- What’s the best way to configure a network? How do different settings and user profiles influence my network design?
- How can I keep my wireless network safe but still provide the convenience people want by connecting to it?
Most networks have similar components, including modems, routers, and devices, but networks have to be designed to meet the specific needs of the users it serves. Some networks may be relatively open to users for casual use such as checking email and surfing the Web. Others may need heightened security or greater bandwidth to support bandwidth-hogging activities like supporting multiple users in video conferencing or sharing documents. The decisions a network administrator makes to design and configure a network are influenced by how it will be used and by whom.
Connection to Student Lives
Ultimately, you may have to rely on a wired connection somewhere to get online, but because of the number of mobile devices that people own and use now, it’s likely they are connecting to a wireless network. You probably access and rely on wireless networks in several places. Many homes have them, stores and shops often do, as, of course, do schools and businesses.
If you’re going to allow devices to connect to your network wirelessly, you need to ensure the network remains secure. This means only allowing the devices that should connect to your network
Given a user scenario, design and configure a wireless network that best meets the needs of the users and justify your decisions.
Install and configure a SOHO wireless network See Activity 9-4: Installing and Configuring SOHO Networks in The Official CompTIA A+ Core 1 & Core 2 Instructor Guide and its associated links to emulators for detailed steps for one scenario for completing the task.
- NCCTE.2020.II21.02.02 - Compare common networking hardware devices.
- NCCTE.2020.II21.02.03 - Install and configure a basic wired/wireless SOHO network.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.05 - Use Microsoft operating system features and tools.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.06 - Use Microsoft Windows control panel utilities.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.01.08 - Configure Microsoft Windows networking on a client or desktop.
- NCCTE.2020.II22.02.10 - Configure security on SOHO wireless and wired networks.
TOPIC 9A: Configure Network Settings
TOPIC 9B: Install and Configure SOHO Networks
TOPIC 9C: Configure SOHO Network Security
- A wired network adapter’s media type must match the switch is is connected to and use the same Ethernet settings, including signaling speed and half or full duplex
- How to use Windows to configure Ethernet settings for a NIC (Network Interface Card)
- Why Wake on LAN (WoL) might be used
- The role of Quality of Service protocols and how they are configured
- How to navigate the Network and Sharing Center (Windows 7 & 8) and Network & Internet (Windows 10) settings
- Windows clients default to using APIPA in the absences of a DHCP server
- What a VPN is used for and how a device can be configured to use a VPN
- The needs and complexities of SOHO wired and wireless networks, regardless of their size
- The functions of the separate device types bundled within a DSL/cable modem: Modem, Router, Switch, Access point
- How to configure a DSL or cable modem for a SOHO network, including configuring Internet access and wireless settings
- How to use Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) for supported devices
- Consider access point placement decisions to improve network performance
- The difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands
- Discuss the pros and cons of adjusting radio power levels
- The strengths and weaknesses of Wi-Fi security protocols: WEP, WPA, WPA2
- Methods for authenticating users on a Wi-Fi network, and which authentication is appropriate for different security protocols
- How to generate an SSID that is recognizable but does not reveal personal or confidential information
- How to conduct a firmware and driver update for an Internet appliance
- How different types of data transfer can impact Quality of Service and how QoS can be adjusted for certain types of traffic
- Types of network and host firewalls and the decision points for using one or more of them
- What it means to use a DMZ on an enterprise network
- How and why the Universal Plug-and-Play framework might be used or NOT used
- Configure a Network Interface Card (NIC) to a wired or wireless access point in Windows
- Check system setup to determine if an onboard NIC is enabled
- Enable or disable 802.11 standards of a wireless network card
- Set up, or explain, Wake on Lan (WoL) and start a computer remotely.
- Use the Network & Internet section of the Settings app in Windows 10 to review and configure wired and wireless settings.
- Configure DHCP by using the Obtain an IP address automatically option in the Internet Protocol Properties
- Configure, or explain, defining an alternative IP address configuration and why you might need to do so.
