Toward Authentication Mechanisms for Wi-Fi Mesh Networks
Wi-Fi authentication mechanisms include central authentication, dynamic and distributed authentication and some encryption methods. Most of the existing authentication methods were designed for single-hop networks, as opposed to multihop Wi-Fi mesh networks. This research endeavors to characterize and compare existing Wi-Fi authentication mechanisms to find the best secure connection mechanism associated with Wi-Fi mesh network fragmentation and distributed authentication. The methodology is experimental and empirical, based on actual network testing. This thesis characterizes five different types of Wrt54gl firmware, three types of Wi-Fi routing protocols, and besides the eight Wi-Fi mesh network authentication protocols related to this research, it also characterizes and compares 14 existing authentication protocols. Most existing authentication protocols are not applicable to Wi-Fi mesh networks since they are based on Layer 2 of the OSI model and are not designed for Wi-Fi mesh networks. We propose using TincVPN which provides distributed authentication, fragmentation, and can provide secure connections for backbone Wi-Fi mesh networks.