I have an interesting problem

I have a Linksys BEFW11S4 Wireless-B router. When I installed it, I used
128-bit WEP compression on it and saved a passphrase.
My laptop's OS crashed a couple of weeks ago and I figured it was a good
time to upgrade to Windows XP.
I can see my router from the 'Available Wireless Networks' window. However,
(correctly) according to windows the router is WEP-encrypted. But for some
reason, when I enter my passphrase, I get a Windows message saying that it
has to be a 40-bit or 128-bit key and can only be a certain number of ascii
characters.
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance.
Schiz
Reply to
Schizoid Man
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First, if your router and access card support it, switch from WEP to WPA. That should solve things and encryption will be much stronger. On the other hand, if you can't...
Unlike with WPA, there is no standard for generating a WEP key from a passphrase. Thus, you need to know the key your passphrase generates when you enter it in the router (your router should display this). This key then needs to be entered in XP. For whatever reason (and I do not know if this has been fixed in SP2), you cannot copy and paste the key from a web page. Apparently, XP's wireless config program cannot properly handle formatted text. What you can do is copy it from the router's config page (formatting is present), paste it into Notepad (formatting is removed), copy it from Notepad (no formatting is present) and now paste it into XP's wireless config program.
-Yves
Reply to
Yves Konigshofer
The problem is that I don't have access to the router, therefore I don't have the key.
If I had access to the router, I would have simply deleted the WEP encryption.
(formatting
Reply to
Schizoid Man
40 bit ascii can be a word like apple 128 (actually 104) can be a word like appleandpeach
You are probably trying to input the key in hex. You might search for a hex to ascii conversion table and see if you can transate the hex back to ascii.
apple in this case is hex 61 70 70 6C 65
Reply to
Airhead
I'll assume that it's your router. Just reset the router to defaults and start over. Then use either a 5 character (40bit) or 13 character (128bit) WEP key. What's happening is that when you enter the WEP key in ASCII text, the firmware converts your text into hexadecimal gibberish to use as a key. That key has to be the exact correct length (10 or 26 hex chars). To make it easier to invent a suitable WEP key, some vendors allow longer keys, and just use the first 10/16 hex chars. That works fine until you run into a vendor that doesn't believe in truncation and demands that you use the correct length key. It's really ugly in a mixed environment. If that seems to be the problem, try using on the first 5 or 13 ASCII characters of the known WEP key, or just use a hex WEP key with is always the correct 10 or 26 hex chars in length.
On the other hand, if it's NOT your router, methinks you should make your peace with the owner or cease trying to abuse his wireless system.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
Reset the router to factory: hold in the reset button for a minute. Connect to the router wirelessly without security, enter the WEP passphrase, and *copy the first generated key* to use on the computer. Alternatively, connect to the router by ethernet and copy the key.
Q
Reply to
Quaoar
"Bob Willard" wrote in message
Bob, please read my original post. I wiped my hard drive and upgraded the OS after I encrypted the router. I remember the passphrase, but unfortunately Windows XP does not accept passphrases, it only accepts encryption keys.
So no, I am not trying to steal service from anyone else's router.
I have physical access to the router, but how do I enter the passphrase when Windows only accepts a key?
Reply to
Schizoid Man
"Jeff Liebermann" wrote in message
Please read my response to Bob regarding router ownership.
Reply to
Schizoid Man
"Quaoar" wrote in message
The laptop I use at home is an old, clunky Dell machine that does not have a ethernet card, so I couldn't directly plug it into one of the ethernet port on the wireless router. I have temporarily circumvented the problem by connecting a USB directly from the cable modem to the laptop.
I remember the password of the router and was trying to connect to the 192.168.1.1 address wirelessly but I couldn't.
So I am thinking of taking my office laptop home today and connecting to the router by ethernet. If I am directly plugged into the router, will I be able to access it?
Also, I thought the WEP encryption would prevent me from going online, but will let me access the router. It does not let me do even that.
On another note, does WEP degrade performance? Are there any alternatives anyone can recommend?
Thanks in advance.
Reply to
Schizoid Man
WEP will encrypt everything between your computer and the router. Thus, if you do not have the correct key, you cannot connect to the router wirelessly.
As has been mentioned by others, the easiest solution is to just reset the router. There should be a button somewhere on the router that you would need to press for a few seconds (perhaps while turning on the router). That will restore the router to its factory defaults and will turn off WEP encryption. You router will also assume the name Linksys (or something like that) and, until encryption is turned on again, anyone in the area with a wireless card will be able to connect to it.