- Connect and configure a DSL or cable modem to a provider network
- Configure Internet access
- Configure and adjust wireless settings, and alternately, use a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), if available
- Review DHCP and IP Address configuration and explain why you may not want to configure them manually
- Use, or explain, Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) to connect a device to a network wirelessly
- Complete a site survey to determine and justify the antenna and access point placement
- Adjust firewall settings and justify your decisions for doing so
- Configure and adjust a personal (Windows) firewall on a device
- Optional: Configure a browser with appropriate settings and plug-ins
Configure Network Connection Settings
Network Interface Card (NIC)
- Signaling speed
- Half or full duplex
Quality of Service (QoS)
- Roaming Aggressiveness
- Transmit Power
Wake on LAN (WoL)
Wake-on-Wireless Lan (WoWLAN)
Wireless Wide Area Network (WWAN or cellular)
Virtual Private Network
Install and Configure SOHO Networks
SOHO (Small Office Home Office) Network
Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
Radio Power Levels
- War Driving
- Evil Twin Attacks
Wi-Fi Security Protocols
- Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
- Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
- Temporal Key Integrity Protocol
- Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
- Personal Authentication Mode
- Pre-Shared Key (PSK)
- Enterprise Authentication Mode
- Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS)
SOHO Security Issues
- Service Set ID (SSID)
Quality of Service (QoS)
Configure SOHO Network Security
- Network Firewall
- Host Firewall
- Packet Filtering Firewall
- Access control List (ACL)
- Host (or Software or Personal) Firewall
- Whitelists and Blacklists
Network Address Translation (NAT)
- Network Address Port Translation (NAPT) (also called NAT overloading or Port Address Translation (PAT))
- Port Forwarding or Port Mapping
- Port Triggering
Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP)
Introduction to problem: Install and Configure a Secure SOHO Network
Pre-assessment (consider using Activities 9-1, 9-3, and 9-5)
Team meetings to develop project plan and goals
Small group and independent exploration of resources: 9A: Configure Network Connection Settings
Contribute to team project
Small group and independent exploration of resources: 9B: Install and Configure SOHO Networks
Hands-on exploration with IT professionals: Activity 9-2: Configuring Network Connection Settings
Team progress check with supervisor (using project plan)
Small group and independent exploration of resources: 9C: Configure SOHO Network Security
Hands-on exploration with IT professionals: Activity 9-4: Installing and Configuring SOHO Networks
Small group and independent exploration of resources
Contribute to team project
Team progress check with supervisor or sharing of progress with whole group
As noted, students should be familiar with most of these concepts and skills from the 1001 course. This unit is intended to help students review these important networking concepts and skills. Depending upon their familiarity and skill level, they may be able to progress through the activities quickly, giving more time for reviewing mobile device security and troubleshooting (next week’s objectives).
Consider using the Discussion Activities 9-1, 9-3, and 9-5 as a pre-assessment to determine which topics the students may or may not need to complete during the week.
The Official CompTIA A+ Core 1 & Core 2 Instructor Guide for Exams 220-1001 and 220-1002
- Topic 9A: Configure Network Connection Settings (pp. 556-569)
- Activity 9-1: Discussing Network Connection Configuration Settings (p. 570)
- Activity 9-2: Configuring Network Connection Settings (pp. 571-574)
- Topic 9B: Install and Configure SOHO Networks (pp. 575-586)
- Activity 9-3: Discussing SOHO Network Installation and Configuration (pp. 587-588)
- Activity 9-4: Installing and Configuring SOHO Networks (pp. 589-595)
- Topic 9C: Configure SOHO Network Security (pp. 596-612)
- Activity 9-5: Discussing SOHO Network Security (pp. 613-614)
- SOHO Router Setup = CompTIA A+ (13:18)
Professor Messer at ProfessorMesser.com and YouTube offers numerous free videos of various lengths for many of the topics for the CompTIA 220-1001 A+ Exam. They are easy to understand, narrated videos with visuals. If you are teaching a CompTIA course, the site notes “You’re welcome to use them as much as you’d like, provided you embed the videos with the associated YouTube link or link directly to my site. Please click the “Contact Us” link at the top of our web page and let me know how you’re using them.”
- Professor Messer’s 220-1001 Core 2 CompTIA A+ Training Course videos on ProfessorMesser.com. Search or scroll to find the topics you’re interested in.
Entry Level I.T. Training from Technology Gee
PowerCert Animated Videos on YouTube
- Wi-Fi Router vs Wireless Access Point (6:26)
- What is a Firewall? (6:26)
- Port Forwarding Explained (9:04)
- What is a DMZ? (Demilitarized Zone) (6:14)
Articles and Other Resources:
Networking Tutorials from Lantronix, a global provider of Software as a Service, connectivity, engineering, and IotT services. Some, but minimal, product promotion may appear in this resource.
Tutorials from Cisco:
- Security Concepts
- Wireless Networks