This function enables your IPFire system to connect to the Internet via a wireless network (802.11). This can be your own wireless network or your neighbour's. You will be able to connect to it as a client and IPFire will route your local networks through this wireless link.
When multiple wireless connections are defined, IPFire will automatically utilize the best one switching to another, if the active one gets out of reach.
IPFire is able to connect to various encrypted networks. (none, WEP, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA2-EAP)
You will see the menu option only, if the system found a wireless adapter that is supported by the wireless stack. A list of all working wireless adapters can be found on our networking hardware compatibility list.
The information you need to set up a wireless connection is the SSID, the encryption mode and if the network is using encryption, you will need the network's passphrase.
Just click on the button “new network” on the wireless client configuration page and you will be presented a form for input of this information.
Keep in mind, you are configuring a client. You are not free in chosing SSID, encryption and passphrase as with hostapd. This information is defined by the AP you want to connect to. Unless you want to connect to a WPA2-EAP secured wifi you don't have to fill out the section “Authentication Settings”. IPFire supports PEAP and TTLS as EAP authentication methods.
In the advanced settings section, you can define which WPA key algorithms should be used. The default is to let the system decide this automatically, based on what the access point supports.
Other choices are CCMP-CCMP, CCMP-TKIP and TKIP-TKIP where the first algorithm is used for pairwise encryption and the latter is used for encrypting packets that are sent to a group of clients (broadcasts, multicasts, etc.).
The priority option is to prefer a certain network over others, when both are in reach. The default priority is zero, the higher the number, the less preferred is the network.
As you see above, if the system is connected, the connected network will be shown at the bottom of the page, including it's BSSID and the used encryption algorithms. Of course you can configure multiple wifis and prioritize them.