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Do-it-youself security vs. IPsec

I'm from the IT-Campus in Graz (a University in Austria). I'm working on a security solution for WLAN (802.11b) over an air backbone network. I'm not sure if I should write my own Java-based program or use IPsec. I'm working with an improved Linksys WAP11 (bridge) and Win2K, Linux and PALM (WinCE) clients. Is IPsec sufficient, and is it compatible with IPsec on Linux and CE?

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Writing your own security solution may be more trouble than it's worth. Encryption algorithms are notoriously convoluted, not to mention the complexity of managing the keys. IPsec is more than sufficient, although it has significant interoperability issues. There are implementations that are freely available, or you can purchase one that has been expressly tuned for those platforms. Also beneficial is that Microsoft now ships IPsec with Windows 2000 and XP. (Answered by Dave Juitt.)

This was first published in June 2002

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