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Wireless local area networks (WLAN) are beginning to play a much larger role in corporate network environments and are already very popular for home networking applications. This increase in accessibility has created large security holes for hackers and thieves to abuse, which is finally being addressed by stronger security methods such as advanced encryption algorithms and efficient authentication processes. However, these security methods often hamper network performance unbeknownst to engineers and users.
This research examines the effects of Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), and Counter Mode/CBC-MAC Protocol (CCMP) encryption algorithms on throughput rates for IEEE 802.11 networks as well as the authentication times for Lightweight Extensible Authentication Protocol (LEAP) and Protected Extensible Authentication Protocol (PEAP). The research shows that todayâ s wireless hardware is capable of reducing overhead of even the most advanced encryption schemes to less than five percent of the total bandwidth.