-Yves
Reply to
Yves Konigshofer
So, you are trying to steal service from somebody's router? And we should help you why?
OK, if you have permission to use the WAP but don't personally have physical access, then ask a person who does have access to log into the router's WEPkey setting page and copy down the passkey. You can then type this into your WirelessWidget's configuration page.
Reply to
Bob Willard
"Yves Konigshofer" wrote in message
Thank, Yves. That seems to be the simplest solution. You had mentioned something about WPA encryption. Is it more efficient that WEP? How do I know if my router/wireless card is capable of handling this type of encryption?
Thanks, Schiz
Reply to
Schizoid Man
WPA is not faster but WEP encryption can be broken. Whether or not WPA is supported depends mostly on the age of the wireless equipment (and whether or not you have XP, which you do). If it's less than a year old, it probably supports WPA. If it's older, it might not. Check with the manufacturers of your devices.
If the router supports WPA through a firmware upgrade, DO NOT upgrade the firmware over wireless. You would need to do this using a wired ethernet connection. Also, do not turn on WPA unless you know that your wireless card supports it. The moment you turn on WPA, you will not be able to wirelessly connect to your router unless your card supports WPA.
-Yves
Reply to
Yves Konigshofer
"Bob Willard" wrote in message
Bob,
My wi-fi NIC is a Linksys WPC11 and is probably a lot newer than the laptop.
Reply to
Schizoid Man
"Bob Willard" wrote in message ...
I followed some other advice on this forum and I reset the router. It no longer has a passphrase stored or any WEP encryption and it is using it's default SSID (linksys).
I can now see the router and log into it (by typing 192.168.1.1 in the address bar of the browser), but I cannot still access the internet for some reason.
My router is a Linksys BEFW11S4 and Wi-fi NIC is a Linksys WPC11. My OS is Windows XP Professional.
Reply to
Schizoid Man
Use a PC which has a wired connection to the router to log into the router and capture its passkey. That is one of the reasons why it is a good idea to have at least one PC wired to a router for a network subnet which is, basically, wireless.
If you do not have and cannot borrow a wired PC, then you can try giving the router a hard reset: turn off its power and leave it off for a minute or so. Some routers will forget all stored params, including the pass stuff. It may help if you hold down the reset button while powering it back up, and you may want to try resets, both soft and hard, a couple of times because some routers are a bit flaky.
Reply to
Bob Willard
For the WPC11, I think that v3 and v4 support WPA when the latest drivers are used (I used to use the WPC11v3 and did have WPA working but that card has issues when connecting to my WRT54Gv1 router so I replaced the card with a WPC54G). Older versions of the WPC11 do not support WPA. The version number should be printed somewhere on the card.
The whole WEP vs. WPA/PSK question often boils down to the following. If you use any kind of encryption, you will make it difficult unauthorized people to connect to your router and/or figure out what is being sent between your router and wireless card. WEP encryption can be broken, but it takes time (quite a bit of time). WPA/PSK encryption is much stronger and (so far) is seen as essentially unbreakable as long as you choose a long passphrase. Ideally, you would want to use WPA but WEP may be fine given that anyone trying to figure out your WEP key will need to be in the range of your router for many hours. So, do you trust the people living within a hundred feet or so of your router?
-Yves
Reply to
Yves Konigshofer
Since your laptop is old, its NIC is also almost certainly too old to support WPA, unless the WiFi NIC is much newer than the laptop.
Reply to
Bob Willard
WEP does degrade performance, but not much. On some quick tests, I could see a little loss, but certainly less than 10%.
Reply to
Bob Willard
As for accessing the internet, did you reboot your cable model after connecting the router? Most cable modems are configured to only assign a single IP address (this may be visible if you connect to your cable modem; many are found at 192.168.100.1; in general, you can only see diagnostic info and cannot make any changes to the configuration). If you were connected by USB and then connected the router by ethernet, the cable modem would have been unlikely to assign the router an IP address.
If you type "ipconfig /all" from a command prompt, do you get your ISP's DNS servers? The gateway should display as your router's IP address of 192.168.1.1 and your IP address should be 192.168.1.something. Also, your router should have a configuration screen showing its cable modem-assigned IP address, DNS servers, etc. Some of those entries should match what you see under ipconfig.
-Yves
Reply to
Yves Konigshofer

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