PROJECT 5. Both natural and man-made objects located in a radio signal’s path can cause attenuation—that is, a loss of signal strength. For this project, you will need a laptop computer equipped with a wireless LAN interface that is connected to an AP or wireless residential gateway. You will download, install, and configure Acrylic Wi-Fi Home to monitor the signal strength of the network that your computer is connected to. 1. In a web browser, enter the address www.acrylicwifi.com/en. 2. Click Products, then click Acrylic Wi-Fi Home. 3. Click the Free Download button. Save the file in the location of your preference, then locate the file and double-click it to install the application on your computer. 4. Once the program has finished installing, start the application and maximize the window. Acrylic Wi-Fi displays a list of all the wireless networks your computer has detected in the area around your current location, similar to Figure 3-31. 5. Right-click to the left of the WLAN network names, then click Selection and click None to deselect all WLANs. In the next project, you will monitor only the wireless network to which your computer is connected. 6. Locate it in the SSID column in the Acrylic Wi-Fi window and click the left mouse button in the blank space to the left of the network name. A colored square will appear next to the network name. 7. The graph at the bottom of the Acrylic Wi-Fi window (see Figure 3-31) displays the strength of the signal that your computer is receiving from the access points (APs) or Wireless Residential Gateways. The line will appear near the top of the graph if the signal strength is high and near the bottom of the graph if the signal strength is low. 8. Monitor the strength of the signal while roaming away from the access point with the computer. Try to determine how far you can move from the access point before the signal is too weak for the connection to work reliably. To do this, you will need to attempt to open a webpage or download a file. 9. While monitoring the signal strength, record the security of your network. On the left portion of the window you should see number of stars for the Network Security status. 10. Explain all the configuration settings that you applied to get the highest network security in your WLAN.
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