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Wireless Cameras and Internet Connectivity

802.11 Standard

802.11 is the ultimate wireless network communications standard. It came into existence in 1997 courtesy the Electrical and Electronics Engineers association. Unfortunately, it was limited to just 2 Mbps of bandwidth. As a result, two years later the IEEE put forth the 802.11b specification, whose bandwidth sky-rocked up to 11 Mbps. After several more years of improvements, in 2005, the IEEE released the most recent standard, 802.11N. It supports a whopping 100 Mbps bandwidth and offers better range and improved signal intensity.

Wireless Security Protocols

The simplest protocol is WEP, which stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). Unfortunately, WEP relies on static encryption keys, meaning a single and easily crackable key is used with every computer that connects to the network. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) upgrades from WEP by employing the temporal key integrity protocol (TKIP) to scramble all keys. Unfortunately, it was discovered that TKIP contains a plethora of security weaknesses. This prompted the development of WPA2, which uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Counter Mode CBC MAC Protocol (CCMP) to provide the toughest wireless security protocol in existence.

Cryptographic Protocols

Cryptographic protocols are advanced, deep-layer security algorithms that show up whenever you are transmitting data between applications and/or servers. The first cryptographic protocol was Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). It basically turns on its security and then enters into secured communications with another client. Later on, the Transport Layer Security (TSL) protocol showed up. It differs from SSL in that it first sends out an unsecured “hello” to an application or server. If a successful “handshake” occurs, then and only then does TLS establish a connection. Both are commonly used every single day and are highly recommended.

Wrapping It Up

All three standards, protocols and standards play a role when you deal with wireless cameras. You connect to access points using the 802.11 standard. You secure the connection using WEP, WPA or WPA2 security. And you transmit information to and from your home computer using SSL/TLS. Understanding the technology won’t necessarily make it any easier to configure everything when the time comes, but it helps still to at least know what’s occurring behind the scenes. Just do remember that technology is ever-changing, meaning there’s no telling when no standards, protocols and algorithms will show up on the market!