Sunday, October 02, 2005

Meshed Wi-Fi and Security Concerns

A while back I talked about WiMax, a new wireless technology designed to use radio signals to beam Internet access farther than standard WiFi. Now another protocol's stepping up to the plate.

Long-Distance Wireless: Meshed Wi-Fi

I'm really impressed by all the layering research done in this field. Researchers crisscross the same protocols, trying to find structures that are more efficient and easier to produce. And they keep finding them! A testament to the standard's viability as a TRUE 'World Wide Web,' I think.

Getting Wi-Fi to extend further is very useful, but it's only one of the two major problems hindering widespread proliferation. Wireless also suffers from the danger of transmission insecurity. I don't see a lot about this problem - in fact, I don't see much of anything about wireless security unless I go looking for it.

I believe this to be due to misdirected focus on security at the client and server end. Security professionals put in a lot of time and effort to secure workstations, routers and servers. This is absolutely necessary, but the transmission medium itself often gets downgraded on the priorities list. There are encryption standards available for Wi-Fi security, but these are not reputed to be as secure or as evolved as the end-point security standards I mentioned above.

While I think extending the range, as this Meshed Wi-Fi does quite well, is forms of security necessitate more research. It is, after all, called 'open air' for a reason.


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