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Building Wireless Community Networks, Second Edition

Book Description

Building Wireless Community Networks is about getting people online using wireless network technology. The 802.11b standard (also known as WiFi) makes it possible to network towns, schools, neighborhoods, small business, and almost any kind of organization. All that's required is a willingness to cooperate and share resources. The first edition of this book helped thousands of people engage in community networking activities. At the time, it was impossible to predict how quickly and thoroughly WiFi would penetrate the marketplace. Today, with WiFi-enabled computers almost as common as Ethernet, it makes even more sense to take the next step and network your community using nothing but freely available radio spectrum. This book has showed many people how to make their network available, even from the park bench, how to extend high-speed Internet access into the many areas not served by DSL and cable providers, and how to build working communities and a shared though intangible network. All that's required to create an access point for high-speed Internet connection is a gateway or base station. Once that is set up, any computer with a wireless card can log onto the network and share its resources. Rob Flickenger built such a network in northern California, and continues to participate in network-building efforts. His nuts-and-bolts guide covers:

  • Selecting the appropriate equipment

  • Finding antenna sites, and building and installing antennas

  • Protecting your network from inappropriate access

  • New network monitoring tools and techniques (new)

  • Regulations affecting wireless deployment (new)

  • IP network administration, including DNS and IP Tunneling (new)

His expertise, as well as his sense of humor and enthusiasm for the topic, makes Building Wireless Community Networks a very useful and readable book for anyone interested in wireless connectivity.

Table of Contents

  1. Building Wireless Community Networks, 2nd Edition
    1. Preface
      1. New in This Edition
      2. Audience
      3. Organization
      4. Typographical Conventions
      5. Comments and Questions
      6. Acknowledgments
    2. 1. Wireless Community Networks
      1. Why Now?
        1. The Problem
      2. The WISP Approach
      3. The Cooperative Approach
      4. About This Book
    3. 2. Defining Project Scope
      1. The Standards
      2. Hardware Requirements
        1. Draw a Picture
      3. Site Survey
      4. 802.11b Channels and Interference
      5. Topographical Mapping 101
    4. 3. Network Layout
      1. Layer 1 (Physical) Connectivity
        1. Layer “1.5” Connectivity
        2. Layer 2 and Up
      2. Wired Wireless
        1. Access Point Hardware
        2. BSS Client Hardware
        3. Peer-to-Peer (IBSS) Networking
      3. Vital Services
        1. DHCP
        2. DNS
        3. NAT
      4. Security Considerations
        1. WEP
        2. 802.1x
        3. Routing and Firewalls
        4. Encrypted Tunnels
        5. VPN
        6. Other Potential Threats
      5. Summary
    5. 4. Using Access Points
      1. Access Point Caveats
      2. The Apple AirPort Base Station
      3. Access Point Management Software
      4. Local LAN Access
      5. Configuring Dialup
      6. NAT and DHCP
      7. Bridging
      8. WEP, MAC Filtering,and Closed Networks
      9. Roaming
      10. Channel Spacing
    6. 5. Host-Based Networking
      1. Anatomy of a Wireless Gateway
        1. Hardware
        2. Linux Distribution
        3. Kernel Configuration
          1. Linux 2.2.23
          2. Linux 2.4.20
        4. PCMCIA-CS
          1. Software
          2. Configuration
        5. Host AP
        6. Wireless Tools
        7. Masquerading
        8. DHCP Services
        9. Security
        10. Putting It All Together
    7. 6. Long-Range Networking
      1. Topo Maps 102: Geographical Diversity
        1. Software
        2. Using a GPS to Log Prospective LAT / LONG / ALT
        3. Plotting the Points on a 3-D Map
      2. Antenna Characteristicsand Placement
        1. Antennas
          1. Omni
          2. Sector (or sectoral)
          3. Yagi
          4. Parabolic dish
          5. Waveguides and “cantennas”
          6. Cabling
        2. Connectors
        3. Calculating Range
        4. Power Amps and the Law
    8. 7. Other Applications
      1. Software
      2. Point-to-Point Links
      3. Point-to-Multipoint Links
      4. Home-Brew Antennas
        1. The Pringles Can
          1. Parts list:
          2. Required tools
          3. Front collector construction
          4. Preparing the can
          5. Element construction
        2. Stew and Cookie Cans
      5. Redundant Links
      6. Repeaters
        1. Two Cards in One PC
        2. Two APs Back-to-Back
        3. Advanced Host AP Modes
      7. Security Concerns
        1. Establish the Connection
        2. Configure Your Mail Software
      8. NoCatAuth Captive Portal
      9. Fun with IP
        1. Running Your Own Top-Level Domain in DNS
        2. Tunnels, Tunnels Everywhere
      10. In Closing
    9. 8. Radio Free Planet
      1. Seattle Wireless
        1. Bay Area Wireless Users Group (BAWUG)
        2. PersonalTelco
        3. NYCwireless
        4. Houston Wireless
      2. Universal Wireless
        1. BC Wireless
        2. Consume
        3. Melbourne Wireless
        4. RedLibre
        5. Wireless Leiden
      3. The Future
    10. 9. Radio Free Sebastopol
      1. OSCON 2000
      2. The Campus
      3. Coffee, Coffee, Coffee
      4. Online From Home,No Strings Attached
      5. Seattle Wireless
      6. NoCat
      7. The Community Takes Notice
      8. The Portland Summit
      9. And So On
    11. A. Regulations Affecting 802.11 Deployment
      1. Disclaimer
      2. Abstract and Objectives
      3. Introduction to the Technology
      4. Regulations and Laws Affecting802.11 Network Deployment
        1. The Civilian Spectrum Regulations
        2. Enforcement
      5. Power Limits
        1. FCC 15.247 and 80211.b
          1. Point-to-multipoint communication
          2. Point-to-point communication
        2. FCC 15.407 and 802.11a
          1. Point-to-multipoint communication
          2. Point-to-point communication
      6. Equipment Limitationsand Certification
        1. Certification
        2. Temporary Options to Certification
          1. Experimental licenses: Part 5Special Temporary Authorities (STAs): Parts 15.7 and 5.61
      7. Interference
        1. Description
        2. Devices that Fall into Part 15 of the ISM Band (2400 to 2483 MHz)
        3. Devices That Fall into the U-NII Band
        4. Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) Devices: Part 18
        5. Satellite Communications: Part 25
        6. Broadcast Auxiliary: Part 74
        7. Stations in the Maritime Services: Part 80
        8. Aviation Services: Part 87
        9. Land Mobile Radio Services: Part 90
        10. Amateur Radio: Part 97
        11. Fixed Microwave Services: Part 101
        12. Federal Usage: NTIA/IRAC
      8. Broadband AUPs
        1. Cable
        2. Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
      9. Human Exposure to RadioFrequency Radiation
      10. Laws ConcerningAntennas and Towers
        1. FCC Preemption of Local Law
        2. Height Limitations
          1. Local ordinances
          2. FAA and FCC tower registration
      11. The Future: Good News and Bad News
        1. Good News: New Standards to Help
          1. 802.11h
          2. 802.15: WPAN (Bluetooth)
          3. 802.16.2
        2. The Bad News
          1. Radio frequency (RF) lighting
          2. Will other folks try to shut down 802.11,or will they accept it?
      12. What Can You Do?
      13. Conclusions
    12. B. Path Loss Calculations
    13. C. Simple Scheme Management
    14. Index
    15. Colophon