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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Integrating iBook into PC 802.11b Network


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andrewb758
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I just got broadband at my house, and I have purchased a Belkin wireless router to connect all our computers without running wires. We have PCs exclusively, except one iBook that is used for work. That is why I am posting here. I would like to connect the iBook to our wireless network, but I have very little experience with the Mac platform. I turned it on and took a look around, but I'm not having a whole lot of success. In the control panel I was asked for an administrator password that I do not have, so I looked to the AirPort icon on the menu bar. I clicked on it, clicked "Other..." under "No networks in range" (router does not broadcast SSID). I entered the network's SSID and under password I have a bit of a problem. The WEP key is a 26-character hex key. I typed that in, didn't really expect it to work, and of course it didn't. The router has an access control list (the AirPort MAC address has been added), 128-bit encryption and, like I said, does not broadcast its SSID. I would appreicate some nice help, please don't flame me. I don't want to start a Mac vs. PC war but rather I just need a little help setting up this iBook to get online. Thank you in advance.
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I have read this some where, but not sure where, the WEP key is a 26-character hex key, but sure to add a $ at the beginning of the string. This said that it is a hex number.
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I just found this page you may want to look at the following:

wireless security
Networking

Hopefully this helps some.
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andrewb758
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Thanks for the tips. I couldn't get the "$" to work, though. Do I need the administrator password to pull this off? There is a person at work she can talk to if that is necessary. Also, I read somewhere that some of the original AirPort devices don't support 128-bit encryption. How can I tell if I have that issue?
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I have not set up a wireless network as of yet. I am looking into it though. The old airport cards and base stations were only 40bit encryption, I believe that is not the case. Apple updated them som,e time ago.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewb758
I just got broadband at my house, and I have purchased a Belkin wireless router to connect all our computers without running wires. We have PCs exclusively, except one iBook that is used for work. That is why I am posting here. I would like to connect the iBook to our wireless network, but I have very little experience with the Mac platform. I turned it on and took a look around, but I'm not having a whole lot of success. In the control panel I was asked for an administrator password that I do not have, so I looked to the AirPort icon on the menu bar. I clicked on it, clicked "Other..." under "No networks in range" (router does not broadcast SSID). I entered the network's SSID and under password I have a bit of a problem. The WEP key is a 26-character hex key. I typed that in, didn't really expect it to work, and of course it didn't. The router has an access control list (the AirPort MAC address has been added), 128-bit encryption and, like I said, does not broadcast its SSID. I would appreicate some nice help, please don't flame me. I don't want to start a Mac vs. PC war but rather I just need a little help setting up this iBook to get online. Thank you in advance.
I'm not sure why you're receiving the "No networks in range" message (you may want to check to make sure that your Airport card is correctly installed), but I recently changed around our network slightly, so hopefully I can help somewhat. When you click on "Other" in the Airport menu, you should indeed enter the network name just as it is setup (might even be case sensitive). Then, in the "Password" box, use the drop-down arrow box to select 128 bit hex encryption, and then enter your encryption code in the space to the right. Using Panther, I haven't had to enter a "$" before the code, so you probably won't either. I hope this helps.

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andrewb758
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I have made major progress. I stopped using capital letters on the hex code (don't ask me why I was or what made me think to stop) and it connects. With 128-bit encryption. Thing is, it disconnects after a while. It seems that it might be an inactivity time out. This does not happen on the PCs, so if it is it is built into the Mac. Anyone? You guys have been great. Thanks!

Thanks,
Andrew

P.S. The version number on "About This Mac" is 10.2 so I don't think we're dealing with the latest version here.
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i would plug the mac into the router so that you can do a system update to get everything up to date and then try the wireless again see if that helps
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Xyphus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewb758
I just got broadband at my house, and I have purchased a Belkin wireless router to connect all our computers without running wires. We have PCs exclusively, except one iBook that is used for work. That is why I am posting here. I would like to connect the iBook to our wireless network, but I have very little experience with the Mac platform. I turned it on and took a look around, but I'm not having a whole lot of success. In the control panel I was asked for an administrator password that I do not have, so I looked to the AirPort icon on the menu bar. I clicked on it, clicked "Other..." under "No networks in range" (router does not broadcast SSID). I entered the network's SSID and under password I have a bit of a problem. The WEP key is a 26-character hex key. I typed that in, didn't really expect it to work, and of course it didn't. The router has an access control list (the AirPort MAC address has been added), 128-bit encryption and, like I said, does not broadcast its SSID. I would appreicate some nice help, please don't flame me. I don't want to start a Mac vs. PC war but rather I just need a little help setting up this iBook to get online. Thank you in advance.
My wireless AP does not broadcast the SSID, so I do not see any networks in range as well, however, if you look under NETWORK in the System Preferences, you will see a tab for AirPort. Click the tab and then check to make sure the section that says "After restart or wake from sleep" and see if the remember password is checked. If not, make sure you check the box. Then make sure the button that says "Join a specific network" is checked, and type in (exactly) the SSID of the wireless network. Then under password, (if you are using the 128bit Hex) type $(your 26 character key here).

Once done, apply the settings. If you have the box checked for showing the status in the menu bar, you should then see the strength meter go to full, and the name of the network should scroll briefly before disappearing.

Now, when the Mac goes into sleep mode, or if you shutdown and restart, it should automatically join the network when it wakes or boots...

Now, I use fixed IPs for the machines on my network (3 PCs, and my iBook, plus a Broadband Router and a Wireless Access Point), so I don't use DHCP. Your milage may vary, but under the TCPIP tab I filled out all the settings, and used my router's IP as my DNS.
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