is a GUI-based tool to manage WiFi network configuration.
supports open networks, and secured networks using WEP, WPA-PSK and
WPA-EAP with manual password or encryption key configuration.
Automatic configuration for WPS is not supported, but passwords for
WPS networks can be entered manually as for WPA-PSK networks.
acts merely as an editor of the
file. Actual network interface configuration and management is
still done by the
Networks in the configuration file, together with new networks found
by a scan of the WiFi interface are displayed to the user. The user
may enable/disable networks as needed, enter either passwords or EAP
configuration together with a short comment, and set a connection
priority. To make use of so-called cloaked networks which do
not broadcast their SSID and which are therefore not found by the
interface scan, the user can also manually add new networks to the
list using the "Add" button. When the "Save" button is clicked, the
enabled networks are written back out to the
file and the network interface is restarted.
stores each networks SSID and BSSID in the configuration file and uses
these when identifying available networks. Using the combination allows
for situations where the same SSID is repeated on a separate network which
has different password. However, this also means that on a network with
multiple access points, there must be separate entries for that network,
one for each of the BSSIDs. Since that can become unwieldly for networks
with very many access points (e.g., organization-wide networks and also
mobile phone hotspots), the "Any BSSID" checkbox can be checked to not
save this networks BSSID. Keep in mind, however, that doing this will
mean that use of a different network that happens to use the same SSID
but a different authentication scheme or password will then not be
field can be used to indicate which network or access points should be
preferred over others. Higher values mean higher priority.
A special priority value of -1 allows a network to be kept in the networks
file, but it will be ignored when scanning for networks to connect to.
Since this is not a standard feature of
this is accomplished by prepending a * to the SSID when it is saved
in the file. This is useful to avoid having to re-enter passwords and
comments if a network might be needed again later.
needs to restart the network interface and edit files that might not be
writable to regular users, when
starts up, it requests the administrator (i.e., root) password.
may be edited by hand in-between uses of
WiFi networks can operate with several security methods.
Security can be off. This is known as an open, plaintext or insecure network.
All packets broadcast over the network can be intercepted by others and
their contents examined. Networks in public places such as airports and
hotels are often open networks. Such networks can still be used securely,
but it is up to each application to provide its own security and it is
up to the user to confirm, before each network use, that application
security is in use.
email are examples of applications offering security themselves.
Early WiFi security was done using
Wired Equivalent Privacy. WEP uses a shared password to encrypt all
data transmissions. Unfortunately, the encryption technique used
by WEP was easily cracked and software to do this is widely available.
A replacement to WEP known as
or WiFi Protected Access, has become more widely used today. However,
due to the urgency with which it was needed, some vendors implemented it
before the standards were completely approved. This has led to there
being several variants of WPA. Early implementations are known as WPA
networks. Once the standard was approved, it was renamed to
or Robust Secure Network also often referred to as WPA2.
Both WPA and RSN offer several security models. Home users and small
businesses might use a shared access key, known as a pre-shared key (PSK).
Depending on the access points capabilities, there can be a single
PSK for all users or a separate PSK for each user. Larger enterprises
might use more complex key management schemes by means of RSN/WPAs
extensible authentication protocol (EAP). EAP typically requires
large keys and certificates stored in files.
All WiFi security was developed by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group.
WEP was the original IEEE 802.11 standard. WPA was the later IEEE
802.11i draft 3 standard. RSN is the finalized IEEE 802.11i standard.
The security being used on a network is set in the access point
detects what security is available on a network and prompts the
user for suitable configuration to use it.