Wireless Network Security: A Place for MAC Filtering

Monday Feb 14th 2011 by Gerry Blackwell
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Forget safety in numbers. When you're talking networking, there's safety in layers. We show you when -- and when not -- to use MAC filtering to make your wireless network more secure.

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Small business network security works best when it consists of multiple layers of protection. Makes sense, right? A physical business with simple door locks is much more secure if you add window locks, video surveillance, a burglar alarm and a vigilant German shepherd.

Encryption security for a wireless network is essential, and even though newer technology has surpassed MAC filtering as "the" way to protect your wireless networks, there's still a place for MAC filtering in that layered security approach.

Is MAC filtering anything like a MAC address? We're so glad you asked. Our sister site, Wi-FiPlanet.com, explains the difference and shows you how to incorporate MAC filtering to improve your overall wireless network security.


Back before the Wi-Fi industry sorted out its problems with WEP (wireless encryption protocol), the original - and flawed - encryption security built into the technology, many experts recommended using something called MAC filtering to shore up the crumbling defenses. Every Wi-Fi device is assigned a MAC (Media Access Control) address, a unique 12-digit hexadecimal identifier issued by the IEEE, the standards body that developed the Wi-Fi protocol. The MAC address is "baked into" the hardware and sent automatically to a Wi-Fi access point when the device tries to connect to the network.

Read the complete article: MAC Filtering for Your Wireless Network

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