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HP Jetdirect ew2500 802.11g Wireless Print Server - Wireless LAN terms and concepts

Access Point

An Access Point is a device that typically serves as a bridge or gateway between wireless devices and the devices on a cabled network. An Access Point must be able to receive and forward network traffic between wireless and cabled network devices. Multiple Access Points can act as repeaters to extend the range of a wireless network.
Connecting via an access point is called Infrastructure Mode. On Apple networks, this is called Airport Network Mode.
Figure :
Figure :
Figure :

Ad Hoc (peer-to-peer) mode

Ad Hoc mode (or peer-to-peer mode) is a wireless network topology where wireless devices communicate with each other directly. An Access Point is not used. On Apple networks, Ad Hoc mode is called computer-to-computer mode.
note:
Ad Hoc mode is not as reliable as Infrastructure mode, and if used, should be limited to six devices or less.
When set in this mode, the HP Jetdirect print server receives print jobs from wireless computers directly.
Figure :
note:
The term “peer-to-peer” might have a different meaning depending on its usage. While Ad Hoc peer-to-peer mode refers to a wireless network topology, HP Jetdirect peer-to-peer printing refers to a direct print path from a network computer to a printer. HP Jetdirect peer-to-peer printing can be used on both Ad Hoc or Infrastructure wireless topologies.

Channels

IEEE standards for 802.11b and 802.11g wireless LANs specify a spectrum of radio waves for wireless communications. The allowed spectrum is divided into channels consisting of 22 MHz each. The number of available channels authorized for use may be restricted based on your location (see Radio characteristics).
  • If the print server is powered on and discovers a wireless network whose SSID (network name) is also “hpsetup”, it will automatically adjust its channel to match that network.
  • If the print server is reconfigured for Infrastructure mode, it will automatically adjust its channel to match the Access Point.

Encryption

Wireless networks use radio signals for network communications, which can be easily monitored by someone eavesdropping on the network. To deter eavesdropping and to help ensure data privacy, encryption of wireless communications may be used.
For HP Jetdirect print servers in their factory-default state, encryption of wireless communications is disabled. However, the print servers support static WEP and popular dynamic encryption protocols.
note:
Wireless performance may be reduced when using encryption keys due to the additional processing time required.
Static Encryption. WEP encryption protocols were developed to provide a basic level of data privacy. WEP protocols use static encryption keys to encrypt and decrypt wireless communications.
note:
WEP encryption levels are sometimes called 40-bit, 64-bit, 104-bit, or 128-bit encryption. Both 40-bit and 64-bit encryption are really the same, as are 104-bit and 128-bit encryption. When entering WEP keys, the user specifies 40 bits for 64-bit encryption, or 104 bits for 128-bit encryption. An additional 24 initialization vector (IV) bits are automatically added for a total of 64 bits and 128 bits, respectively. In this guide, we will use “40/64-bit” and “104/128­bit” to specify these WEP encryption levels.
For basic encryption, static WEP keys are configured on each device on the wireless network. WEP keys are considered static because they remain the same unless manually reconfigured. For example, on a typical Infrastructure mode network that uses static WEP encryption, a change to the WEP key on an Access Point will require a manual change to the WEP key on each wireless device.
HP Jetdirect wireless print servers support configuration of up to four static WEP keys, for either 40/64-bit or 104/128-bit encryption.
Dynamic Encryption. For advanced encryption methods, dynamic encryption protocols are used. For dynamic encryption protocols, encryption keys are automatically changed at routine intervals making them difficult to decipher.
Dynamic encryption protocols, such as dynamic WEP and wi-fi protected access (WPA/WPA2), provide a more secure wireless environment.
When configured for WPA/WPA2–Personal authentication, HP Jetdirect print servers use WPA encryption.

Infrastructure mode

Infrastructure mode is a wireless network topology where all wireless communications go through an Access Point. Infrastructure mode is called a Basic Service Set (BSS), and sometimes referred to as “enterprise mode.” On Apple networks, Infrastructure mode is called Airport Network mode. When set in this mode, the HP Jetdirect print server receives print jobs from wireless and cabled network computers through an Access Point.
Figure :

Security type

Security is used to validate the identification of each device or computer that is attempting to access a network. The security type used on a network is determined during network design and depends on the network security requirements. Consequently, security methods are closely associated with encryption options that are also used on the network.
HP Jetdirect wireless print servers support the following security types:
  • No security. No encryption or authentication is used. Open system. Your wireless network does not require device authentication or security to access the network. However, your network might use WEP encryption keys for data privacy.
  • WEP-Personal. Each device on your wireless network uses a shared encryption key (a shared password value) for network access and communication. Each device on the network must use the same key. The HP Jetdirect print server supports IEEE 802.11 WEP keys for encrypted network communications.
  • WEP-Enterprise. The network uses WEP with EAP/802.1x authentication. This type of security utilizes a central authentication server, such as RADIUS, to authenticate users on the network. The HP Jetdirect print server supports these server-based authentication protocols: LEAP, PEAP, and EAP-TLS.
  • WPA/WPA2–Personal. Your network uses wi-fi protected access (WPA) with a pre-shared key that is typically generated by a pass-phrase. WPA encryption is normally used for wireless communication and offers improved security.
  • WPA/WPA2–Enterprise. Your network uses WPA with EAP/802.1x authentication. This type of security utilizes a central authentication server, such as RADIUS, to authenticate users on the network. The HP Jetdirect print server supports these server-based authentication protocols: LEAP, PEAP, and EAP-TLS.

Service Set Identifiers (SSID)

An SSID is a logical name assigned to a wireless LAN. It is typically used to provide LAN access control. For example, if the SSID for a wireless network is “mycompany”, then each wireless device on this network must be configured with this SSID.
In infrastructure mode, the Access Point will require wireless devices to be configured with the appropriate SSID before network access is allowed.

Signal range

The range over which wireless devices can communicate depends on the physical environment and the orientation of the HP Jetdirect print server.
For 802.11g, the range is typically 50 feet at the highest data rate (54 Mbps). Data rate will decrease to 802.11b levels as range, traffic and interference increase.
For 802.11b, the range is typically 100 feet at the highest data rate (11 Mbps), and 300 feet at the lowest data rate (1 Mbps).
In general, while radio waves can bounce off obstacles to access print servers, it is best to have clear line-of-sight access between devices without obstacles through which the signal must pass.
note:
Signal range and wireless transmission performance is reduced with increasing distance between devices, and with obstacles that block or absorb signals.

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