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What AP configuration will get the best encryption and authentication?

Problems with your wireless connections can be caused by the following. Read security expert Puneet Mehta's response to see what AP configuration will get the best encryption and authentication.

I'm configuring a 3COM 7760 access point (AP). It works fine without encryption, but it drops connections when I select any kind of encryption and authentication. The clients are less than 10 feet from the AP. Some clients have a "bad connection" error message related with authentication. How can I get the best connection using encryption and authentication?

A number of factors could cause problem for wireless connections:

  • If you have enabled encryption, you must also enable encryption on all wireless clients in order to establish a wireless connection. Make sure that the encryption bit level is the same on the access point and the wireless client.
  • Make sure that the SSID on the access point and the wireless clients are exactly the same. If they are not, your wireless connection will not be established.

Some tips:

  • Try changing the channel on your router, access point and wireless adapter to a different channel to avoid interference. Keep your product away (at least 3-6 feet) from electrical devices that generate RF noise, like microwaves, monitors, electric motors, etc.
  • When deploying several access points and wireless devices, please make sure that access points in close proximity do not have overlapping channels. Nearby access points should be assigned channels that are at least four channels apart to prevent interference.

This was last published in June 2007

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