I understand that some state you get what you pay for in equipment but frankly I am on a little bit of a limited budget so the ebay APs are just a little higher than I can afford to learn on. I did find at least one Netgear AP that sounds really good to learn my CWNA and CWSP on and from what I can discern it does support Radius.
Anyone have any thoughts on the Netgear WG302 Prosafe Wireless Access Point 802.11g?
The CWNP guys promote a vendor-neutral program, so probably cannot specifically recommend one product over another. But I can! :)
I recommend the Linksys 54g because for $20 it can be flashed to give you the same features you'd find on a business-class AP. You'll need these features when doing hands-on training, especially for security.
Hope this helps.
Thank you so much for responding. I have heard that this Router is good. I was looking for one that also supports RADIUS since I will need to work with this in my labs if not for CWNA, at least for CWSP. Thanks and I am going to look into this one. This is a router though and I was looking for an AP to work with my current network but maybe still go with this if it does a good job for my labs.. Thanks again very much
I use a Linksys WRT54G that has been flashed with a custom firmware at home, so I can speak to this a little bit. The custom firmwares add amazing capabilities to a $50 access point: WDS with WPA encryption; PPTP or IPSec VPN endpoints; telnet, SSH, and HTTPS access; OSPF routing; static DHCP address assignment; QoS; SNMP management; and more. There are definitely a few that support RADIUS--the one I use, dd-wrt supports it, for example. I'm pretty sure that Sveasoft's Talisman and Alchemy do as well (Alchemy is available for free, the newer Talisman costs $20). There are many other custom firmwares out there with varying degrees of functionality and stability. I suggest checking out http://www.linksysinfo.org for more information on what firmwares are available.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Don't go down this route if you're not prepared to take the risk that the router dies mid-flash. Any time you flash your firmware, you're taking a risk. The linksys 54g's of today can be recovered from most mishaps, but the first time you kill one and have to look up on the Internet how to revive it is a scary situation.
- These custom firmwares are amazingly functional, but you have to overcome some learning curve to be able to install and manage them. It's not that much, but it's there.
- There's a reason that Linksys didn't put all this functionality in their routers: 1) it's a pain to maintain stability, and 2) the wussy little processor in the router isn't necessarily up to all the custom firmwares ask of it. The custom firmwares will probably not be 100% stable and figuring out which bugs are in which versions and how to work around them is part of the game.
That being said, I would highly encourage anybody who thinks they're up to it to go this route. You can get a router with $250 worth of features for $50 and a little mucking-around-time (and, after all, mucking around is the essence of a CWNA).
I've got a couple of 54g's with speed-boost and alchemy and they work very well. a couple of other things that can be "unlocked" by firmware on these particular APs are power levels and operating mode (gateway/bridge/repeater/etc) which is nice for things like xbox/ps2 LAN parties and the such. I don't suggest the speedboost for practice use, but its nice for LANs in general because of the faster speeds.