wireless network question: wep vs. mac

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ted Lee, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hi all -

    not sure i have my ducks in a row, so please forgive any goofy questions. [​IMG]

    1. i tried to setup my work laptop wirelessly at home. with wep disabled it works fine, but when i enable wep, i can't seem to get it working -- this is why i'm thinking about trying to use the mac address instead.

    2. if i understand correctly, there is a way to connect my pc's wirelessly using the mac address? is this a secure way of connecting my pc's -- or is wep a better alternative.

    3. on my linksys router, when i enable wep, and generate the ssid (?), it gives me four sets of hex (?) values. which one am i supposed to use on my other pc's.

    thanks!

    ted
     
  2. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    quick lesson.

    wep is a network key that allows wireless devices to link to your wireless network.

    the most routers have a firewall that has an option to filter mac addresses. what this means is if a particular computer's mac address has not already been entered into the router's setup menu then that computer will not have access to your network.

    wep and mac filtering need to be used in conjuction to secure your network. think of it as security in layers.

    1. you have to create a network key in order to use wep. the network key has to be established in the router and then entered into the wireless device.

    2. you can not 'connect computers' wirelessly using mac filtering. this is simply another option to keep intruders off of your network.

    3. i am not sure about your linksys router but i would venture to say that all four need to be entered into your computers.
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    To expand on Diallo's explanation, you can also setup the DHCP server on your router to allocate network addresses by MAC address only. That would prevent anyone who breaks your WEP key from being able to dynamically obtain an IP address on your private network (unless they spoof your MAC address).
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    so i thought that meant i could do it using mac only.

    k...guess i'm gonna have to play around some more. thanks!
     
  5. Mike Fassler

    Mike Fassler Supporting Actor

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    yeap the mac address is just the id of your network card essentially, basically the easiest thing is to let the dhcp server of your router give out ips to your mac address. What model is your linksys router? that may help us help you by checking out the menus on it [​IMG]
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    lol, well i did at least change the ssid name and router admin password. [​IMG]
     
  7. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

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    So it is not linksys and admin like 80% of the ones out there? [​IMG]

    The MAC filtering is nice, but as mentioned above, someone can spoof that if they are listening in on your transmissions and you do not have WEP enabled. WEP is like a lock on your house, it is not unbreakable but adds a layer of security and at least keeps "honest" people out.
     
  8. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Your router should also offer the option of broadcasting the SSID. This is set to On or Yes by default. You can leave it that way to get things setup, but once you're all setup, make sure it is not broadcasting. It's much harder for people to break-in if they don't know it's there! (note that they can still find out it's there, but they'll have to use a sniffer program instead of their computer popping up a bubble that says "Hey, look . . .Ted across the street has a new wireless network you should try to break into now!")
     
  9. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Note: WPA is better than WEP, if your equipment supports it, and if you choose a nice long passphrase.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Also note that WPA support is available for wireless adapters via Windows XP Service Pack 2, so if your adapter card manufacturer's drivers do not support it, you may have another option by using XP to manage your wireless connection. Of course, your wireless router must also support WPA for this to work. This was the case with the Dlink PCI adapter I bought for our upstairs PC.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    someone else in my neighborhood just went wireless as well since i can see their ssid on my machine. that's pretty much what got me into this whole thing!

    my ssid is set to off now and i'm probably going to change my ssid (again) just to make sure nobody knows about it.

    i'll look into the wpa thing as well. i have the linksys wrt54g if it matters.
     
  12. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Any Wifi "g" devices should have WPA and that particular router does. Definitely use that if your cards support it. It is much better than WEP, but it is still crackable.
     

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