Shielding reduces the distance that radio and other electronic waves can travel. For example, the building in which the network is operating can be used as a shield for itself.
The downside could be a negative impact on pagers and cellular phones. An additional plus is this reduces your risk of a wireless denial of service attack. Keep in mind that 802.11b operates at the same frequency of a microwave oven. Something as simple as disabling the safety interlock of a consumer microwave oven creates a DoS weapon with up to 1000 watts of 802.11b interference. A more determined black hat may invest in a heavy duty antenna, capable of handling up to a 300W420 input from the inner workings of a microwave antenna.
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