Join Nick Brazzi for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding Wi-Fi security options, part of Mobile for Business: Setting Up Your iPad and iPhone.
- Connecting to a network with your iPhone or iPad is pretty simple, but if you're using your device in a work environment, there are a few slightly advanced features that you might wanna take a look at. Particularly for security. Let's look at some options, I'm gonna go into Settings on this iPad, and I'm gonna go into the Wi-Fi section. Everything that we need for networking except for VPN access and cellular connections will be found here. Now, of course, I see a list of all of the wireless networks that are in this building that I could connect to. If a wireless network is password protected, of course it has a little icon next to it.
So if I select the LYNDA-GUEST network, I'll need to put in the password to connect. And I'll hit Join, and now I'm connected to that network. And that's pretty standard, you've probably done this a bunch of times on your iPhone or iPad. But there are occasionally networks that you'll see that take a little bit more work to connect. I'm gonna tap on this network that's labeled LYNDA. Of course it is locked, but when I tap on it, it requires both a username and a password. This particular network is managed through an active directory system, which gives it a more robust level of security.
By providing my username and password, access to this network can be limited to specific people. Only employees of the company rather than anybody who has the password. Some companies do this to keep business-critical sections of their networking infrastructure well-protected. If you don't know your username and password for the network, clearly you need to contact your IT department. But if you log into an intranet or a company e-mail account, it may be the same username and password that you use for those. Once I type in my username and password here, I can just hit Join.
Now next, we're gonna see some information about this network's security certificate. And I see that this certificate is not verified. And that just means that the security certificate on this network has not been registered with Apple, and Apple does not recognize the security of this network. If you're not familiar with the network, this might be a risk, but if you know the network and you know that you can trust it, it's not a big deal. In this case, I know who is running this network, and I can trust it, so I'm just gonna hit Accept and now I'm connected to that network.
Once I'm connected to this network, of course now I can access the internet. And that's where most people stop. But if you're communicating business-critical information over the network, then you might wanna think a little bit more about security. I'm gonna tap on this little i for information next to the network that I'm connected to. On this screen, you'll see some more details and settings for this network. First, I wanna talk about the button up at the top that says, Forget This Network. Once you connect to a network, your iPad or iPhone will automatically re-connect to that network using the same password anytime you're in range of that network.
This is very useful in most cases, but what if you're giving somebody temporary access to a secured network? Or what if you think there's some danger that somebody could pick up your iPad and access your secured network? If you don't want this iPad to automatically re-connect to this network, you should hit this option to forget the network when you're done using it. Of course, if you tell your device to forget a network, when you wanna connect to it again, you will need to select that network and type in the password all over again.
Next, there's this section labeled IP Address. And this is really just displaying information about your network, it's pretty rare that you would make changes to any of this information. But if your IT department or internet provider instructs you to connect with different settings, you might make some adjustments here. I've never needed to make changes to any of these settings on any network that I've used. Then, there's the HTTP Proxy section. This is used a lot in educational institutions. This is used when employees or students need to access network resources when they're offsite.
Here's one possible scenario: there are databases of information that are sold or leased to school libraries and legal offices. Employees or students can access those databases when they use the network at the library or the office. But in order to connect to those databases from an offsite network, they need to connect through a proxy address. If your employer or school has provided you with a proxy server address, this is where you would input that information, most likely by tapping on the Manual button and inputting the information there.
Although, you may need to go to Auto and put some information there instead. It depends on your network. Now, of course, I'm putting in my proxy information for this specific Wi-Fi network. You should be able to connect to any Wi-Fi network and then come in here and add your proxy information. Then, you can access those secured services offsite. Now, you may have heard of VPN, which is a significantly more robust system for securing offsite access. We're gonna look at VPN access in a separate movie.
But consider this: proxy server settings are a part of the Wi-Fi configuration. We're putting that information here in the Wi-Fi section. But VPN is not, VPN is in a different section inside of Settings. So, if you use a cellular connection to connect to the internet on your iPhone or iPad, instead of Wi-Fi, then the proxy server options will not be available, but VPN is available over a cellular connection as well as Wi-Fi. Now, one last thing that I want you to be aware of.
Here in Settings, I'm gonna go down to General, and I'm gonna go to About. And I'm looking for this field labeled Wi-Fi Address. Some networks have a security feature known as MAC Address Filtering, or Wi-Fi Address Filtering. Every device that can connect to a Wi-Fi network has a unique MAC address, also known as the Wi-Fi address, and that's why it's labeled Wi-Fi Address here. Now, don't be confused, the MAC address has nothing to do with Macintosh computers.
In this context, MAC is an acronym that stands for "Media Access Control." With MAC Address Filtering, you will not be able to connect to a specific network unless the MAC address from your device has been added to a list of approved devices for that network. So, in that case, before you can use that network, you'll need to add your iPhone or iPad's MAC address to that list, or more likely, you'll need to provide that address to your IT team or your tech support, who will add it to that list for that Wi-Fi router.
But first, you need to know where to find the MAC address, and that's why we went here. So that's the number that you or your IT team will need to add to the approved list on a MAC Address Filtered network. Now, those types of networks are not as common, but they are much more secure, so your office might have that set up, but either way, it's important to know how to access that address. So those are some options you might wanna take a look at when using a device to access secured data from your business' network. It's important to be aware of your limitations and know what controls you have.
- Getting connected to Wi-Fi and VPN
- Printing with AirPrint
- Synchronizing contacts and calendars
- Connecting to displays for presentations
- Using an external keyboard
- Securing an iPhone or iPad with a passcode lock