Side by Side Comparison of Wireless Formats

If you have ever wondered about the various Wireless protocols like CDMA and GSM, here they are! I have provided all of the formats that I can think of, as well as a run down on the specifications of each format:

PROTOCOL: 802.11a

  • MAIN USE: PC Networking
  • RANGE: 25-75ft inside/100ft Outside
  • SPEED: ~54Mbps
  • NOTES: Not backwardly compatible with 802.11b, 802.11g. Other 5GHz devices may disrupt connection

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The Different WiFi Authentication & Encryption Standards

The 40-bit and 64-bit Question:
Wired Equivalent Privacy uses a streaming cipher, which combines the use of a 40-bit WEP Key with a 24-bit random number (known as the Initialization Vector, or IV ) generated by the Router/AP to encrypt the data. You can think of the IV as simply a header for the key. So, for a 64-bit Cipher, the user actually contributes a key length is 40-bits (5 bytes or 10HEX characters), with an additional 24-bits (3 bytes) of system-generated data, for a total of 64-bits (8 bytes) total.

* If you are entering your Key in HEX format, your Key should be 10 HEX characters long.

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Troubleshooting WEP Problems

When having problems with WEP:

1.) Determine what your cipher length is going to be. For the purposes of troubleshooting, it is suggested that you start with a 64bit encryption.

However, the Router will usually make a contribution to the actual key length, so this will impact what your contribution is. Before proceding any further, please review your Router Documentation to see if your Router contributes to the key-length. If key-length for a 64bit key is expected to be 8 characters, then your Router is NOT contributing any overhead information to the key. The remainder of this article will presume your Router inserts it’s own 3 bytes of data.


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Troubleshooting WiFi issues

Things to consider when having trouble with your WiFi connection:

1.) Reset the Wireless Adapter Always start your troubleshooting process by removing your iPAQ’s main battery (this only applies to iPAQs with a consumer accessible battery) for 30 seconds, then replacing the battery. This will force a core-reset of the wireless adapter, as well as a soft-reset of the iPAQ itself.
2.) Update your software: Make sure your iPAQ has the most recent BIOS, Firmware, and Drivers.

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