A plus 220-1001 – Exam Objective 1.6

A+ Exam Objective 1.6

1.6 Given a scenario, configure basic mobile device network connectivity and application support.

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Welcome to ExamNotes by CertBlaster! In this section we will look at CompTIA’s 220-1001 sub-objective 1.6. We will cover Mobile devices and how they connect to networks.

IMPORTANT NOTE: One area NOT explicitly listed on the objectives that should be there concerns Short Message Service (SMS) and the evolution of Multimedia Message service (MMS). SMS, otherwise known as text messaging, is a practice that should only be undertaken when you can provide your attention to it, i.e. not while you are driving (the statistics on this are seriously alarming). Smartphone communications are responsible for more driving injuries and fatalities than drunk driving! We’ll leave that there and consider this a Public Service Announcement from DTI Publishing to you. Although it has not on the test so far, it’s likely to be on the way to the test. Do take heed. Ok, so now on to the actual goods…

Wireless / cellular data network (enable/disable)

Here we will look at a few wireless data device configurations and usages. For this section, consider an anonymous mobile device and service provider. The mobile service plan has unlimited 4G LTE service on calls and data. The unlimited calls and data factor is a consideration when we talk about sharing services.

Hotspot

In general, the term hotspot refers to an area where you can wirelessly connect to the internet and other application layer services such as email, messaging, and social media. Many businesses, including prominent coffee houses, offer this service as a way to encourage patrons to extend their stay at their location, providing additional sales opportunities that a grab and go patron would not be exposed to. Having a delicate, icing drizzled pastry in your field of vision will have an effect on you. It won’t be long before you’re back at the counter either for a refill or that pastry!

Depending on the device’s capabilities, your own wireless device can be turned into a hotspot. With your own hotspot, you can have a completely supported wireless business meeting with a small group at a park or a lake, anywhere but that conference room. In most cases, the device sharing the hotspot will have its internet capability disabled. Bandwidth will not reflect the full capacity of the host and battery life will be impacted.

Tethering

This technique allows you to connect your cellphone to a laptop or tablet through USB or Bluetooth, enabling devices using the phone’s cellular connection to provide mobile connectivity to another device. This connection is a one to one connection share. Good for essential connectivity, this connection type offers limited bandwidth and if used over a Bluetooth connection, will drain the battery quickly.

Airplane mode

If you suffer loss of connectivity, first check if that little airplane icon on your smartphone is showing. The first icon on your phone indicates that the device’s radios are capable of communication.

Airplane Mode On

The initial proliferation of cellular and Wi-Fi capable devices prompted a concern among airlines that these devices could interfere with the safe operation of the systems on an aircraft. Passengers were instructed to turn their devices off. Boring! Device manufacturers came up with a quick mode, called Airplane mode, which disables the offending radios. Pressing the airplane icon switches off all the external communication methods of the device.

Airplane Mode Off

Bluetooth

Bluetooth has been around for some time, but never really realized its potential until mobile devices began using Bluetooth to establish short range communication between peripherals and other devices. The most significant and potentially lifesaving application of this technology came when Bluetooth was combined with hands free headsets, enabling hands free phone conversations. This made driving while talking much safer. This was enhanced when auto makers incorporated Bluetooth into the automobile’s features, allowing users to make calls without even looking at the phone. The technology is available in many devices including headphones, keyboards, and even some heart monitors. When two devices are connected together via Bluetooth, they are said to be paired. Up to 7 additional devices can connect, using a master/slave relationship, in a small network called a PAN (Personal Area Network), also referred to as a piconet. Here is an example of a Bluetooth headset waiting to pair and how a one to one connection works. The blue light on the left hand button will light when paired.

Bluetooth headset

Enable Bluetooth

For starters, both devices must be Bluetooth capable and have Bluetooth enabled when initiated. In most cases, the device will actively search for devices to pair.

Enable pairing

The devices must be set (initially) to discover nearby Bluetooth devices. In essence, one device must be discoverable for the other device to find it. Most devices enter this mode for 15 to 30 seconds when powered up. If the devices are set to automatically pair, you’ll be connected after a couple of easy clicks.

Find device for pairing

One of the devices will initiate the paging process that will locate other device(s) and establish the parameters for the connection. Automatic pairing is not the best practice as it leaves you more susceptible to Bluetooth attacks such as Bluesnarfing and Bluejacking (covered later). Consider the environment you expect to be in and picture a 10 meter range around yourself.  Here, in three steps, is a Headset pairing to a PC.

Step 1 – Discovery

Step 2 – Pairing

Step 3 – Ready to go

Enter appropriate pin code

One way to protect your device from unauthorized access is the use of a passcode or PIN. Many devices require this to establish the Bluetooth connection. Your hands free car setup generally requires this as do most keyboards and other command and control peripherals. The problem with this is that the passcodes are so simple that they are practically guaranteed to be cracked. For example, you will encounter default codes such as 0000, 1111, or the most secure 1234. Most users don’t even think of changing it. Here’s a Tablet that has a decently complex PIN.

Bluetooth PIN

Test connectivity

Testing the connection can be as simple as trying the device. However, depending on your software, there may be in app connection testing available. In the app, you can see items such as connection speed, signal strength, and signal confirmation which are generally found under Settings/ Bluetooth. 3rd party programs are also available.

