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Wireless Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools: 100 Industrial Strength Tips and Tools [Paperback]

Rob Flickenger
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Sep 2003 0596005598 978-0596005597 1

It's an increasingly wired world, but many people are finding that the best way to get connected is to do away with wires entirely. From cable replacement to universal Internet connectivity, wireless technology is changing the way we connect to our machines and to each other.As with any new technology, buying your gear is only the first step. Understanding how to make the best use of it is another story. Wireless Hacks offers 100 industrial-strength tips about wireless networking, contributed by experts who apply what they know in the real world every day. Each Hack can be read in just a few minutes, but can save you hours of research.Inside, you will find a wealth of useful techniques for making the most out of wireless technology, including:

  • Making sense of the alphabet soup of the 802.11 standards, and understanding which technology makes sense for your solving particular problem
  • Using Bluetooth, mobile radios, mobile data networks, and other exotic methods to keep you connected, no matter where you are
  • Practical methods for detecting, analyzing, and monitoring wireless networks
  • Extending the range of your network, and making the best possible use of the available radio spectrum
  • Designing and building your own antennas
  • Engineering long distance network links that span several miles
  • Understanding the security issues of wireless networking, and protecting yourself and your users from unauthorized access and eavesdropping
Written for the intermediate to advanced wireless user, Wireless Hacks is full of direct, practical, ingenious solutions to real-world networking problems. Whether your wireless network needs to extend to the edge of your office or to the other end of town, this collection of non-obvious, "from the field" techniques will show you how to get the job done.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (26 Sep 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596005598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596005597
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,892,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"Wireless Hacks is essential reading for anyone interested in pushing this technology in a highly practical manner. It really does showcase the very best tricks and tips developed by a highly active wireless community." - Linux User, December 2003 [Linux User & Developer Classic]

