Part A: Practical Work

Part A: Practical Work



Tasks You are to perform a study on both Security and data throughput in 802.11 WLAN systems and expected to document experiments done in class. You will need to choose two of the 802.11 standards (from b/g/a), analyse the results and compare them in terms of data throughput. You will also need to experiment on the two standards you chose with the different security protocols you have applied. The security protocols are (No security (open network), WEP and WPA). This assignment is divided in two parts theoretical and practical. The practical part will require you to compare two IEEE802.11 standards in term of security and data throughput. To do so, you will be required to experiment with the IEEE802.11 protocols and document your work in the lab. 802.11 standards are often characterised by channel bit rates, for example 802.11b is usually described as supporting a bit rate of 11Mbps. WLAN users will notice that actual data throughput, as perceived by the clients on a WLAN only approaches half of this value and is sometimes even less. Users will sometimes put this lower actual bit rate down to underperforming systems, but this is usually not the case. The lower through put rate is primarily due to the MAC layer overheads in the 802.11 architecture and is therefore intentional. Communication between a wireless client and an access point is governed by a strict set of protocols that introduces fixed delays in the communication channel. The delays do not change significantly despite faster underlying channel bit rates. You are to examine two of either 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11a. You can choose which two you prefer to work with. You must state clearly in your report which two standards you are comparing.

Part A: Practical Work

The practical part will require you to compare any two standards of IEEE802.11a, b or g in terms of the data throughput each can achieve. To do so, you will be required to experiment with the IEEE802.11 various protocols and document your work in the lab. You need to perform a number of experiments to measure actual throughput rates for a system. Throughput can be measured using JPERF and IPERF traffic generation software. Wireless traffic will need to be monitored. Wireshark will also be used to obtain various information that will be essential for your analysis. The work should be carried out in class and documented in your work.

Throughput measurements should be taken for the maximum speed available for either 802.11b/g/a. Traffic should also be analysed using the two security protocols WEP and WPA. Data throughput should be noted in relation to the different standards you selected above. You will need to show that you were able to crack WEP in order to gain unauthorized access. If you have succeeded in cracking WPA, show your work, otherwise explain why you think cracking WPA was not successful.

Part B: Research Based Work Based on your analysis and conclusion in part A, you are required to discuss the impact of throughput of your chosen standards when using both WEP and WPA. Following this, you are expected to compare your results with different research papers discussing the impact of wireless security protocols on the data throughput for one wireless client. Few papers are listed below as a starting point for your comparison analysis.

 N. Baghaei and R. Hunt, ”IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN security performance using multiple clients,” Networks, 2004. (ICON 2004). Proceedings. 12th IEEE International Conference on, 2004, pp. 299-303 vol.1. doi: 10.1109/ICON.2004.1409151

 Yang Xiao, ”IEEE 802.11n: enhancements for higher throughput in wireless LANs,” in IEEE Wireless Communications, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 82-91, Dec. 2005. doi: 10.1109/MWC.2005.1561948

 S. S. Kolahi, Z. Qu, B. K. Soorty and N. Chand, ”The Impact of Security on the Performance of IPv4 and IPv6 Using 802.11n Wireless LAN,” 2009 3rd International Conference on New Technologies, Mobility and Security, Cairo, 2009, pp. 1-4.

 E. Barka and M. Boulmalf, ”Impact of Encryption on the Throughput of Infrastructure WLAN IEEE 802.11g,” 2007 IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference, Kowloon, 2007, pp. 2691-2697. doi: 10.1109/WCNC.2007.500

 E. Barka, M. Boulmalf, A. Alteniji, H. A. Suwaidi, H. Khazaimy and M. A. Mansouri, ”Impact of Security on the Performance of Wireless-Local Area Networks,” 2006 Innovations in Information Technology, Dubai, 2006, pp. 1-5. doi: 10.1109/INNOVATIONS.2006.301894

Learning Outcomes the Following Learning outcomes will be addressed in this assignment:

 LO1- Critically analyse enterprise requirements for wireless systems and 802.11 protocol information

 LO2- Make critical decisions about designing secure wireless networks

 LO3- Understand the global nature of WLAN standards and design.

Marking Schemes

It is advantageous if your report is structured in a manner that reflects the allocation of marks below:

Abstract (max 100 words) 5

Introduction 10

collecting Throughput with/without security experiment 10

Throughput Analysis 15

Gaining Unauthorised access 10

Security experiment Analysis 10

Analysis research paper in impact of security on throughput of 802.11 standards 15

Compare results gained with research 10

Conclusion 10

References 5

Appendix (if needed)


Your work must be presented in the form of a short technical paper and be no longer than 5 sides plus a facing page that includes the abstract. This should be printed on A4 paper and use a font size no smaller than 10. Any work beyond the page limit will be ignored from a marking perspective. For completeness, you may if you wish include additional material in an appendix, eg a detailed table of results, but this will not contribute to the marks and you should not explicitly refer to any appendix to illustrate results etc. You could use an appendix to present a full table of results and a full derivation of formula.