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Repeating a 802.1x AP

Posted on 2014-02-22
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Last Modified: 2014-02-25
Hi Guy's

Does anyone know if you can repeat a 802.1x Radius Auth. WPA-PSK signal.  The On-Network repeater I have won't do it, because it's not an open network, therefore it's looking for a passphrase that doesn't t exist as it's Radius auth.

Thanks

IM
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Question by:ianmclachlan
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 39879283
No - you can't repeat an 802.1x-secured SSID.  You may be able to bridge it though using WDS.
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LVL 16
ID: 39879697
You didn't really specify what wireless products you're using, but if you are using commercial Cisco Wireless products you can absolutely accomplish what you're trying to do.

A Cisco AP can be set in repeater mode and be a 802.1x supplicant (client).

MO
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Author Comment

by:ianmclachlan
ID: 39879740
Sorry, it was a netgear AP.  

I assume, you need a Master cisco AP, and other Cisco AP's to achieve this scenario?
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by:Craig Beck
ID: 39879742
That's true.

There is a caveat or two to this though -

1] You can only do this with Autonomous APs
2] You can only do this with newer APs (1121, 1231 aren't supported).
3] IIRC you can only repeat one SSID in this way.
4] It doesn't work with all EAP types.

Good catch MO :-)
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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39879745
That's right Ian.
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Author Comment

by:ianmclachlan
ID: 39885164
Thanks for all your help.  I suppose I should fill you in with the background of what I am trying to achieve.

We have a relatively large building, and I am trying to create one ESSID that uses 802.1x Authentication - rather than having multiple AP's / ESSID's.  I thought, (wrongly) I could maybe do this by creating a master AP and using repeaters throughout the building.

What would you guys recomend?

Again, thanks so much for your help

Ian
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Craig Beck earned 500 total points
ID: 39885214
If that's what you want you should really do this properly - repeating isn't the way to do this at all.

An ESSID is actually a lot of different BSSIDs all advertising the same SSID, so it's correct to have lots of BSSIDs in the same ESSID.
(BSSID = AP, ESSID = Group of APs).

A few rules to a successful 802.1x-over-WLAN deployment...

- Each AP should be hard-wired back to the network.
- Each AP should use the same SSID/Authentiation/Encryption settings (to make it part of the ESSID).
- Each AP should talk directly to the RADIUS server.
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LVL 16
ID: 39885953
To add to that, if you're not using a controller based solution, make sure your bordering AP's are on non-overlapping channels (1, 6 and 11) and that they overlap each other by about 20% for good roaming coverage.

MO
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