the access point.
Once the access point and the station have
the same area. i.e., In this architecture, verified each other the association process is
client stations are grouped in to a single started. Association allows the access point
and station to exchange information and
geographic area. Eg:In the same room. capabilities. The Access Point use this
The interconnected devices in the Ad information and share it with other access
points in the network to disseminate
hoc mode are referred to as Independent knowledge of station’s current location on
Basic Service Set (IBSS). The fig shows the network. Only after association is
complete can other station transmit or
the Ad hoc topology,The Ad hoc receive frames on the network.

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In Infrastructure mode, all network security, but only for the wireless portion of
traffic from wireless stations on the network
the connection. The three basic security
goes through an access point to reach the
destination on either the wired or wireless services defined by IEEE for the WLAN
LAN. Access to the network is managed
environment are as follows:
using CARRIER SENSE MULTIPLE
ACCESS & COLLISSION
 Authentication
A primary goal of WEP was to provide a
AVOIDANCE (CSMA/CA) protocol. The
Station will listen for data transmission for security service to verify the identity of
specified period of time before attempting to communicating client stations. This provides
transmit; this is carrier sense medium access
portion of the protocol. The station must access control to the network by denying
wait a specific period of time, after the access to client stations that cannot
networks becomes clear before transmitting.
This delay plus the receiving station authenticate properly. This service addresses
transmitting an acknowledgement indicating the question, “Are only authorized persons
a successful reception form the collision
avoidance portion of the protocol. In allowed to gain access to my network?”
Infrastructure mode, either the sender or
receiver is always the access point. The  Privacy
periodic beacon frames sent by the access
point handle synchronization between Privacy was a second goal of WEP. It
stations on network. These frames contain was developed to provide “privacy achieved
the access point’s clock value at the time of
transmission so can be used to check for by a wired network.” The intent was to
drift at the receiving station. prevent information compromise from
Synchronization is required for various
reasons having to do with the wireless passive attack. This service, in general,
protocols and modulation schemes. addresses the question, “Are only authorized
persons allowed to view my data?”
5.SECURITY OF 802.11
WIRELESS LANS  Integrity
The IEEE 802.11 specification identified Another goal of WEP was a security
several services to provide a secure service developed to ensure that messages
operating environment. The security are not modified in transit between the
services are provided largely by the Wired wireless clients and the access point in an
Equivalent Privacy (WEP) protocol to active attack. This service addresses the
protect link-level data during wireless question, “Is the data coming into or exiting
transmission between clients and access
points. WEP does not provide end-to-end
Dept. of ECE, AITS, Rajampet Page 9
the network trustworthy—has it been needs such as a conference, trade show, or
tampered with?” standards meeting. Wireless technology
allows the network to go where the wire
5.1BENEFITS OF WLAN cannot go.
The widespread strategic reliance on  REDUCE –COST –OF
networking among competitive Business OWNERSSHIP
and the meteoric growth of Internet and
online services are strong testimonies to the While the initial investment
required for wireless LAN hardware can be
benefits of shared data and shared resources. higher than the cost of wired hardware,
Wireless LAN offer the following overall installation expenses and life cycle
costs can be significantly lower . long term
advantages over traditional Wired LAN, cost benefits are greatest in dynamic
environments that need frequent moves
 MOBILLITY additions and changes.
Wireless LAN systems can LAN  SCALABILITY
user’s access real time information
anywhere in their organization .This Wireless LAN systems can be
configured in a variety of topologies to meet
mobility supports productivity and service
the needs of specific applications and
Opportunities not possible with wired installations .Configurations are easily
changed and range from peer –to – peer
network.
networks suitable for a small number of
users to infrastructure networks of
 QUICK DEPLOYMENT thousands of users that allow roaming over
The lack of wires and cables make installing a broad area . we can add access points
a Wireless LAN quick and easy. The only easily making WLANs very suitable.

wiring involved is that at the access points.


