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Building  Wireless Community Networks

Book Description

In Building Wireless Community Networks, author and O'Reilly network administrator Rob Flickenger offers a compelling case for building wireless networks on a local level: They are inexpensive, and they can be implemented and managed by the community using them, whether it's a school, a neighborhood, or a small business. This nuts-and-bolts guide provides all the necessary information for planning a network, getting the necessary components, and understanding protocols that you need to design and implement your network. The wireless Internet infrastructure, also known as Wi-Fi, is based on the 802.11b standard. The book covers Rob's experience with the Sebastopol Community Network (NoCAT), a multi-tiered network that provides wireless access for O'Reilly employees and free Web browsing to anyone in the area who has a Wi-Fi card in his or her computer. He describes his experience in using 802.11b, selecting the appropriate equipment, finding antenna sites, and coping with the general problems of outdoor networking. Building Wireless Community Networks starts off with basic wireless concepts and essential network services, while later chapters focus on specific aspects of building your own wireless networks. The final chapter is a detailed journal of Rob's experiences in building his first community network. He begins with his first attempts at using a wireless card at a conference, covers the real-life experience of trying something new, and ends with notes from the Portland Summit, a national gathering of wireless aficionados. If you want to join the grassroots effort to build freely available wireless Internet infrastructures in your community, this book is invaluable.

Table of Contents

  1. Building Wireless Community Networks
    1. Preface
      1. Audience
      2. Organization
      3. Typographical Conventions
      4. Comments and Questions
      5. Acknowledgments
    2. 1. Wireless Community Networks
      1. The Problem
      2. How ISPs Are Attempting a Solution
      3. How Cooperatives Are Making It Happen
      4. About This Book
    3. 2. Defining Project Scope
      1. Hardware Requirements
        1. Site Survey
      2. Hot Spots
      3. Potential Coverage Problem Areas
      4. Topographical Mapping 101
    4. 3. Network Layout
      1. Wireless Infrastructure: Cathedral Versus Bazaar
        1. Access Point Hardware
        2. Peer-to-Peer Networking
      2. Vital Services
        1. DHCP
        2. DNS
        3. NAT
      3. Security Considerations
        1. WEP
        2. Routing and Firewalling
        3. Encrypted Tunnels
      4. Summary
    5. 4. Using Access Points
      1. Access Point Caveats
      2. The Apple AirPort Base Station
        1. Access Point Management Software
        2. Local LAN Access
        3. Configuring Dialup
        4. NAT and DHCP
        5. Bridging
        6. WEP, MAC Filtering, and Closed Networks
        7. Roaming
        8. Channel Spacing
    6. 5. Peer-to-Peer (Ad-Hoc) Networking
      1. Building a Wireless Gateway with Linux
        1. Hardware
        2. Linux Distribution
        3. Kernel Configuration
          1. Linux 2.2.19
          2. Linux 2.4.5
        4. PCMCIA-CS
          1. Software
          2. Configuration
        5. Wireless Tools
        6. Masquerading
        7. DHCP Services
        8. Security
        9. Putting It All Together
        10. Prebuilt Linux Distributions
    7. 6. Wide Area Network Saturation
      1. Topo Maps 102: Dealing with Geographical Diversity
        1. Software
        2. Using a GPS to Log Prospective Lat/Lon/Alt
        3. Plotting the Points on a 3-D Map
      2. Antenna Characteristics and Placement
        1. Antennas
          1. Omni
          2. Sector
          3. Yagi
          4. Parabolic dish
          5. Cabling
        2. Connectors
        3. Calculating Range
      3. Power Amps and the Law
    8. 7. Other Applications
      1. Point-to-Point Links
      2. The Pringles Can
        1. Parts List
        2. Required Tools
        3. Front Collector Construction
        4. Preparing the Can
        5. Element Construction
      3. Redundant Links
      4. Repeaters
        1. Two Cards in One PC
        2. Two APs Back-to-Back
      5. Security Concerns
        1. Establish the Connection
        2. Configure Your Mail Software
      6. Captive “Catch and Release” Portal
      7. In Closing
    9. 8. Radio Free Planet
      1. Seattle Wireless
      2. BAWUG
      3. Personal Telco
      4. NYC Wireless
      5. GBPPR
      6. GAWD
      7. Guerrilla.net
      8. Universal Wireless
    10. 9. Radio Free Sebastopol
      1. OSCON 2000
        1. The Campus
        2. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
        3. Online from Home, No Strings Attached
        4. Seattle Wireless
        5. NoCat
        6. The Article
        7. The Portland Summit
        8. The Future
    11. A. Appendix
      1. Path Loss Calculations
      2. Links to Community Wireless Sites
      3. FCC Part 15 Rules
      4. Simple Scheme Management
    12. Index
    13. Colophon