The laptop won't log on to the router with WEP!!!

  dr_ophalus 18:59 15 Mar 2006

Hello people

I now have 3 strands of hair left after trying to sort out the wireless network at home.

Router: Netgear MR814 v3
Laptop adaptor: Intel PRO/wireless 2200BG Network Connection

I was sitting pretty doing bits and bobs and the wife brought home her laptop from work, and she says to me, "the net isn't working through wireless."

So I set it up (as I didn't need to before as I have Ethernet, which plugged straight into the cable box) and it worked fine on my PC and on hers without WEP.

We need WEP as I'm in London and it's very urban with lots of people around trying to steal some bandwidth! So, I thought it would be good to set it up. No joy at all.

The laptop sees the router, and it doesn't connect. The router window looks like this:

Security Options
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)
WPA-PSK (Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key)

Security Encryption (WEP)
Authentication Type: AutomaticOpen SystemShared Key
Encryption Strength: Disable64bit128bit

Security Encryption (WEP) Key

I have it set to 128bit and I setup the passphrase. I assume you type in the Key1 into the pass for the laptop? No luck.

I really want to learn about this technology, so please can you help me? I will then pass the knowledge on to others!

  ade.h 22:48 15 Mar 2006

Is it any better with WPA? Which you should use in preference to WEP anyway.

Alternatively, enable MAC filtering and secure the router's config with a decent password. Change the SSID to one of your own choosing to restrict identification of the router manufacturer.

To filter MACs, you'll need the physical address of the adapter in your wife's laptop; open a command prompt (Start > Run > command) and type ipconfig /all. Note the physical address and enter it into your router's MAC filtering option.

This prevents other wireless devices from using the network. The config password should prevent wardrivers from changing the situation, or at least make it extremely hard for them.

With so many unsecured home networks around, wardrivers pick the easy targets first.

  dr_ophalus 11:17 16 Mar 2006

WPA doesn't work either.

OK. I have done a dry run without her laptop here. Seems to work. Cheers.

The thing with WEP is that it encrypts the data that flying around our heads. Does MAC do the same or can I leave WPA on?

  ade.h 14:31 16 Mar 2006

WEP provides a basic level of data encryption; WPA provides 128bit encryption. MAC address filtering is not a form of encryption. I wasn't sure if you would be aware of what this important feature does. In simple terms, it prevents unauthorised wireless clients from connecting to the network. This is achieved by examining the physical address of a client's wireless adapter and comparing it against a whitelist.

  old china 12:46 18 Mar 2006

I hope dr_ophalus don't mind me chipping in here, as I am also trying to learn about network security. As a temporary measure,I have set up WEP-64 bits on my 3Com wireless router (whilst waiting for a more specific guide, thanks ade.h) I have 2 questions:

I chose 64 bits instead of 128 bits because people say that with 128 bits, it slows the computer down too much. Is it true? Does it slow down the PC with WPA?

MAC filtering: do I enter only the MAC addresses of the wireless adaptors only, ie, no MAC address needed for the PC hard-wired to the router?

  ade.h 15:09 18 Mar 2006

"Does it slow down the PC with WPA?"

Not in the slightest as far as I can tell. I monitor the performance of my PCs and of my ADSL line (I regularly give feedback to ADSL Guide each month) and I have seen no appreciable difference.

MAC filtering is aimed at wireless clients, so most routers do not require the physical addresses of any ethernet adapters to be entered. However, I would not like to state categorically that there isn't a router out there somewhere that requires all addresses to be entered. There could be!

  old china 00:19 20 Mar 2006

Thanks for the clarification.

  siouxah1 13:52 20 Mar 2006


  Danoh 15:18 20 Mar 2006

ade.h; WEP has 128bit encryption as well?
So WEP's data encryption is not basic.
As I understand it, WEP's flaw is a repeated bit of data which on a network with moderate-heavy data traffic, enables the encryption key to be decoded by software running on another computer.
Subsequently, WPA was able to be specified to avoid this flaw.

How many wireless clients have you run to test the load of WPA (or WEP) on throughput? I've only used rough log file entries of IP data packets sent/received, and recall that there was a clear difference.

However, subjectively on good wireless connections, there was no obvious difference with WEP or WPA on. On poor connections, one can never be too sure if WEP or WPA rather then other variables have caused the reduced throughout on a subjective basis ~ which is why I used the readily available logs.

  Danoh 15:21 20 Mar 2006

Did you get WPA working? Your last posting was not clear if it is WEP that was set, or WPA.

"WPA doesn't work either.
< snip >
or can I leave WPA on?"

  Danoh 15:38 20 Mar 2006

Just googled an article; click here

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