WPA Passwords

  lil27 15:36 09 Sep 2007

I am currently using a wireless network and everything is fine. When i set up the security using the WPA-PSK option i simply chose a simple pre-shared key that i could remember. This for example was a set of numbers and a word which in total was 11 charachters long.

After reading various other threads about passwords etc I think my password may be too short and therefore easy to breach.

Is it really necessary to have a long un-memorable password or is it everyone being a little paranoid.

  lil27 15:48 09 Sep 2007

Further to the above, I forgot to say that my network is for private home use not the Bank of England or MI5.

  irishrapter 17:14 09 Sep 2007

If you use a password that can be found in any dictionary, not just the English dictionary, then yes you are at some risk of someone being able to breach your encryption.

The best security that I could advise is to use a long random password of at least 20 characters long.
I normally use all 63 characters if the router will let me, some routers can be a bit funny so I would reduce this to say 60 or 50 characters.

At the current moment it would take years to brute force this length of password.

To get a long random password click here

You only need to use this password once in order to setup a network so its not necessary to remember it.
I normally save it to a text file on a USB drive and when setting up a wireless network just copy and paste it.

  lil27 20:46 09 Sep 2007

I have seen it in various locations about the password 'being found in the dictionary'. As my current password consists letters and numbers albeit only 11 charachters, i don't think it would be found in a dictionary hence the confusion as to why 50+ charchters are required. What if i just used a password as being 'nnmmkkhh' for example. I doubt this is in a dictionary so whats the problem other than paranoia.

Thats not my password by the way.

  Strawballs 21:33 09 Sep 2007

If it is a series of numbers and characters that is not obviously connected to you then that should be fine and not easy crack and fine for home use.

  irishrapter 22:48 09 Sep 2007

Yes, using just the minimum eight random characters would be secure and hard to brute force as it would be unlikely to be found in a dictionary.

It would also be a good idea to change the default SSID (the name of the wireless network) the reason being is that there are what is called "Rainbow Tables" out there that can very quickly go through a lot of passwords, although this is based on the SSID as well as the password. click here
for more info.

Basically the bigger and more random the password the hard it is to crack!

  lil27 13:01 10 Sep 2007

Ok guy's thanks for the post's, I will do as advised.

When I access my routers config page and select security, it shows my current shared key (password) details against WPA-PSK. Do I simply change this here and press submit.

After all at the moment my Wireless network is working fine and considering all the network problems I read about on this forum I am nervous that mine will not work if I 'fiddle'. I am a believer of if it's not broke don't fix it.

Sorry to be a pain asking you to confirm what is probably obvious but second oppinoin an all that.

  lil27 19:38 10 Sep 2007

I have now entered a New long password and everything seems to have worked successfully. Thanks again for convincing me in the end.


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