Access point allows gradual WLan migration to 802.11a


Access point allows gradual WLan migration to 802.11a

Antony Adshead
Avaya is to launch a wireless Lan access point that supports both existing and forthcoming 802.x standards, allowing network managers to buy now and future-proof.

The Wireless Access Point-3 (AP-3) enables users to migrate easily from the existing 802.11b standard to the forthcoming 802.11a standard. 802.11b operates in the industrial, scientific and medical 2.4GHz frequency band at 11mbps. 802.11a will operate in the 5GHz band and give speeds of 24mbps.

Migration between the standards is facilitated by two slots on the access point which can accept either 802.11b or 802.11a radio modules. This means the AP-3 can have either two of one standard or one of each to facilitate a gradual changeover.

Besides the increased bandwidth, 802.11a is being welcomed because it will leave behind the crowded 2.4GHz band, where there have been issues concerning interference with Bluetooth and other wireless transmission standards.

Enhanced security is provided by the 802.1x network security standard. This provides user-based authentication and automatically creates and distributes new encryption keys on a regular basis. Authentication is by means of a Radius server which supplies a Wep (wireless equivalent privacy) security key.

Wireless Lan (WLan) security has been a concern following the rise of so-called "drive-by" attacks in the US, where hackers drive into company car parks and gain remote access to systems by logging on to WLans. Wep is designed to prevent this.

Network management features include remote configuration and management of the WLan via Web browser and SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) management tools.

The AP-3 can also act as a repeater to boost signals between buildings.

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