Book Description

With a new foreword by Glenn Fleishman --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top banana 27 May 2004
Format:Paperback
If you have a wi-fi enabled PDA or laptop buy this book. I found it well written and full of usefull tips for both bright eyed begineers, and the more savvy. Clear technical explanations for each 'hack' and most importantly how to adapt the 'hack' for the OS you have, whether it is OSX, Linux, XP, or Pocket PC. I particularly liked the sections on 'how to build your own wave guide' and 'How to test your home wireless network'. In short this book is a real gem and one I think I will keep on going back to. If you want to 'get your toes wet' with wifi or do something a bit different with your current setup, you could do far worse than by this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into wireless.....get this! 11 Feb 2005
Format:Paperback
If like me you have a wirelss lan (or are thinking of setting one up), you will want to learn all the little tricks to make it just that more great.
The book introduces you to some of the coolest bits of software on the free market as well as some of the more less known ones.
It also shows you how to secure your wireless network, cool bluetooth tricks, monitor what your LAN users are viewing in real time!
AND LOTS MORE!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 5 May 2004
By Marcus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an absolutely fantastic recipe book for those wanting to play with wireless comms (in particular, wireless computer networking). We have a remote farmhouse in Spain and the projects relating to stretching the coverage over greater distance are just what the doctor ordered.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book of wireless tips 19 May 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I'll have to disagree a bit with reviewer Pablo D. The book is broad and shallow, but I think it appeals to more than just the raw beginner. I found a number of tricks (hard to call them "hacks") in the book that have been useful. While many of the topics covered are simply product reviews, that information is helpful to wireless users, too.
Here's the table of contents of the book, which spells out all 100 "hacks":
Chapter 1. The Standards
1. 802.11: The Mother of All IEEE Wireless Ethernet
2. 802.11a: The Betamax of the 802.11 Family
3. 802.11b: The De Facto Standard
4. 802.11g: Like 802.11b, only Faster
5. 802.16: Long Distance Wireless Infrastructure
6. Bluetooth: Cable Replacement for Devices
7. 900 MHz: Low Speed, Better Coverage
8. CDPD, 1xRTT, and GPRS: Cellular Data Networks
9. FRS and GMRS: Super Walkie-Talkies
10. 802.1x: Port Security for Network Communications
11. HPNA and Powerline Ethernet
12. BSS Versus IBSS
Chapter 2. Bluetooth and Mobile Data
13. Remote Control OS X with a Sony Ericsson Phone
14. SMS with a Real Keyboard
15. Photo Blog Automatically with the Nokia 3650
16. Using Bluetooth with Linux
17. Bluetooth to GPRS in Linux
18. Bluetooth File Transfers in Linux
19. Controlling XMMS with Bluetooth
Chapter 3. Network Monitoring
20. Find All Available Wireless Networks
21. Network Discovery Using NetStumbler
22. Network Detection on Mac OS X
23. Detecting Networks Using Handheld PCs
24. Passive Scanning with KisMAC
25. Establishing Connectivity
26. Quickly Poll Wireless Clients with ping
27. Finding Radio Manufacturers by MAC Address
28. Rendezvous Service Advertisements in Linux
29. Advertising Arbitrary Rendezvous Services in OS X
30. "Brought to you by" Rendezvous Ad Redirector
31. Detecting Networks with Kismet
32. Running Kismet on Mac OS X
33. Link Monitoring in Linux with Wavemon
34. Historical Link State Monitoring
35. EtherPEG and DriftNet
36. Estimating Network Performance
37. Watching Traffic with tcpdump
38. Visual Traffic Analysis with Ethereal
39. Tracking 802.11 Frames in Ethereal
40. Interrogating the Network with nmap
41. Network Monitoring with ngrep
42. Running ntop for Real-Time Network Stats
Chapter 4. Hardware Hacks
43. Add-on Laptop Antennas
44. Increasing the Range of a Titanium PowerBook
45. WET11 Upgrades
46. AirPort Linux
47. Java Configurator for AirPort APs
48. Apple Software Base Station
49. Adding an Antenna to the AirPort
50. The NoCat Night Light
51. Do-It-Yourself Access Point Hardware
52. Compact Flash Hard Drive
53. Pebble
54. Tunneling: IPIP Encapsulation
55. Tunneling: GRE Encapsulation
56. Running Your Own Top-Level Domain
57. Getting Started with Host AP
58. Make Host AP a Layer 2 Bridge
59. Bridging with a Firewall
60. MAC Filtering with Host AP
61. Hermes AP
62. Microwave Cabling Guide
63. Microwave Connector Reference
64. Antenna Guide
65. Client Capability Reference Chart
66. Pigtails
67. 802.11 Hardware Suppliers
68. Home-Brew Power over Ethernet
69. Cheap but Effective Roof Mounts
Chapter 5. Do-It-Yourself Antennas
70. Deep Dish Cylindrical Parabolic Reflector
71. "Spider" Omni
72. Pringles Can Waveguide
73. Pirouette Can Waveguide
74. Primestar Dish with Waveguide Feed
75. BiQuad Feed for Primestar Dish
76. Cut Cable Omni Antenna
77. Slotted Waveguides
78. The Passive Repeater
79. Determining Antenna Gain
Chapter 6. Long Distance Links
80. Establishing Line of Sight
81. Calculating the Link Budget
82. Aligning Antennas at Long Distances
83. Slow Down to Speed Up
84. Taking Advantage of Antenna Polarization
85. Map the Wireless Landscape with NoCat Maps
Chapter 7. Wireless Security
86. Making the Best of WEP
87. Dispel the Myth of Wireless Security
88. Cracking WEP with AirSnort: The Easy Way
89. NoCatAuth Captive Portal
90. NoCatSplash and Cheshire
91. Squid Proxy over SSH
92. SSH SOCKS 4 Proxy
93. Forwarding Ports over SSH
94. Quick Logins with SSH Client Keys
95. "Turbo-Mode" SSH Logins
96. OpenSSH on Windows Using Cygwin
97. Location Support for Tunnels in OS X
98. Using vtun over SSH
99. Automatic vtund.conf Generator
100. Tracking Wireless Users with arpwatch
Appendix: Deep Dish Parabolic Reflector Template
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the tinkerer in you 13 Nov 2003
By W Boudville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
An interesting amalgam of software and hardware tips. The author clearly loves to tinker, as seen by his description of how he and friends put together a waveguide antenna built around a Pringles can. Perusing the book seems to give some of the flavour of the Homebrew Computer Club in San Francisco during the 1970s, when the PC revolution was gestating.
To some (many?) of you, the do-it-yourself ethos of this book may be its greatest allure. Flickenger reinforces this with many examples of analysis programs contributed by enthusiasts, often with source code available for your modification.
If indeed you seem attracted, do not tarry. Flickenger may not explicitly state this anywhere in the book, but it really describes a field and hobby that will rapidly make much of the book obsolete. Chances are, in a few years hardware will be standardised by a few major manufacturers, and most operating systems will have all the necessary wireless software. So if you want some fun, perhaps now is the time.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the serious wireless freak 7 Mar 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is an amazing book about wireless. It's coverage of everything from the operating system level stuff, to drivers, to cards, to hacking cards, to building your own antenna, to doing shotgun wireless is just incredible. If you are a serious wireless junkie you will love this book. For the casual coffee shop surfer, this is probably not the right book, but you probably don't have any issues with wireless anyway.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read for Wireless Enthusiasts 1 Mar 2005
By Alysha E. Alcantara - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Despite the dubiously provocative title, this book in essence, is a practical guide to the wireless frontier of telecommunications. The term `hacking' is often perceived as a negative act, while the term `hacker' in the computer tech realm is heeded as a compliment--tinctured with hues of creativity and technical prowess (to infiltrate network systems). The term `hack' in this book, refers to something entirely different. It's defined as a "quick-n-dirty" means of getting to the core of a technological problem; or a resourceful and unconventional way of accomplishing a task.

