Netgear WiFi Equipment & WPA/WPA2


Has anyone else noticed problems with Netgear Wi-Fi adapters when used with
WPA/WPA2 secured networks? Is there a solution?
A long while back, I set up a Belkin access point/router with a Netgear
Cardbus Wi-Fi card. No matter what I did, the card simply wouldn't link up
with the Belkin router. The Netgear software would try, but as soon as it
started to associate with the access point, it appeared to give up and would
start "scanning" for networks again.
This would continue on forever until it was interrupted. I tried all methods
of WPA and WPA2 and got no improvement. Finally I turned the encryption off
completely and it worked! (I did not try WEP to see if it would work.)
Eventually I returned the Netgear card and got a different brand that worked
fine. The computer in this setup was running Windows 2000 Pro SP4 and the
Netgear software provided on CD with the card.
Now here I am again, this time with a Netgear WPN111 Wireless USB Adapter.
The router this time is a Buffalo high power 54G MIMO model running DD-WRT
firmware V23 SP2. The behavior from the Netgear Smart Wizard is the
same...with an open network, the adapter links right up and works nicely.
With any form of WPA enabled, it tries connecting to the network for a
moment, fails, scans the channels briefly and tries again. This cycle would
continue on forever if I'd let it.
This computer is running Windows 2000 Pro SP4 and the latest (01/2006?)
software from Netgear's website.
I was not able to determine anything with NetStumbler, but that may be a
result of my not fully understanding how to use it.
Any and all help would be appreciated. This Netgear adapter works the best
of any I've tried for the application I have in mind...now if only it would
get along with WPA wireless security!
William
Reply to
William R. Walsh
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We have 3 WG511T's which will work with WPA-PSK TKIP or WPA2 Personal on XP SP2 machines using the Netgear Utility, and also work with XP SP2 managing the card. They also work with WPA2 Personal on Ubuntu 6.10 Linux without any problems.
Have you tried uninstalling the software and then downloading ver1.1 again and re-installing? The 01/2006 version was a beta, it is now dated 7 March 2006
formatting link

Reply to
kev
Hi!
I uninstalled the old software just now and reinstalled this new release. Unfortunately, I didn't find that there was any change.
I suppose the next thing I could try would be seeing if this adapter will handle WPA/WPA2 coming from a Netgear WGR614v6 access point.
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
"William R. Walsh" hath wroth:
(...)
(...)
For XP, see:
Windoze 2000 WPA support is awkward. Microsoft passes the buck in:
and proclaims: "For wireless clients running Windows 2000 (or clients running Windows XP SP1 and using a wireless network adapter that does not support the Wireless Zero Configuration service), you must obtain and install a new WPA-compliant configuration tool from your wireless network adapter vendor." If your WPN111 does not specifically include WPA support, you're not going to get it from Microsoft.
However, all is not lost. See the FAQ at:
WPA support is provided by various 3rd party "supplicants" some of which cost money.
Some wireless card vendors have licensed Funk Software's WPA/WPA2 client and include it with their Windoze 2000 drivers. I couldn't determine if the WPN111 has these. Generally, it's in products that were sold about 4 years ago, when Windoze 2000 was still popular.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
Hi!
I can't imagine why it wouldn't. I've run a lot of Wi-Fi equipment under Windows 2000 and never had a problem like this one. And the option to use WPA is present in the WPN111 software.
One would think that the device drivers and utilities for a piece of hardware such as this would include everything you need to make it work on any supported OS.
I have an XP computer around here. It's on a Token Ring network, but I guess it could be "borrowed" for a moment to test this adapter and see what happens when trying to enable WPA or WPA2.
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
Have you tried using a very simple passphrase such as 12345678 and seeing what happens.
Reply to
kev
wm snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com hath wroth:
XP SP2 has WPA built in. WPA2 can be added with KB893357:
XP is not the problem. It's Windoze 2000 that I think is the problem. There's no official release of WPA or WPA2 from Microsloth for W2K. You have to get it from either the card vendor or a 3rd party (as listed in my previous posting).
I dug a bit deeper and found that the WPN111 uses an Atheros AR5523 processor, which has WPA built into the chipset. See:
which offers: "Integrated WPA supplicant supports Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows ME, Windows 98 SE" This still leaves the possibility that Netgear screwed it up, but I doubt it. Also, the data sheet says WPA2-PSK support and does not distinguish between XP and 2000.
