Home > Articles > Cisco Network Technology > Wireless/Optical/High Speed > Cisco 802.11 Wireless Networking: Installing and Configuring Access Points

Cisco 802.11 Wireless Networking: Installing and Configuring Access Points

  • Sample Chapter is provided courtesy of Cisco Press.
  • Date: Dec 1, 2005.

Chapter Description

The largest hurdle toward getting your wireless LAN (WLAN) up and running is the configuration of your access points (APs) and wireless clients. This chapter examines how to install and configure the AP.

Encryption and Authentication

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) keys protect your data and keep your WLAN secure at the most basic level. WEP is easy to beat, so a better option is 802.1X authentication. This section explains how you can set up either of these mechanisms on your AP.

40/64-Bit Versus 104/128-Bit Encryption

Although WEP keys are not the best option for WLAN security, they are better than nothing. If you find yourself in a situation in which 802.1X authentication is not possible, you should at least use WEP keys. WEP keys come in two "strengths": 64- and 128-bit.

Ideally, you use 128-bit encryption whenever possible, because it is more difficult to break than 64-bit encryption. So why include 64-bit encryption at all? It's largely a matter of backwards compatibility with early wireless clients that supported only 64-bit encryption. In almost every case, if you have to use WEP, opt for 128-bit over 64-bit encryption.

To establish a WEP setting is straightforward and you can perform it quickly with the Express Security selection on the AP configuration screen (the first screen that appears when you log onto your AP). Simply open the screen and enter your WEP key.

You can perform more detailed WEP key tasks if you follow these steps:

  1. On the Cisco 1130AG AP, use a web browser and navigate to the device's home page.
  2. On the menu located to the left side of the window, click Security.
  3. When the Security section expands, click Encryption Manager. This spawns the screen shown in Figure 5-2.

    Figure 5-2 Managing WEP Keys on the Cisco AP

  4. This screen allows you to manage your WEP key settings:
    • The Encryption Modes area contains settings to disable WEP, enable WEP, or establish cipher settings.
    • The Encryption Keys area is the section in which up to four WEP keys and their lengths are entered. For security, the WEP keys are not shown as you enter them. Because of this, it is somewhat difficult to determine if you mistype the key. Enter a key on each line if you plan on rotating through WEP keys.
    • The Global Properties area is used to manage the behavior of your WEP keys. Here, you can select whether to rotate between keys, how long the interval is between each rotation, and how to manage keys within your group.
  5. Because the Cisco 1130 AP has both 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz radios, you can apply these settings to one radio or both radios. In this case, click Apply-Radio0 to establish these settings for the 2.4-GHz radio. Apply-All sends the settings to both radios.

Setting WEP Keys Using the CLI

If you prefer to use the command-line interface to configure WEP keys on your Aironet AP, follow these settings:

ap1130# configure terminal
ap1130(config)# configure interface dot11radio 0
ap1130(config-if)# encryption vlan 07 key 1 size 128 abc123abc123abc123abc123cc
ap1130(config-ssid)# end
ap1130# copy running-config startup-config

Table 5-1 explains the meaning of each command.

Table 5-1. Configuration Commands for WEP Key Configuration.



configure terminal

Enters global configuration mode.

configure interface dot11radio {0 | 1}

Enters interface configuration mode for the radio. The 2.4-GHz radio is 0; the 5-GHz radio is 1.

encryption [vlan vlan-id] key key-number size {40 | 128} [transmit-key]

Establishes the settings for your WEP key.

vlan is optional. It allows you to select the VLAN for which you wish to use the WEP key.

Sets which key number you want to use. You can set up to four WEP keys.

Enters the size of the WEP key. Settings are either 40- or 128-bit and contain 26 hexadecimal digits.

transmit-key is optional. By default, the key in slot 1 is the default transmit key, but you can use this setting to specify which key (1 through 4) to use.


Returns to privileged EXEC mode.

copy running-config startup-config

An optional step that allows you to save your entries to the configuration file.

In this example, a 128-bit WEP key was configured on the AP's 2.4-GHz radio. The key—specified as the first key—was established as a transmit key in the 07 VLAN.

