Wireless Power and Antenna Placement – CompTIA Security+ SY0-401: 1.5

Configuring a wireless network requires a combination of power settings, antenna choice, and antenna location. In this video, you’ll learn how power and antenna settings can be used to customize your wireless network installation.

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A feature that can really help you with security in your wireless access point configuration, you may have controls over how much power you put out on the wireless access point. Ideally, you would set this to go as low as you possibly can and still have people communicate. That way you aren’t sending your signal out to the parking lot where other people may be able to hear what’s going on your wireless network.

So you may have to study it. You may have to get some detailed spectral views of the traffic. Determine what type of traffic we’re seeing, how much power is really being outputted, and determine, based on the size of the organization or the size of the floor you happen to be on, what is the level of power you really should set.

You should also think about the receiver. If somebody has a high-gain antenna in the parking lot, they may still be able to hear things, even though you’ve set the power down really, really low. So this is really going to have a dependency on where you’re located. And you’re going to want to set the power settings accordingly.

Obviously, this is not going to be the only thing that you would set to be able to limit access to the wireless network. But, again, try to keep it away from other networks. And try to keep it as quiet as possible, as low power as possible, but still allow you to operate properly.

Along those same lines, it really does make a difference where you put the antenna for your wireless access point, especially if you need to overlap different parts of the organization. You may have a big floor. And it may not be possible to put a single wireless access point in the middle and try to see if everybody can hear that access point.

Instead, you may need to layer access points and even overlap some of the channels just a little bit. Your wireless receiver in your laptop or your wireless device will choose whichever signal is the loudest. And you’ll overlap it with different channels, as well, so that you don’t have frequencies that are overlapping each other and creating any problems.

So this is where you may want to adjust power levels, adjust where your different antennas are being placed, and maybe even change the type of antenna you’re using, maybe not to be an omnidirectional antenna. Maybe choose one that only looks in different directions to send its signal and receive its signal. There’s a lot of options out there. You can check with your manufacturer of your wireless access point and see what types of antennas are available for the particular model that you have.