If it allows you to select WPA, and apparently includes a WPA/WPA2 supplicant in the driver, it should work, in which case you can ignore everything I said.
Meanwhile, it would be interesting to try any other wireless device that supports WPA/WPA2 on the Windoze 2000 computer in this computer. The problem seems to follow the computer, which is a clue. If both the Netgear Cardbus and USB devices fail, it might be something screwed up in W2K OS installation. Sorry, but I don't have a better guess.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
And try a key in hex rather than ascii or ebcidic... Hex keys usually have the characters a-f in them (ie ascii 123= f1f2f3....)
Reply to
Peter Pan
Hi!
I don't think this is the case. I just finished trying a fresh fully patched installation of XP Professional SP2 on a spare computer.
I don't know if the built in Windows Wireless utility would work or not. I don't really care to use it even if it does work. Netgear's tool still fails to function in the exact same way that it fails to function on Windows 2000.
I wonder if Atheros has a generic driver for this thing? I'll have to check that out to see.
They must have done something silly. I put in a request to their tech support, but I can't get the reply that has been made in regards to my problem. Operating under the impression that I didn't have to register (because the site said so), I didn't register. I just submitted a request.
There's been a reply to my inquiry, but I can't get it now because I have no way of logging into their site and they didn't bother to include the reply text in their e-mail to me.
Querying their site for a password results in my getting an e-mail back with a password, but the site just ignores me and returns no error when I log in.
I'm just starting to get ever-so-slightly put out with Netgear. I purchased this device because it was advertised as having a much longer operating range than normal. That's a claim that it does live up to, at least in part and when running without encryption. For my particular application, operating a long way from an access point is important.
I tried two different Windows 2000 computers as test points with the Netgear adapter just to see how I'd need to set up the equipment for a good signal. Both are laptops with built in wireless. One has an Intel 2200BG adapter and the other uses a Broadcom B/G chipset. Both adapters work perfectly on Windows 2000 with WPA2 encryption in use. These adapters were shut off when I was testing with the Netgear.
The XP machine I tested has no wireless network adapter onboard. It is an HP Pavilion with a Celeron running @ 533MHz...not exactly the fastest thing around but it should work for a test.
In other words, the problem remains regardless of the computer. (The system with Cardbus was yet another computer entirely and it has no USB ports.)
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
Hi!
I just finished running such a test. I used a fresh and fully patched version of Windows XP Professional SP2 with this Netgear adapter.
I tried a key as simple as 1234 and then I tried abcd. The Netgear adapter behaved in precisely the same way.
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
It wouldn't work, you need a minimum of 8 characters.
Reply to
kev
Hi!
Sorry, I wasn't at all clear about what I'd done. I used "1234abcd", "12345678", and "abcdabcd" as potential keys.
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
As a final thought it might be worth reverting to the original driver, the release version, and seeing if WPA-PSK works. It may be that the newer driver is at fault.
Reply to
kev
Hi!
I tried the old (2005) driver provided on the CD with a Windows 98 computer. That's the last USB enabled system I've got handy.
The result is the same...it "links up" for a second or two, drops out and starts scanning for channels again. Then it tries to link again.
I called Netgear technical support to see if I could find out how to get my e-mail reply. I couldn't hardly understand a word the tech had to say, he didn't seem to want to help anyway (at least not without my registering the product, which I will not do until I can make it work) and I finally thanked him for his time and hung up.
I do want to thank you (and Jeff) for your help so far. If you happen to have any more ideas, I'd certainly love to hear them. It will be a few days before I can return this thing to the store.
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
wm snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com hath wroth:
Reminder: Windoze 2000 is NOT the same as XP Pro. There are quite a few wireless related issues that are different. For example, if you take apart the driver for your WPN111, you'll see that it has totally seperate drivers and detection programs for W2K and XP.
It's not an issue with W2K as there is no Wireless Zero Config support (even though the drivers are present in the list of system services). You only have the choice between the Netgear supplied utilities and Windoze WZC with XP.
Well, it could be a Netgear problem. I didn't see any evidence of that from their web pile. See if you get result from their support maze.
The "driver" supplied with the WPN111 is a generic driver for the AR5523 MAC layer processor. It's the client manager (user interface) and installation programs that are unique. If you take apart the setup program, you'll see the AR5523 driver.
Great thinking. If you didn't register, how did you expect to get a response from Netgear?
