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

Wep, Wpa, Wpa2


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bobtomay

 
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With everyone recommending WPA2, decided I would check mine and see what I had set up. Have Linksys WRT55AG. Using 'G' only. Was on WEP, the latest firmware for this router does not have WPA2 and verified this with Linksys online support.

It does have what they call WPA-Personal. Set this up and after about 2 hours of playing with it, I have full access to the router from my MBP but I have no access to the internet whatsoever.

Finally, just changed it back to WEP and no problem. So, guess basic question is for some of ya'll that are much more tech savvy than I, should I worry about it, as in go get a router that has WPA2 or just let it ride?

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GulfVetSAF

 
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Good question as I've read a few threads saying that WEP can be cracked in a few minutes... I'm skeptical about that but would love some input as well. Thanks
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Zoolook

 
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128-bit WEP can be cracked by someone determined within a relatively short time if they can monitor your traffic. You can minimise the risk by removing the SSID transmission and also adding MAC address filtering (that's MAC address not Mac address!). MAC address filtering is useless on its own, but when combined with WEP it makes the whole network a little harder to crack.

To be honest, the reason for having an encrypted WiFi network is to put off opportunist surfers who my just be cruising by your street. If your neighbour is a hardcore hacker and is determined to use your WiFi, they'll get in eventually.

As for that router - I think it is a little problematic with Macs.

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- Joan D. Vinge

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jaynorris

 
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Zoolook hit on some good points! I wanted to add that WEP is good enough as a deterrent. Most people can't just go out can crack WEP. It is easy, but the average joe doesn't have a clue. WEP isn't the current “technological trend” anymore, which makes it weak, however there are lots of Wireless devices that only support WEP at this time. For example, I just purchased a HP Wireless color photo printer - it does not support WPA or WPA2, so using WEP allows me to still use my wireless printer.

If you're dealing with content that you concerned about some level of compartmentation then use WP2 as a precaution. I store my files off on a external drive that I can physically turn off when needed.

-Jay
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Kilted1

 
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Quote:
It does have what they call WPA-Personal. Set this up and after about 2 hours of playing with it, I have full access to the router from my MBP but I have no access to the internet whatsoever.
I remember I made a mistake when I first set up my router (I have the same as you do) When I entered the wpa code to log on I confused the the small l (L) with the large I I printed the code page from the router... It caused me no end of problems until I realized what had happened.

I now use WPA without Broadcasting SSID and use Mac filtering so only my Two macs and Two PC can use the Internet
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dtravis7

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilted1 View Post
I remember I made a mistake when I first set up my router (I have the same as you do) When I entered the wpa code to log on I confused the the small l (L) with the large I I printed the code page from the router... It caused me no end of problems until I realized what had happened.

I now use WPA without Broadcasting SSID and use Mac filtering so only my Two macs and Two PC can use the Internet

That is a VERY good point. You have to get the key exactly right on BOTH ends or it's not going to work. I have had to troubleshoot peoples WiFi that would not get on the net and maybe 75% of the time that was the issue. What I do is type the HEX code and copy it into the Copy/Paste buffer from the router and paste it into the computer. That has always worked for me with the insane WPA2 Hex codes I come up with!

If I were you I would try it again and be sure the code is right as WPA is so much more secure than WEP.

I can HACK WEP. I would never do it to anyone else but did it here at my house just to prove it can be done & to see just how long it would take. 64-Bit took maybe 30 minutes and 128-Bit over an hour. Used my iBook. You are WAY safer with WPA or WPA2. No average person could ever get in but there are people who can that drive around with laptops looking for internet plus neighbors also.
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bobtomay

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilted1 View Post
I remember I made a mistake when I first set up my router (I have the same as you do) When I entered the wpa code to log on I confused the the small l (L) with the large I I printed the code page from the router... It caused me no end of problems until I realized what had happened.

I now use WPA without Broadcasting SSID and use Mac filtering so only my Two macs and Two PC can use the Internet
Was a little concerned about the small 'L' (had 2 of them), but discounted that since I had full access to the router from my MBP, just no internet access.
Am using MAC address filtering - would this allow me access to the router regardless of having the encryption set properly?
And will using MAC address filtering actually prevent others from accessing the network or can a hacker work around this also?

Will probably start looking at the new 'n' routers. Seems they will all have WPA2. Don't really have a lot of personal info to worry about except website log-ins, but am a private person. (Won't even sign up for grocery store discount cards that track your purchase history.)

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Kilted1

 
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As to your first question. I wouldn't think so. What happens if you turn off MAC filtering. Remembering to reset your router.

as for question two. The Mac filter is just another layer in your security arsenal. You have WPA and Mac filtering and if you turn Off SSID broadcast that should be more than enough to deterrer all but the most determined Hackers. They will go onto the next unprotected network instead of yours
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