5.3 Case Study: The Office Network

Your office might have a router that allows your computers to access the network and Internet. You would most likely be using DHCP to obtain IP addresses for all the computers. (If your office doesn't have any of this, perhaps you are starting from scratch ? in that case, your office will resemble a home network in that your wireless access point is your first foray into networking.) In this section, I discuss the issues involved with adding a wireless network to an office environment using the D-Link DI-714P+ Wireless Access Point as an example.

Rogue Access Points

Be sure to check with your administrator before you connect your access point to your network switch. End users who deploy wireless networks without the permission of the administrator pose a security risk, since wireless networks are generally not adequately protected. These unauthorized access points are known as rogue access points.

Also, do not connect an access point to a hub; connect it to a switch instead. Hubs are broadcast devices, and so all the packets received by a port in a hub will be broadcast to the wireless segment if an access point is connected to a hub.

The D-Link DI-714P+ (see Figure 5-16) is an enhanced 802.11b wireless access point with router functionality. It comes with AirPlus technology that allows up to 22 Mbps of data transfer rate if used together with D-Link's AirPlus wireless card (such as the D-Link DWL-650+). Besides this, it also includes a printer port for connecting a printer, so the access point can also act as a print server.

Figure 5-16. The D-Link DI-714P+ Wireless Router

Figure 5-17 shows the network configuration.

Figure 5-17. The configuration of an office network

As shown in Figure 5-17, the DI-714P+'s WAN port is plugged into the switch. Your desktop systems can be connected either to the switch or the LAN ports of the DI-714P+ (see Figure 5-18).

Figure 5-18. The back panel of the DI-714P+