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airMAX - Security Types for airMAX Radio Networks


Overview


This article describes each of the possible security modes to choose from when setting up an airMAX network.


Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. WPA2-AES (Recommended Security & Encryption)
  3. WPA/WPA2
  4. None
  5. TPKIP and WEP

Introduction


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Enabling security is an essential part of any airMAX network. This ensures that radios are securely managed by trusted administrators knowing the password. The airMAX system gives administrators the flexibility to choose between security types, regardless of the scenario for deployment. Enable security first at the access point (AP) and enter the same settings at the station radio.


WPA2-AES (Recommended Security & Encryption)


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WPA2 (Wireless Protected Access II) security mode with AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) type 256bit encryption. AES is also known as CCMP (Counter Mode with Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol). WPA2 is always recommended over its predecessor, WPA.

Because encryption occurs within the wireless hardware chip, the CPU/memory are not affected and highest data rates are achievable (MCS15 & MCS7 for 2x2 & 1x1 devices, respectively).


WPA/WPA2


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WPA security modes without advanced encryption. 


None


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Open network, ideal for guest networks or whenever RADIUS MAC authentication & MAC ACL are used. 


TKIP and WEP


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NOTE:
The following two security modes: TKIP and WEP,  were removed on version 5.6.1 because they were deemed not secure enough. As always, we recommend upgrading to the newest available firmware.

 

WPA/WPA2-TKIP 

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security modes with TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) support only. TKIP uses the RC4 encryption algorithm. There is a performance limitation to using TKIP, so we recommend using AES.

 

WEP 

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is the oldest and least secure security algorithm and is not recommended. Legacy hardware may require WEP or WPA in certain circumstances.