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Neighboring wireless LANs

Can an office in the same building connect to my wireless LAN if they also have a wireless LAN and are within broadcast range?
Stations on a neighboring wireless LAN can accidentally connect to your wireless LAN unless you take appropriate countermeasures, such as unique SSIDs, shared key authentication, and enabling WEP with different keys. But I'm guessing your question is really the inverse: how can you let a neighboring WLAN send traffic to your WLAN?

Depending upon what kind of wireless LAN access point you both use, you may be able to configure one AP in repeater mode and the other AP in root mode. The AP in repeater mode acts like a client station to the root AP, relaying traffic to/from stations on the neighboring WLAN. According to the CWNA Study Guide, this configuration isn't very attractive because the footprints of the two APs must overlap considerably (for them to reach each other) and the repeater AP is doing double-duty, which reduces overall performance for that WLAN. Companies that have multiple APs usually enable inter-WLAN traffic by bridging traffic onto a common Ethernet linking root APs instead. In that case, you'd want the APs to have the same SSIDs and WEP keys so that stations can roam freely between them.

Dig Deeper on Enterprise mobility strategy and policy

Upcoming wireless standards promise managed WLANs Widespread deployment of wireless networks has created problems in office buildings, apartments and shopping areas, where multiple wireless networks share the air. It is anticipated that the problem of network overlap will get worse as more and more 802.11n equipment is installed. Two new IEEE standards, 802.11k and 802.11v, aim to improve wireless LAN manageability and cut down on interference issues. IEEE 802.11k will specify measurements of the surrounding radio frequency environment to be made by wireless components such as APs and laptops. It will also create methods that components can use to exchange these measurements. IEEE 802.11v will specify ways to utilize the measurements specified by 802.11k to help manage the wireless environment. The goal is to improve WLAN reliability, throughput and quality of service. Learn more about the 802.11k and 802.11v wireless standards in this tip.

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