Security picks

This was not an ordinary product test in which we picked a winner based on a range of criteria including performance, manageability and ease of use. In this case, we focused entirely on security, and based on our testing, we drew some conclusions about which products would be the most secure additions to your network.

This was not an ordinary product test in which we picked a winner based on a range of criteria including performance, manageability and ease of use.

In this case, we focused entirely on security, and based on our testing, we drew some conclusions about which products would be the most secure additions to your network.


Cracking the wireless security code

What we tested

WEP: Stick a fork in it

802.1X: A stepping stone

WPA - An accident waiting to happen

802.11i: The next big thing

Security standards aside, lock down your boxes, boys!

Wireless Access Point: Wire-side security testing (PDF)

How to do it: Securing your wireless LAN

Tools, not standards, that help tie down wireless nets

Glossary of wireless security terms

Explaining TKIP

How we did it

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On the client side, we recommend wireless network interface cards from 3Com and Cisco because they offer a range of security options, don’t have broken Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) implementations and offer a clear 802.11i direction.

For access points, the decision is tougher. 3Com and SMC Networks both passed all our tests, but we also feel that Cisco, HP and Proxim — which failed the WEP tests — should be on any short list because of the additional security features they offer. Additionally, even Compex, with its small office/home office access point, had the ability to switch users to different virtual LANs, which is a great security feature.

For wireless switches, we recommend the ArubaAirespace and Trapeze products, again, based on the variety of options offered. In corporations, these products will provide more security than any of the static access points tested.

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