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Configure Wireless APs

Published: September 1, 2010

Updated: October 4, 2010

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Use this information with the product documentation provided by the wireless AP manufacturer to configure your wireless APs.

This procedure enumerates items commonly configured on a wireless AP. The item names can vary by brand and model and might be different from those listed in the following list. For configuration-specific details, see your wireless AP documentation.

  • SSID. Specify the name of the wireless network(s) (for example, ExampleWLAN). This is the name that is advertised to wireless clients.

  • Encryption. Specify WPA2-Enterprise (preferred) or WPA-Enterprise, and either AES (preferred) or TKIP encryption cipher, depending on which versions are supported by your wireless client computer network adapters.

  • Wireless AP IP address (static). On each AP, configure a unique static IP address that falls within the exclusion range of the DHCP scope. Using an address that is excluded from assignment by DHCP prevents the DHCP server from assigning the same IP address to a computer or other device.

  • Subnet mask. Configure this to match the subnet mask settings of the LAN to which you have connected the wireless AP.

  • DNS name. Some wireless APs can be configured with a DNS name. The DNS service on the network can resolve DNS names to an IP address. On each wireless AP that supports this feature, enter a unique name for DNS resolution.

  • DHCP service. If your wireless AP has a built-in DHCP service, disable it.

  • RADIUS shared secret. Use a unique RADIUS shared secret for each wireless AP. Each shared secret should be a random sequence at least 22 characters long of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation. To ensure randomness, you can use a random character generation, such as the random character generator found in the NPS Configure 802.1X wizard, to create the shared secrets.

    Record the shared secret for each wireless AP and store it in a secure location, such as an office safe. You must know the shared secret for each wireless AP when you configure RADIUS clients in the NPS.

  • RADIUS server IP address. Type the IP address of the server running NPS.

  • UDP port(s). By default, NPS uses UDP ports 1812 and 1645 for authentication messages and UDP ports 1813 and 1646 for accounting messages.

    Do not change the default RADIUS UDP port settings.

  • VSAs. Some wireless APs require vendor-specific attributes (VSAs) to provide full wireless AP functionality. VSAs are added in NPS network policy.

  • DHCP filtering. Configure wireless APs to block wireless clients from sending IP packets from UDP port 68 to the network, as documented by the wireless AP manufacturer.

  • DNS filtering. Configure wireless APs to block wireless clients from sending IP packets from TCP or UDP port 53 to the network, as documented by the wireless AP manufacturer.

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