Protecting CLEAR’s 4G wireless network with RADIUS

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CLEAR is popular 4G wireless internet provider, offering its services in the United States. It provides internet connectivity by using a 4G wireless modem that also acts as a wireless access point. Unfortunately, currently, the safest supported wireless security mode is only the WPA2-PSK. In this post I will describe my procedure of securing CLEAR’s wireless network with better, RADIUS powered, WPA2-Enterprise security mode.

Firstly, I have to access modem’s administration interface by opening http://192.168.15.1 from my web browser. After successful authentication, modem welcomes me with the following Welcome screen.

CLEAR 4G Welcome Screen

To verify available Wireless Security Settings, let’s click on the Basic -> Wi-Fi -> Advanced buttons.

Clear Modem Wireless Security Settings

As you can see in the picture above, this modem really supports authentication only with the pre-shared keys and not our desired WPA2-Enterprise mode. It is necessary to add another wireless router, in my case the TP-Link WR842ND, to create new RADIUS powered wireless network.

Connecting TP-Link router to CLEAR’s modem

As CLEAR will remain my provider of internet connectivity, I have to connect the TP-Link router to the modem with provided Ethernet cable and turn the router on. It is important to plug the Ethernet cable into the blue network port (uplink).

CLEAR modem connected to TP-Link

Next, I connect my computer to new TP-Link’s wireless network and follow initial configuration instructions. During this procedure, the router asks me to enter a PIN number, that is printed on the sticker on the bottom side of the router.

TP-Link initial setup

 

In next step, I have to select the Wireless Security type. At this moment, not all security options are available, so I select the WPA2-PSK security mode, type in some temporary pre-shared key and finish this configuration.

Creating virtual RADIUS server and user’s accounts

Now, let’s go to https://console.ironwifi.com to register new wireless router and create accounts for my users. After signing in, all I have to do is follow Configuration Wizard, which provides all required information in the last page’s summary. I will keep this page open, so I am able to use the values in next step.

RADIUS Configuration Wizard Step3

Configuring TP-Link router to use WPA2-Enterprise security mode

I go back to the TP-Link router to change wireless security settings. TP-Link’s web administration interface is available at http://192.168.0.1, and it will prompt to enter default credentials; username is admin and password is admin too.

Router's Interface login

 

After accessing the Wireless Security Settings, I change the Wireless Security type to WPA/WPA2 and enter information from the IronWifi console – the RADIUS server IP address, port, and Shared secret/Password.

Routers wireless security settings

 

Finally, save new settings and restart router.

Connecting with user’s credentials

Finally I connect my client devices to the new Protected Wireless Network using user’s credentials. For me it works like a charm,  but if you still have connecting issues, please follow our documentation for your specific platform.

Was your upgrade also so easy, or did you experience some difficulty?

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