|Since data security is a major issue for wireless due to the nature of the transmission mechanism (electromagnetic signals passing through the air), malicious hacking can be prevented through authentication and encryption in WLANs. Current security implementations include:
- Media Access Control (MAC) address-based access lists on access points, where only registered and recognized MAC addresses are accepted and allowed to join the network.
- A closed wireless system, where users have to know the non-advertised network name to be able to join.
- RADIUS server based authentication, where users are authenticated against a centralized RADIUS server based on their MAC address or their username and password.
- Wireless Equivalency Privacy (WEP) utilizes data encryption with 40-bit or 128-bit keys that are hidden from users. WEP provides three options, depending on the level of security needed: no encryption of data, combination of encrypted and non-encrypted data, and forced data encryption.
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