WPA and Windows 98SE

I have a home network that uses US Robotics MAXg components to link computers running Windows XP. The encryption is set to "WPA2 and WPA" and all works fine. I also have an older computer running Windows 98SE. It would be useful to connect this to the network from time to time, preferably using a USB adapter. However, I know that some adapters require Windows XP to function with WPA. Is this a fundamental requirement (i.e. do all adapters require XP)?

Is it possible to connect the 98SE computer and continue to use WPA? If so, what do I need to buy?

I can accept a reduction in network speed whilst the 98SE computer is connected. However, it would be unworkable to change the encryption method each time!

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Well, "something" must be provided for the WPA functionality. In XP there are two choices: Wireless Zero Configuration service with a WPA supplicant or no WZC and a proprietary managagement utility. Most wireless adapters have a proprietary management utility that will perform the function of WZC/WPA supplicant.

In Win9x, though, there are two problems: first is Win9x compatibility of the driver and software. Second, there is noWZC in Win9x so the security functionality must be supplied by the vendor's utility, provided it is compatible with Win9x *or* be directly set in the properties of the device (as we used to to with ethernet cards).

Since Win9x compatibility is not a high priority with newly released hardware, you are best advised to check directly with the vendor for both Win9x compatibility of the device, for WPA compatibility, and the method used to manage the secure connection.

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One option might be to use a wireless client with an Ethernet interface. For instance, the Linksys WAP54G will act as a client to another WAP54G...

Then you don't have any issues with drivers or Win98 compatibility...

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William P.N. Smith

It may be worthwhile trying the free prog here

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wireless card will have to have the drivers that support WPA.


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