Corporate and ISP email configuration

There is no shortage of email service providers. You probably have multiple accounts. Your primary account is most likely provided by your ISP. Your employer will generally assign you one as well. If you need apps for your smartphone or tablet that are not provided by your OS developer, you will have another account. My only advice here is to not use the same password for all of your accounts since one compromised email password could expose all accounts.

POP3

Receiving email is done over different protocols. There are two main protocols available depending on your service. The first is Post Office Protocol (POP) with the latest version being POP3. This protocol is responsible for the management, saving or deleting, of email messages on the server. The default mode in POP3 is to delete the message after delivery. Leaving messages on the server is useful if you use multiple devices for messaging.

IMAP

Today’s email user is probably using email on a collection of possible devices, tablet, smartphone, and laptop, as opposed to the traditional PC. If your smartphone downloads and deletes a work related email (POP3 default), you will have a problem when you check email on your PC or laptop because the email will be gone. The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), on TCP port 143, solves this problem by leaving the messages on the server regardless of the delivery status. Every device that checks will get the email. This is great unless you get spammed a lot. It’s possible that 18 out of 20 emails are junk and your server space will end up filling quickly. This calls for closer scrutiny of the undeleted messages on your server. You will have to move them to the trash folder and purge it, or configure the client to purge trash. Despite this, IMAP is the preferred client messaging protocol.

SSL settings

The Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP) uses TCP port 25 for internet mail transmission. It is an internet standard protocol. Due to the proliferation of SPAM and other email related vulnerabilities, other ports can be used, most notably port 587. A secure nonstandard implementation of this protocol is SMTPS which is quite effective because it is one of the protocols that can utilize SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SMTP is responsible for the transmission of email between servers and for sending email from a client. Other protocols are used to receive email on the client.

Exchange, S/MIME

Using S/MIME in Exchange provides encrypted authentication, message integrity, digital signatures, and overall message security. This can be enabled in Outlook under Tools/ Trust Center/ E-mail Security. The server will require it and without server support it will not work.

Here is a good example of the email configuration available on a Windows phone. Click Add An Account and follow the steps to configure your account(s). As you can see here, the user’s default email was created when he signed on to the device for the first time.

Mail menu on a smartphone

Integrated commercial provider email configuration

Google/Inbox

Google provides email under the gmail.com domain. If you use the chrome browser, you can access Gmail from your Start page or by simply entering gmail.com in your address bar. You will be prompted to sign in or to create an account. The Gmail program only needs to be installed if you plan to use it offline. By default, Gmail will synchronize your last 7 days of emails when installed.

Yahoo

Yahoo is available as an app or through the browser. Create an account at Yahoo.com, click the mail button while online, and off you go. Follow the setup wizard to install the app, if desired.

Outlook.com

Formerly Hotmail.com, Outlook.com is a hosted email program that is capable of deploying 3rd party apps. This is useful if you frequently require them. The installation is simple and is guided by a wizard.

Exchange Online

Offered as an upgrade from Outlook.com, Exchange Online is available with Microsoft Office 365, providing additional security and reliability.

iCloud

More than just email, iCloud can be used to back up and store your data. If you have an AppleID, possibly created using a portable music player, you can use that to login to your iCloud.com account. Otherwise, create one and follow the steps in the wizard to get set up. You can select objects to synchronize at will on a schedule.

PRI updates/PRL updates/Baseband updates

PRI Updates

The PRI (Product Release Instructions) is a document or webpage that provides the description for the software update process. It defines new or changed feature descriptions and how to implement the update. Always read this document to be sure the update doesn’t suddenly need access to your contacts or camera. This documentation is also helpful if an update has undesired side effects. You can review it for the possible cause.

PRL Update

The PRL is a database file stored in your cellular device. Called the Preferred Roaming List, this file stores the device’s performance carrier preferences regarding connection frequencies and other settings to be used on the connection.

Baseband Update

Baseband updates are applied to the modem firmware in your cellular device. It is not an OS update, although this update can be rolled with the general OS update when necessary.

 

Radio firmware

Radio firmware controls the parameters of your cellular and/or Wi-Fi signal. When problems exist with the device connections, a firmware upgrade often resolves the issue. Be careful and ensure that there is uninterrupted power throughout the process and that you don’t interfere in any way. Treat the radio firmware the same way you would a PC’s CMOS ROM. Any problem during the update could render the device useless (brick). Be careful.

IMEI vs. IMSI

Yes more acronyms. These are relatively simple. You know that each device on a network must have a unique identifier. Equally in the interconnected environment today, each mobile device, such as phones or tablets, on the planet has to have a unique hardware identifier. This is known as the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identifier) and is a number that is unique worldwide and assigned by the manufacturer. The IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identifier) operates under the same principle of uniqueness, but is assigned to the user or cellular subscriber. This number will be assigned by your service provider and stored on your device’s SIM card, making it portable. This means if you upgrade to a device that uses a compatible SIM card, your IMEI will change and your IMSI won’t. Simply put, the IMEI is the phone and the IMSI is you.

VPN

VPNs (Virtual Private Network) are useful in the mobile environment. They provide highly secure connections from unlikely locations, basically anywhere with cellular service. By providing a secure tunnel for your connection, its integrity and security are assured.

…and that’s all for A+ 220-1001 exam objective 1.6

Click here to go back to the A+ Main Domain 1.0 Table of Content

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