802.1X Configuration

A stronger means of security is 802.1X authentication. Like most other aspects of Aironet configuration, Cisco gives you the option to set it up quickly, or really dig down into the configuration details.

To configure 802.1X authentication, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the AP's home page.
  2. Click Express Security from the menu on the left. This calls up the screen shown in Figure 5-3.

    Figure 5-3 802.1X Input Information on the Express Security Screen.

  3. In the Security area, you establish whether you want no security, a static WEP key (along with a place to enter the key), Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) authentication, or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) authentication.
  4. To set up LEAP, Protected EAP (PEAP), EAP-Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS), EAP-Tunneled TLS (EAP-TTLS), EAP- Generic Token Card (EAP-GTC), EAP-Subscriber Identity Module (EAP-SIM), and other 802.1X/EAP-based protocols, click the EAP Authentication radio button. To use WPA, click the WPA radio button.
  5. In the boxes next to the EAP Authentication radio button or WPA radio button, enter the name of the RADIUS server and the secret that will be shared between the AP and the RADIUS server.
  6. Click Apply.

These settings allow for a quick configuration of 802.1X authentication. For more control over your AP's handling of 802.1X, click Security from the menu on the left. This allows you to do such things as specify backup RADIUS servers, enable accounting, manage the authentication port, and manage several other details.

802.1X CLI Configuration

If you prefer to use the command-line interface to configure authentication on your Aironet AP, follow these settings:

ap1130# configure terminal
ap1130(config)# interface dot11radio 0
ap1130(config-if)# ssid qbranch
ap1130(config-ssid)# authentication open mac moneypenny alternate eap moneypenny
ap1130(config-ssid)# authentication key-management wpa optional
ap1130(config-ssid)# end
ap1130# copy running-config startup-config

Table 5-2 explains these commands.

Table 5-2. CLI Commands for 802.1X Authentication



configure terminal

Enters global configuration mode.

interface dot11radio {1 | 0}

Enters the configuration mode for the radio interface. The 2.4-GHz radio is 0; the 5-GHz radio is 1.

ssid ssid-string

Create a Service Set ID (SSID) and enter configuration mode for the new SSID.

authentication open [mac-address list-name [alternate]] [eap list-name]

This step is optional. It sets the authentication type to open for this SSID.

mac-address sets the SSID's authentication type to open with MAC address authentication. This requires all clients to perform MAC address authentication before joining the network.

The keyword alternate is used to allow clients to join using either EAP or MAC authentication.

eap sets the SSID's authentication type to open with EAP authentication. The AP requires all clients to perform EAP authentication before joining the network.

For list-name, specify the authentication method list.

authentication shared [mac-address list-name] [eap list-name]

This is an optional step and is used to set the authentication type for the SSID to shared key.

mac-address sets the SSID's authentication type to shared key with MAC address authentication. For list-name, enter the authentication method list.

eap sets the SSID's authentication type to shared key with EAP address authentication. For list-name, enter the authentication method list.

authentication network-eap list-name [mac-address list-name]

This step is optional. It is used to set the authentication type for the SSID to Network-EAP. It is used to authenticate an EAP client with an EAP-compatible RADIUS server.

The SSID's authentication type can be altered so that it also requires MAC address authentication. For list-name, enter the authentication method list.

authentication key-management {[wpa] [cckm]} [optional]

This is an optional step and is used to set the authentication type for the SSID to WPA, Cisco Centeralized Key Management (CCKM), or both. If you use the keyword optional, clients that do not use WPA or CCKM are allowed to use the SSID. However, if optional is not used, clients must use WPA or CCKM to connect.

If you choose to enable CCKM for an SSID, you must also enable Network-EAP authentication. To enable WPA for an SSID, you must also enable Open authentication, Network-EAP, or both.


Return to privileged EXEC mode.

copy running-config startup-config

This step is optional and saves your entries in the configuration file.

In this example, the authentication type for the SSID qbranch on the 2.4-GHz radio has been set to Network-EAP with WPA key management. Clients that use qbranch are authenticated with the moneypenny server list.

4. Antenna Placement | Next Section Previous Section

Cisco Press Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Cisco Press and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Cisco Press products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@ciscopress.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Cisco Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.ciscopress.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020