Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter


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The Cisco® Aironet® 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter provides high-performance 54-Mbps connectivity in the 2.4- and 5-GHz bands.

Whether configured to support single 802.11b coverage, single 802.11g coverage, single 802.11a coverage, dual-mode 802.11a/g coverage, or trimode 802.11a/b/g coverage, the Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter is Wi-Fi-compliant and combines the freedom of wireless connectivity with 802.11i/Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) encryption for the performance, security, and manageability that businesses require (Figure 1).
Figure 1. The Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter

Enterprise-Class Security Solution

Designed with enterprise-class security requirements in mind, the Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter uses the 802.1X standard for port-based network access. A full array of Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) types for user-based authentication, together with enterprise-caliber Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption, provide full 802.11i support. The adapter supports WPA2, the Wi-Fi Alliance certification for interoperable, standards-based wireless LAN security.
Support for Management Frame Protection (MFP) is now available on the Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter. MFP adds security to the MAC management layer of 802.11 connectivity by cryptographically hashing the management frames and generating a Message Integrity Check (MIC) during network connection.
The Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter supports the most common 802.1X authentication types, including EAP-Flexible Authentication via Secure Tunneling (EAP-FAST), Cisco LEAP, EAP-Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS), Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol-Generic Token Card (PEAP-GTC), and PEAP-Microsoft Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol version 2 (PEAP-MSCHAPv2). A wide selection of RADIUS servers, such as the Cisco Secure Access Control Server (ACS) and Cisco Access Registrar server, can be used for enterprise-class centralized user management that includes:
• Strong, mutual authentication to help ensure that only legitimate clients associate with legitimate and authorized network RADIUS servers via authorized access points

• Dynamic per-user, per-session encryption keys that automatically change on a configurable basis to protect the privacy of transmitted data

• Stronger encryption keys provided by Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) enhancements such as message integrity check (MIC), per-packet keys via initialization vector hashing, and broadcast key rotation

• RADIUS accounting records for all authentication attempts

• IEEE 802.11i/WPA2 AES support

Enhanced Client Network Management Features

A new and improved set of client utilities includes the Cisco Aironet Desktop Utility, System Tray Utility, and Client Administration Utility. Together, these utilities provide an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) for easy configuration, monitoring, and management of the Cisco Aironet 802.11a/b/g Wireless CardBus Adapter. Enhanced client network management features include:
• Profile manager: Allows users to create specific profile settings for various environments, making it simple for telecommuters and business travelers to move from one environment to another (Figure 2).

• Customized profile settings: Lets users individually select the channel, service set identifier (SSID), Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) key, and authentication method for different locations.

• Cisco EAP authentication status screen: Provides status updates regarding the Cisco EAP authentication process.

• Auto-selection of profiles: Provides automatic selection of established profiles, including those configured for EAP authentication, without requiring storage of the EAP username and password in the profile.

• System tray icon: Provides easy access to wireless LAN connection information and one click access to common actions such as manual selection a profile or turning the radio on or off.

• Cisco Aironet Client Monitor: Provides a subset of Cisco Aironet Desktop Utility features, such as status information about the client adapter and access to basic tasks (selecting a profile, for example). This application runs from the system tray icon.

• Troubleshooting utility: Provides step-by-step details on the process of connecting to an access point, as well as highlights on why a connection failed.

• Support for the most popular enterprise operating systems: Windows XP and Windows 2000.

• Cisco Aironet Client Adapter installation wizard for Windows: Provides for easy installation of the client firmware, drivers, and utilities. The wizard offers several installation options, install client utilities and driver; install driver only; or make driver installation diskette(s). For ease of use, the installation wizard image file is a self-extracting (.exe) file.

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