This also makes moves and changes easy. 6 WLAN LIMITATIONS
There are certain limitations associated
Entire wireless LANs can be configured and with WLANs they are,
then installed at the location as moving them
1. Range and coverage depends on the
around after configuration requires little or
transmission power and receiving
no modification.
capabilities of the transceiver. It also
 INSTALLATION FLEXIBILLITY depends the path to be taken for the data.
Enterprises can also enjoy
the flexibility of installing and taking down 2. Radio interference can cause
WLANs in locations as necessary. Users can
degradation in throughput. So design
quickly install a small WLAN for temporary

Dept. of ECE, AITS, Rajampet Page 10


considerations are important fact in the case laptops to the campus and have access to the
needed databases and printers throughput
of WLAN.
the day.
3. Throughput is affected by the number  WIRELESS BUSSINESS
of users ,range and type of WLAN system CENTERS
used. If the number of clients increased for a If conferences and large meetings
particular access point throughput will are equipped with a wireless LAN,
participants can be given laptops to work
reduces with during the conference. Executives
make quicker decisions because they have
4. Products that transmit energy in the real time information at their finger tips.
same frequency spectrum can potentially
 SMALL OFFICES
provide some measure of interference
Wireless small offices benefit
(devices like Micro Owen). from a wireless LAN access point, which is
to handle outgoing data cells and use the
5. It is a major consideration related to Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
(DHCP). Also peer-to-peer networking in
WLAN, but now complex encryption
small offices
techniques gives greater security provisions
equivalent to wired network.  HOPISTALS
Doctors and nurses in hospitals
7 WLAN APPLICATIONS are more productive because hand held or
note book computers with wireless LAN
Wireless LAAN applications have capability deliver patient information
mainly be used in environments where instantly.
using conventional PCs and wired LAN has  ACCOUNTING
been impractical or almost impossible
.Wireless LAN frequently argument rather Consulting or accounting audit
than replace wired LAN networks .Often engagement teams or small work groups
providing the final few meters of increase productivity with a quicker network
connectivity between a backbone network set up.
and the mobile user. The environments  WAREHOUSES
include _for example –warehousing retail Warehouse workers can use
stores car rental agencies and other special wireless LAN’s to exchange information
vertical solutions. the important application with central databases and increase their
fields of WLANs are, productivity.
 WIRELESS EDUCCATION 8.CONCLUSION
With wireless LAN on the campus
Wireless technologies have become
and with laptop computers, classrooms and
increasingly popular in our every day
other can have flexible access to the
business and personal lives. The wired
network. Students can even bring their own

Dept. of ECE, AITS, Rajampet Page 11


world of copper and fibre-based networks 6. Wireless Resource,
will continue to be the basics fabric of http://www.alphapagingsoftware.co
networks, but WI-FI is a rapidly growing m/
niche. Wireless communication is a great 7. Wireless Info Resource Center,
attraction to users who are constantly on the http://www.wirc.org/
move. Wireless network cards are seen 8. Nokia Info,
installed on laptop computers rather than on http://www.nokiainfo.net/
desktop systems because of the inherent 9. Steve Romains's Cellular
mobility that laptops offer. Wireless Information Site,
connectivity in PDA’s and other handheld http://www.geckobeach.com/cellular/
computing device is also getting popular. In 10. Nokia 6190/Fido GSM Information,
a nutshell wireless technologies are our call http://gsm.erc.bc.ca/
to liberation and will undoubtedly continue 11. GSM Files, http://www.gsm-
to grow in popularity and increase files.com/
performance capabilities .Over the past 12. WAP Forum,
several years the price of wireless LAN http://www.wapforum.org/
equipments has dropped significantly. 13. AnywhereYouGo.com,
Wireless NIC’s are nearing the price of their http://www.anywhereyougo.com/
wired counterparts. At the same time 14. Palowireless.com,
performance increased dramatically. In 1998 http://www.palowireless.com/
WLAN topped out at 2 Mbps, now WLAN 15. WAP Resources, http://www.wap-
has reached speed up to 100Mbps. This high resources.net/
performance wireless solutions can greatly 16. Wapalize,
increased the productivity by providing real http://www.wapalize.co.uk/
time access to e–business applications and 17. Buzzed Mobile,
valuable network data. Infrastructure http://www.buzzed.co.uk/mobile/
maturity may be an initial reason for 18. awooga Personal WAP Portal,
replacing the traditional wired LAN with a http://www.awooga.com/
wireless LAN. But increasingly the 19. Wapamente,
simplicity and flexibility and the ease of http://www.wapamente.com/
deploying WLAN s is appearing to 20. Asymmetric Wireless Networking,
enterprises. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~bmm/wirele
ss.html
REFERENCES 21. Bluetooth Wireless Technology,
http://www.microsoft.com/hwdev/bl
1. Pittsburgh Public Hotspots, uetooth/
http://www.telerama.com/
2. FCC 3G Service Description,
http://www.fcc.gov/3G/
3. 3G “mobile multimedia” resources
page, http://www.mobile3g.com/
4. AIR802, http://www.air802.com
5. Wireless Advisor,
http://wirelessadvisor.com/

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