What is a wireless network/WLAN ?
A wireless local area network (WLAN) is a local area network (LAN) that doesn’t rely on wired
Ethernet connections. A WLAN can be either an extension to a current wired network or an
alternative to it. Use of a WLAN adds flexibility to networking. A WLAN allows users to move
around while keeping their computers connected. It supported by the popular IEEE 802.11
standards family such as 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g.
Because the wireless signal is broadcast so everybody nearby can share it, several security
precautions are necessary to ensure only authorized users can access your WLAN.A WLAN
signal can be broadcast to cover an area ranging in size from a small office to a large campus.
Most commonly, a WLAN access point provides access within a radius of 65 to 300 feet.
- What is the MAC address (aka the hardware or physical address) of my
Every network adapter has a Media Access Control address (usually shortened to MAC address).
A MAC address is a six-byte identifying number permanently embedded in the firmware of the
adapter, and is readable by the network and the operating system of the device on which the
adapter is installed. All modems and Ethernet cards have a MAC address.The address must follow
the standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which sets computer
networking standards. The IPv4 address is a six-pair set of hexadecimal numbers, for example,
The purpose of the MAC address is to uniquely identify every node on a network; nodes include
workstations and devices like printers. Every adapter has a unique MAC address. Even two identical
models from the same manufacturer will have distinct MAC addresses.
The IPv6 protocol uses the MAC address of a network node to generate its IPv6 IP address.
This is accomplished by expanding the 48-bit MAC address into a 64-bit portion of an 128-bit
IPv6 IP address. This represents a change from the practice of IPv4, where the MAC address
was entirely distinct from the IP address.
Note: Some literature calls the MAC address the physical address, the hardware address,
or the adapter address for various reasons. Mac OS X named it as Airport ID. While that’s not
wrong or inaccurate, the proper way to refer to that address is to call it the MAC address.
- How many network devices can I register?
For a moment, you can only register two (2) network-enabled devices in campus.
- How to login and use wireless?
username: email username
password: email password
username: matric number
password: pin number
- How to get the wireless support ?
* First level support for wireless services is the computer technician at respective Kuliyyah, Center
o It covers troubleshooting, wireless setting and configuration on laptop or PC
* Second level for wireless services is ITD
o It covers infrastructure problem e.g access point down, authentication server, controller etc
* First Level Support : DIY Support (Self Support or Peer Support)
o Download manual and follow the step by step instruction
o Online mac address registration via student portal
o Laptop troubleshooting, wireless setting and configuration
* Second Level Support : Technician or ICS Lab Assistant at respective Kuliyyah
o Laptop troubleshooting, wireless setting and configuration
o NOT including laptop servicing, virus removal or software installation
o Laptop servicing is the owner responsibility
* Third Level Support : ITD
o Password and mac address verification (with appointment)
o Wireless Infrastructure matters
* Just liaise with the officer in charge for any official event you are attended (conference, seminar,
* Just liaise with the Kuliyyah administrative officer : applicable for visiting Professor or Lecturer
* Just liaise with your program coordinator : applicable for visiting or exchange students
- What contribute to “wireless problems” ?
• Disabled wireless network adapters.(check on/off wireless button)
• Incorrectly configured wireless network settings.
• Insufficient credentials for authentication or missing permissions for authorization.
• Distance, interference, or obstructions between wireless devices.
• Black out that power down the access point
- Why the status shows validating identity ?
A Few reasons why the status still on validating identity
• Wireless client or adapter not running properly (please restart again)
• The “driver” is no longer supported the wireless card or wireless adapter (please reinstall the driver)
• Laptop infected with viruses, spyware, malware, adware, worms or Trojan-horse
• The operating system is not genuine
• Invalid mac address
• Wireless account blacklisted by the administrator (security threat etc)
- What to do when Windows Vista shows limited connection OR connected with
limited access ?
Windows Vista wifi security was designed with two type of WPA which are personnel and enterprise.
While the other operating system just simply WPA only.
• When you are connected but limited access, shutdown your laptop for a few minute and restart
• Enter again your credential info if required
• Windows Vista not recommended by IIUM WiFi admin - use at your own risk
• The best way is to use normal Windows XP, Macintosh (MacBook) or Ubuntu 8.04
- Why IIUM Wifi use WPA and not WEP or WPA2 ?
According to National Security Agency (NSA) in USA, the most secured protocol for wireless network is
to deploy wireless authentication and encryption AES/WPA2. For a moment, IIUM only used WPA just
simply because, the WEP key can be cracked less than 5 minutes. WPA setting is quit secure enough to
protect our wireless network. On the other hand, WPA2 has too strong security features and more
complicated to setup compared to WPA setting. By the way, our layered security architecture able
to provide high security and enough for us to deploy WPA and TKIP security setting.
In average, not many devices own by IIUM Community supported WPA2/AES requirement. In fact,
ITD plans to enhance the wireless security by using AES/WPA2 in the future.
- What is Security Standard ?
The 802.11x standards provide some basic security, but they’re becoming less adequate as use
of wireless networking spreads. Security standards exist that extend or replace the basic standard:
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
One of the earliest security schemas, WEP was originally created for 802.11b, but migrated to
802.11a as well. It encrypts data traffic between the wireless access point and the client computer,
but doesn’t actually secure either end of the transmission. Also, WEP’s encryption level is relatively
weak (only 40 to 128 bits). Many analysts consider WEP security to be weak and easy to crack.
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
WPA implements higher security and addresses the flaws in WEP, but is intended to be only an
intermediate measure until further 802.11i security measures are developed.
This standard is part of a full WPA security standard. WPA consists of a pair of smaller standards
that address different aspects of security:
* TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol encryption), which encrypts the wireless signal
* 802.1x, which handles the authentication of users to the network
Commonly, wireless systems have you log into individual wireless access points or let you access
the wireless network, but then keep you from accessing network data until you provide further
802.1x makes you authenticate to the wireless network itself, not an individual access point, and
not to some other level. This boosts security, because unauthorized traffic can be denied right at
the wireless access point.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has coined the term “WPA2?, for easy use by manufacturers, technicians, and
end users. However, the IEEE name of the standard itself is 802.11i. The encryption level is so
high that it requires dedicated chips on the hardware to handle it.
In practical use, WPA2 devices have interoperability with WPA devices. When not interfacing with
older WPA hardware, WPA2 devices will run strictly by the 802.11i specifications.
WPA2 consists of a pair of smaller standards that address different aspects of security:
* WPA2-Personal, which uses a pre-shared key (similar to a single password available to groups
of users, instead of a single individual); the pre-shared key is stored on the access point and the
end user’s computer
* WPA2-Enterprise, which authenticates users against a centralized authentication service