About The Module
A Wireless LAN (WLAN) is a classification of wireless network and is an extension of the Ethernet LAN. It has become important, popular and commonly used in homes, offices, and campus environments.
In this module, you will learn how to configure the essential components in a Wireless LAN infrastructure, which are the access points, wireless router and the clients.
This course contains the following pages:
- Presentations: Twelve short recorded video presentations created by various presenters.
- Additional Resources: Links to additional resources are also provided as a convenience to learners. The appearance of external links does not constitute endorsement by Cisco, nor does Cisco exercise any editorial control over the information found at these external sites.
- Quiz: Brief quiz after each module to check your understanding of key concepts presented in each module.
Upon completion of this module, you will be able to:
- Configure Wireless LAN Access Point
- Configure Wireless LAN Router
- Configure Wireless LAN Clients
- Setting Up a Home Network
Wireless LAN Designs
Configuring a wireless LAN network and its components starts with a good understanding of the wireless LAN network designs, the components and the best practices. The author provide a re-cap of the wireless LAN network designs, components and some of the best practices.
In this section, you will learn how to configure a wireless access point. You will learn how to set the SSID, enable security, configure the channel, back up and restore the configuration of a typical wireless access point. Most access points have been designed to be functional right out of the box with the default settings. It is good practice to change initial, default configurations. Many access points can be configured through a GUI web interface. View the video for the basic setup of a access point.
Configuration using Packet Tracer
This video demonstrates the configuration of a access point and clients using the Cisco Packet Tracer.
Using Wireless LAN Controller
A WLAN controller is a hardware device that provides a single point of management for all of the access points in your network; those access points connect to the WLAN controller, which then connects to your wireless network.
A WLAN controller is typically use in a wireless LAN network with multiple access points. This would be a typical SMB network (small-medium size business). With a wireless LAN controller, you can simplify WLAN management and make it easier to give users advanced mobility services.
Most wireless routers have integrated functionality of a access point; and offer a variety of features. Most routers are designed to be functional right out of the box with the default settings. However, it is good practice to change initial, default configurations.
Home wireless routers are configured using a GUI web interface. When configuring wireless routers, most of the configuration considerations are similar for the basic functions regardless of the brand of router used. The author uses a Linksys router and Cisco’s Packet Tracer for demonstration purposes. Some of the advanced settings are not covered in this module.
The Administration settings allow you to define the parameters for the administration of the router including:
1. changing router’s name, login id and password
2. remote management – enabling/disabling access to your router outside of your local network
3. UPnP – UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) allows devices connected to a network to discover each other and automatically create working configurations. UPnP is enabled by default.
4. backup and firmware upgrades
Wireless Settings allow you to:
1. select wireless channel
2. configure SSID, enable/disable SSID Broadcast
3. select wireless security mode
4. configure MAC address filtering
Security Setting : By default, the firewall settings in your router have been optimized for most home environments, so no changes are needed. The SPI(Stateful Packet Inspection) firewall is enabled by default. In addition, anonymous Internet requests and IDENT** requests are filtered by default. All web filters are disabled, because enabling them may cause problems for sites that depend on ActiveX controls, Java, or cookies. (Details on these settings are beyond the scope of this module).
** The IDENT Protocol (Identification Protocol, IDENT), specified in RFC 1413, is an Internet protocol that helps identify the user of a particular TCP connection. (source : Wikipedia)
Applications & Gaming Settings
Applications and Online Games settings allow you to assign a priority for an application or online game using its port and protocol information.
Port Forwarding is a function relating to the NAT (Network Address Translation)/Firewall. Computers and other devices behind your network’s firewall, or your router, are invisible to others on the internet. They communicate through Private IP Addresses, and an associated, unique port number. Port Forwarding allows remote computers outside your network to connect to a specific computer or service (define by ‘ports’) on your network. The router forwards incoming traffic to the associated device on your local network, as configured. Single Port Forwarding allows you to keep a single port address open all the time; Port Range Forwarding allows for opening a range of ports; and Port Range Triggering (the best option) allows for ports to only open/close as required when triggered by request from the application/game/server that requires the port to be open to pass data through. Port Range Triggering and Port Range Forwarding are the most common and best used options for gaming setup, given the port range requirements of most games/applications.
QoS setting can prioritize traffic from your network out to the Internet. Performance for demanding, real-time applications, such as VoIP calls, video streaming, and videoconferencing, can be improved by configuring Internet access priorities. QoS is applied only to traffic that is uploaded to the Internet. The router cannot control the quality of the traffic after it reaches the Internet.
A Typical Home Network Topology
If you have multiple computers at home and want to use all of them to access the Internet, it will be better to create a home network. In a home network, all of your devices connect to your router, which is then connected to the ISP modem. This means everyone in your family can use the Internet at the same time, and you don’t have to purchase a separate Internet service for each computer. Typically a wireless network will be a convenient and cost-effective choice for a home network. Your wireless tablet and mobile phones can access the Internet using the home network as well. In addition, many printers, video game consoles, and digital video recorders (DVRs) are equipped with wireless cards, which mean these devices can be shared when connected to the home network.
Setting up your home network is a good way of putting what you have learned into practice. In the videos, the author covers the connectivities in a home network, and the best practices.
Connecting using DSL
Internet service providers (ISPs) usually offer different levels of speed based on your needs. If you are mainly using the Internet for email and social networking, a slower connection might be all you need. However, if you want to download a lot of music or watch streaming movies, you will need a faster connection for better user experience. Currently, the most frequently used last-mile connections are via DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) or CATV Cable(Community Access Cable Television Systems, simply call Cable) networks. Depending on the local ISPs, other last-mile connection options may include Ethernet, Fiber-to-the-home, Satellite, ISDN, and dial-up analog lines. These options are not cover in this course.
DSL service uses a broadband connection. DSL connects to the Internet via phone line but does not require you to have a land line at home. The connection will always be on once it is set up, and you will be able to use the Internet and your phone line simultaneously.
Connecting using Cable
Cable service connects to the Internet via cable TV, although you do not necessarily need to have cable TV in order to get it. It uses a broadband connection and can be faster than both dial-up and DSL service; however, it is only available in places where cable TV is available.
Setting Up Home LAN
A home network can be wired(using Ethernet cables) or wireless(using Wi-Fi). It may also be a mixture of the two, with some devices connecting with Ethernet and others connecting wirelessly. Wireless is generally more convenient; however, you will need to consider wireless security.