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Author Topic: WEP on 802.11b Simultaneous with WPA (AES) on 802.11g?  (Read 4759 times)


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WEP on 802.11b Simultaneous with WPA (AES) on 802.11g?
« on: November 24, 2008, 04:31:15 PM »

I'm trying to extend wireless between different floors of my house, around corners, and over a wide area.  One of the possibilities I'm exploring is using multiple wireless bridges on different non-overlapping channels.  If possible, I'd like to recruit my old 802.11b hardware for this task.  The end-use devices use wired, 802.11b, and 802.11g.  Some of these devices are not WPA2 capable.

One segment I'm setting up now is to use a DIR-855 to broadcast 2.4 GHz diagonally downstairs to a legacy 802.11b WEP LinkSys WET11 bridge, while simultaneously broadcasting WPA encrypted traffic in a different direction on the same floor, diagonally through a slight zigzag, to D-Link DAP-1522 bridge configured for 5 GHz 802.11n only.  The DIR-855 Duo functionality seems uniquely suitable for this situation.

  (802.11b WAP bridge)  <<---across+through-floor--- (DIR-855) ---long+zigzag--->> (802.11n WPA bridge)

The DIR-855 is connected to the DSL trunk.  It gets more interesting.  The D-Link DAP-1522 is configured for bridge mode, and I've attached my ancient LinkSys WAP51AB dual band 802.11a/b access point to it, to bounce the signals downstairs into a different area than the first, and around the corners.  It reaches a second LinkSys 802.11b WET11 bridge.

  (802.11n WPA bridge) ------ (802.11a/b access point) ---beam-downstairs--->> (802.11b WAP bridge)

I wish I could disable the 5 GHz on the WAP51AB, but there is no option.  I's a tricky environment, as a wireless scan shows 23 of the neighbors' wireless networks.  My two dual-band tranceivers create four more wireless networks!  Our neighborhood can roast turkeys for Thanksgiving and has lots of blinking lights for Christmas.  The first two days, I'm getting good signal in the key areas, and from furthest away can stream internet radio.  There are some neighboring dead zones, though, and occasionally a bit of latency.  I'm pretty happy so far.  It's been a pleasure to use the D-Link web configuration interfaces.  To reduce probable 802.11a/n crosstalk, I may need to ditch the WAP51AB for a reliable 802.11b only device.  Although 802.11g seem to have good range reviews, some of my devices cannot connect with g-mode, and I worry that mixing g with b are worse than b-only.  I'll try to find an 802.11b discard.

  • Will using the legacy WEP encryption on the 2.4 GHz band configured for 802.11b only, hamper the speed or reliability of the 5 GHz 802.11n WPA transmissions?  It would be okay to disable encryption, since the weakest link is crackable, but not preferable.
  • A related question is whether to configure the 2.4 GHz for 802.11b only or if it would be better to configure this band for mixed mode 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.1n.  I guess I don't understand whether designating the DIR-855 to create an 802.11n network recruits both bands into service, or whether it uses only the 5 GHz.  Moreover, if both bands are recruited, does specifying 802.11b only on the 2.4 GHz deny that usage.  BTW, how do the three antennas service the different frequencies?  Which antenna is used for which frequency?
  • What kind of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz directional antenna options are available for the DIR-855?

One observation is that in my house, 802.11n doesn't go through the walls or floors, and even has a bit of a problem refracting around a shallow corner.  I had tried operating the DIR-855 in n-only mode on the dual bands.  Maybe I still haven't found the right combo of physical placement and logical configuration settings yet.  I've got to get those reflections and refractions and interference patterns working out all the angles and then move on to work out optimal QoS and throttling settings.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 05:51:25 PM by thepam »