Since the encryption in the WPN111 is in hardware, not in the driver, the problem could be defective hardware. My guess is that you've successfully isolated the problem down to a hardware issue with the WPN111. Whether is specific to the one you have, or much larger problem is currently unknown. Unless there's a firmware update for the AR5523 processor, I don't know any way to fix it.
Reply to
Jeff Liebermann
Hi!
I didn't say it was. I said the problem persists across both versions of Windows when using Netgear's config utility. As far as I know, Windows 2000 is absolutely and completely unaware of wireless hardware and networks. The adapter vendor has to provide all the supporting software.
I wanted to rule the trouble out across multiple versions of Windows. And I did so. The adapter failed to work using Netgear tools under XP the same as it did 2000. It also failed on a computer running Win98SE.
I thought it was, so thank you. :-) Why register a product that I may well have no intention of keeping? I think there's only one real reason they want to have that information. Maybe I'm wrong, but so be it.
Netgear's site says that a person has two options to get support...the first is to register and the second is to simply file a support ticket with your e-mail address and phone number...no registration required.
I even got a reply back from them, but it said I needed to "log in" to their site to see what had been said. Part of the required criteria to login was my e-mail address. Okay, fine, that works. But what's my password? Asking their site to send me the password did result in another e-mail from them, with something that was purported to be "my" password.
Tried it soon afterward and the site silently rejected any of my attempts to log in. It didn't give any error and just kept tossing me back to the login credentials entry page.
Now later today the web site worked fine and I was able to see the reply from Netgear tech support. Unfortunately, it was not at all helpful.
I just don't know. I had one of their PC Cards that did the same exact thing. I gave up on it too. Maybe they use the same or similar chips...?
I give up. I took both NetGear adapters back (one not even opened yet) to Circuit City and traded them for D-Link USB adapters. Hopefully the D-Link adapters will be able to cope with the signal as well as the Netgear one did.
Well, let's see what the ending score is...a Netgear WGR614v6 that I bought a long time ago has never really been "right" (random radio drop-outs, never sets its internal clock via NTP and upgrading firmware didn't help when they said it might), a Netgear Cardbus card rejected every attempt I made to use WPA/WPA2 encryption and now this USB device does the same exact thing. Oh, and their website won't tell you that waiting for your username and password to become active is a good idea.
I used to have a lot of respect for Bay Networks/Netgear equipment. I have a lot of their wired (and early wireless) products that continue to serve well. Unfortunately, I think that I will give up on their products for now.
William
Reply to
wm_walsh
On 13 Mar 2007 16:47:40 -0700, wm snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in :
You should consider other possibilities. I've not had serious problems with these Netgear products or with the Netgear website.
Also, Netgear isn't part of Bay Networks. :
Netgear, founded in 1996, is a manufacturer of computer networking equipment and other computer hardware. The company was incorporated January 8, 1996 as a subsidiary of Bay Networks, to "focus on providing networking solutions for small businesses and homes"[1]. In August 1998, the company was purchased by Nortel as part of its acquisition of Bay Networks. Netgear remained a wholly owned subsidiary of Nortel until March 2000 when it began transitioning to third-party ownership, and became fully independent from Nortel as of February 2002.
Reply to
John Navas
Hi!
So Netgear started as a division of Bay Networks. Bay Networks was bought out by Nortel Networks and Netgear became a wholly owned subsidiary of Nortel. In March 2000 it became independent. Doesn't sound like it's "a part of"...sounds like it "is" the old Bay Networks.
But that's no reason for me to fuss so. :-) And maybe I just had bad luck with their current products. Still, for the amount of time that passed between purchases, the fact that I bought each piece from different stores and that each item is a different piece of equipment...it's a little unsettling to think that all of this is due to bad luck or misfortune!
William
Reply to
William R. Walsh
On Wed, 14 Mar 2007 03:40:07 GMT, "William R. Walsh" wrote in :
Not really -- Netgear was always separate and different from the rest of Bay Networks, essentially a different company.
Reply to
John Navas
I don't think I ever posted back with "the rest of the story"...so here it is:
I took the Netgear equipment back to the store after a lot of fruitless diddling around. Hopefully, someday they'll realize something's not right somewhere in this whole mess. (Yes, I do think there exists a software issue with their products.)
I picked up two D-Link USB adapters (not advertised as "long range" capable) and installed them. The network is now working very well with WPA2 encryption.
William
Reply to
William R. Walsh

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