Review: Best tools to set up secure Wi-Fi for BYOD

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Deploying the enterprise mode of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) with 802.1X authentication provides great Wi-Fi security, but complicates the client configuration and connection process. In bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments, this can cause user frustration and a spike in help desk calls. The solution is to deploy an automated configuration process so users can easily connect their devices without invention from IT staff.

In this review, we looked at three tools to help distribute your Wi-Fi and 802.1X settings to users: ClearPass QuickConnect from Aruba, XpressConnect from CloudPath, and the open source SU1X. Though there are differences between them, all help you generate a custom configuration program or app that users can run on their computers, smartphones, or tablets to configure it with wired or wireless network settings. The configuration program or app can be distributed to users via a website, captive portal on a separate "setup" SSID, or other means, like a CD or flash drive.

Additionally, each tool can also install your RADIUS server's Certificate Authority certificate on the clients. And some of them also support configuring or installing other non-wireless settings or features, like third-party applications, modifying a browser's proxy settings, enabling Windows Updates and Windows Firewall, and even installing a network printer.

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