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Wireless Hacks

October 31st, 2003

If you deploy a wireless network or use any existing wireless technology and you want to get the most out of it, this is exactly the type of book you need. This book provides you with tips and practical short solutions for real-world wireless networking.

Author: Rob Flickenger

Pages: 304

Publisher: O´Reilly & Associates

ISBN: 0596005598

About the author

Rob Flickenger has been hacking as long as he can remember. He is the author of two other books: Linux Server Hacks and Building Wireless Community Networks 2/e. He is currently working on prompting community wireless networking through efforts like NoCat (http://nocat.net) and Seattle Wireless (http://seattlewireless.net).

The Book

The book consists of seven chapters, each devoted to a particular subject of wireless technology. Each chapter contains a number of hacks related to the subject of the chapter. The author organized the book in such way that allows the reader to read the book from chapter to chapter, or browse around and look for hacks that interest him/her most.

Most of the non-hardware hacks in this book are devoted to Unix/Linux platform, though the author provides some hacks related to Windows and Mac OS X users. Big portion of the book is dedicated to Hardware hacks, and they can be implemented on any platform.

The first chapter begins with basic tips related to wireless technology standards. The author provides information on the 802.11 family standards, cellular data networks and other less traditional communication technologies. The following chapter deals with Bluetooth technology and mobile data.

Network monitoring is the subject of the third chapter. In this chapter, the reader gets familiar with various tools for wireless network exploration and analysis, tips for avoiding interference, discovering who’s using the wireless network and doing what, and various other tips on network performance.

The next three chapters, four through six, discuss hardware related hacks. This extensive portion of the book deals with all components of a typical wireless hardware – access points, microwaves cables, connectors, antennas and many more. Overall, this portion is a great asset for a wireless hardware guru.

The final chapter deals with wireless network security. It provides explanation on the currently available standards for securing wireless networks. Topics like WEP encryption, NoCat (the open source implementation of captive portal), Squid proxy, Secure Shell (SSH) and vtun over SSH are covered.

My opinion

In general, if you are doing anything related to wireless network and looking for fast, practical and ingenious solutions, you’re likely to find this book very useful and you definitely should save space for it on your bookshelf.

This book is not a guide for wireless networks and not a study book, but rather a reference book that should be used to supply quick answers in few minutes. The hacks are straightforward and do not provide any background information.

Just as mentioned above, the book mostly provides hacks devoted to Unix/Linux platforms, so users of other operating systems won’t find many useful non-hardware related hacks.

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