What Is WiFi Isolation?
What exactly is meant by “wireless isolation”?
What exactly is meant by “wireless isolation”? Our readers might interpret what we are saying about home quarantine with WiFi as referring to the current COVID-19 pandemic setting. In contrast, for the purposes of this IAG article, the term “Wireless Isolation” refers to a configuration option that can be found on a WiFi router. In a nutshell, it makes your WiFi network more “secure.” Below, we get into the specifics of the situation.
Although the Song’s Title May Change, It Still Remains the Same
Isolation of wireless networks can be referred to as “Station Isolation,” “Access Point (or AP) Isolation,” “Set Service Identification or (SSID) Isolation,” or “Client Isolation” by different router manufacturers. The name “Access Internet” comes from Asus. No matter what label you give it, the goal remains the same.
“When (the Wireless Isolation setting) is enabled, it blocks a computer that is connected to a network via a wireless connection from accessing (other) machines and resources that are linked to the network by a wired connection,” explains now-dark wirelessisolation.com. Additionally, it stops a device that is wirelessly linked from connecting to another device that is wirelessly connected.
If you’ll excuse the pandemic metaphor, isolating a device and then “quarantining” it prevents that device from connecting to a network server, host computer, or router. To put it another way, Wireless Isolation prevents users on a particular SSID (WiFi network) from receiving data from other devices in the same SSID, as well as devices providing the SSID outside a LAN. This applies to both devices in the same SSID and devices serving the SSID from outside the LAN (wired network).
When the Wireless Isolation feature of a router is turned on, any WiFi client (that is, a laptop, tablet, or smartphone) that connects to the network can only access the Internet. If users want to be able to “see” other devices on the network while using Wireless Isolation, their devices will need to be connected to the router using an Ethernet cable. In practise, Wireless Isolation generates a virtual network that is unique to every wireless device that is connected to a WLAN.
Isolated Wireless Networks or a Guest Network?
You might only have access to one of these functions, both, or neither of them, depending on the router that you use. Both of these features are typically absent from “home” routers that are sold at lower price points.
If you have previously deduced that having a guest network on a router requires configuring two distinct SSIDs, then you have arrived at the correct conclusion. Visiting users are WiFi isolated when a router is configured for both a secure primary network (say, for you and the missus) and an isolated sub-SSID network for guests. In this example, you and the missus would utilise the secure primary network.
You can limit the amount of time that visitors to your home or your young children spend on the Internet by configuring a WiFi router to only let them go online during specific hours, limit the amount of bandwidth that they can use, or even prevent them from accessing certain websites or IP addresses. If your router supports communication on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, you have the ability to restrict them to only one of those bands.
Your intrepid writer has also found out, much to his dismay, that WiFi routers can block a device’s unique physical media access control (MAC) address. This discovery has caused him a great deal of frustration. There are instances in which “public” WiFi is not necessarily truly public.
Consider purchasing the Mikrotik Routerboard RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN Sfp Port + 10 Port Ethernet from Amazon if you require features similar to these from your WiFi router.
Isolating wireless signals using a simple method is a lot less complicated. When the option to isolate client devices is enabled on a router, all client devices that are connected to the router will become disconnected from all other devices. It can be summed up like this.
Increasing the Level of Wireless Isolation on Your Existing Router
Maybe you listened to our recommendation to purchase a WiFi router rather than renting one from your internet service provider (ISP). You, on the other hand, purchased a low-cost router that lacked features such as wireless isolation. What should one do?
Don’t worry; it’s possible that your particular router model supports a firmware upgrade that comes with a range of different capabilities. Have you ever heard of DD-WRT? It’s a project based on Linux that was developed to replace the default firmware that comes pre-installed on routers. You may add functionality to your existing router that goes well beyond what it is currently capable of by tweaking it with open-source software called DD-WRT.
In case you were wondering, the letters “DD” relate to German license-plate letters for vehicles in the Dresden area (where the developers of the project lived), and “WRT” refers to the Linksys WRT54G router, a legacy product that was sold between 2002 and 2004. The WRT54GL, which can be obtained on Amazon, is a product that is a direct result of this router’s continued popularity.
Your router will be equipped with capabilities such as the following thanks to DD-WRT:
- monitoring of the bandwidth
- multiple SSIDs
- endpoint access control (e.g., Wireless Isolation)
- the level of service provided (QoS)
- Dynamic DNS (DDNS)
- firewall based on iptables
- plus a great deal more
Is it possible to install DD-WRT on your present router if it meets the requirements? Find out more by consulting this list. BE SURE TO READ IT CAREFULLY before attempting to install DD-WRT on your device so as to avoid permanently damaging it.
Consider purchasing the Linksys WRT54GL router if the idea of customising different features on a WiFi router gives you the willies and you are content with 802.11g functionality (i.e., data speeds of less than 50 Mbps). It is not only inexpensive but also simple to set up, including Wireless Isolation. Take note that the “AP Isolation” setting on the WRT54GL has its default setting of “OFF.” Check out the user manual for this model right here.
Watch this video from HelpfulTechVids if, on the other hand, you are prepared to upgrade the WiFi router in your home to a “super router” by installing DD-WRT firmware that you have previously downloaded: This is the first instruction in a series that will be available to you. In addition to that, please refer to this article on howtogeek.com.
should I Enable Wireless Isolation on My WiFi Router? / Should I Enable Wireless Isolation?
In a single word, yeah. And if you are the manager of a company that offers free public WiFi, the answer is, in a phrase, an unequivocal yes. Do you wish to provide access to the servers, printers, peripherals, or systems of your business to the customers who use your WiFi? It didn’t seem likely to me.
Attacks known as Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) can also be avoided with wireless isolation. ARP Spoofing and ARP Poisoning are two examples of attacks that might be classified as MITM. MITM attacks were discussed previously; my IAG colleague Benmin Smith describes them in this article. Check out our article on WiFi Pineapple to learn more about the operation of Pineapple MITM.
ARP stands for the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) Pinging a device in order to determine its physical Ethernet address is known as spoofing. By impersonating an access point’s IP address, a hacker can ping a device and trick it into revealing its MAC address. This can be accomplished by spoofing the IP address of the access point. After that point, the hacker will have access to all of the information and communication of the target because the barn door has been opened.
At the level of the local area network (LAN), ARP Poisoning can cause Dedicated Denial of Service attacks by simply stealing and dropping or not forwarding data packets that are intended for the user who is being attacked.
By configuring your WiFi router with the necessary settings using the administrative controls, you may easily restrict users’ access to the Internet over your local area network (WLAN). Accessing the router’s administrative panel, which contains the router’s controls and is analogous to the Control Panel on a Windows operating system, can be done through a web browser or an app developed by the maker of the router.
Note that the setting of some Netgear routers can only be done with the use of a mobile app (BOO! HISS!). On the other hand, the administrative control panel of many Linksys routers may be accessed simply typing “http://business.linksys.com/” into a web browser that is connected to your network (Hooray for Cisco!).
Simply entering the router’s IP address into a web browser will allow you to access the administrative panel on the vast majority of vintage routers. For instance, in order for your daring blogger to access the router that was provided by Cox Communications to his neighbour, he must type “192.168.0.1” into his Opera web browser. Don’t even think of telling her!