This book offers a panoramic view of the wireless landscape in practical and easily digestible terms. The background and evolution of wireless technology is brought into focus, with wide-lens coverage on existing wireless standards that define the Wi-Fi revolution today--the 802.11b and 802.11g protocols, their antecedents, as well as latter counterparts that have yet to pervade the mainstream. The characteristics of each protocol (frequency bands on which it operates, data speed capacity, etc.) along with their real-world applications, virtues and limitations, provide the reader greater understanding. These inherent strengths and weaknesses, when framed into context, empowers the consumer to make an informed decision on a wireless format best suited to his needs. A panoply of wireless devices and concepts (e.g. Bluetooth technology, mobile phone carrier networks, etc.) are also highlighted. And wireless-oriented acronyms (e.g. TDMA, CDMA, GSM, etc.) that obscure the telecommunications domain are effectively elucidated.

Each chapter stands on its own--laid out with a specific subject matter--so that page-by-page reading is not necessary for comprehension. Chapter 5 ("Do-It-Yourself Antennas") presents tried-and-true, home-spun devices for extending wireless network range, while Chapter 7 deals with wireless security--offering tips for recognizing network holes and providing suggestions on securing a network.

While valuable troubleshooting tips are plentiful, much of this book is dedicated to specific wireless schemes (or "hacks") for achieving optimal wireless network efficiency. Leaving no computer user behind, each "hack" is delineated in various Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. And each hack is rated in terms of difficulty: beginner, moderate and expert. An expert-level hack might be entitled, "Photo Blog Automatically with the Nokia 3650", which instructs users on photo publishing from the road, without having to log on to a computer.

Practical and sometimes unconventional tools are provided for implementing and enabling wireless technology in a home environment and elsewhere. One segment provides beginner-level, step-by-step instructions on how to turn your laptop into a spectrum analyzer (without installing any additional software) for the purpose of locating all wireless networks within range.

In its entirety, this book is concisely laid out for ease of comprehension. The technologies that have come to define the wireless revolution are illuminated and relative strengths and weaknesses of various network standards are highlighted. Resources for optimizing networking hardware are provided--from extending range and intensifying data throughput, to managing and exploiting valuable wireless resources--in creative and non-traditional ways. Riveting in content, it brings into focus the intensely dynamic pace of wireless evolution, while effectively familiarizing the reader with the infinite bounties of telecomm's wireless dimension.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Covers a wide array of operating systems... 18 Dec 2005
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wireless Hacks (2nd Edition) - Tips & Tools for Building, Extending, and Securing Your Network by Rob Flickenger & Roger Weeks is one of those book that will have different levels of appeal to each reader based on factors like operating system, technical expertise, and other various items...

Contents: Bluetooth, Mobile Phones, and GPS; Network Discovery and Monitoring; Wireless Security; Hardware Hacks; Software Hacks; Do-It-Yourself Antennas; Wireless Network Design; Wireless Standards; Wireless Hardware Guide; Index

As all books in the Hacks series, this title contains a number of tips and tricks that you can explore to enhance your experience in the given subject matter. In this case, it's wireless networking. The book seems to cover a very wide range of topics and operating systems, along with a wide array of hack complexity. Rather than concentrate on a single OS like Windows, the authors cover Windows, Mac, *and* Linux on a number of the hacks. In fact, without counting to be sure, it almost seems like Linux is a bit more predominate than the other two. That's probably understandable, as trying to get Linux to work with things like Bluetooth isn't as "out of the box" as it might be with Windows or Macs. You might also find parts of the book not applicable to your situation, like if you don't have Bluetooth on your phone. Of course, if you *do* have Bluetooth, then you've got some new toys to play with. My personal favorite section was the Do-It-Yourself Antennas chapter, as they have some good information in there on how to improve your reception and your broadcast focus. Since my access point is in the basement and my son's computer is two floors up, I could benefit from a homebrew reflector...

Normally I'm willing to recommend a Hacks title with no caveats. In this case, I think a potential reader needs to be a bit cautious. Don't count on nearly all the hacks to be of interest. You'll either be running the wrong OS, or you'll not be very adept with a soldiering iron. Conversely, all it takes is one or two good new tricks to make a book worthwhile. You could well find those gems in here, but you'll have to look a little harder than normal...
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