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Old 2009-07-31, 18:04   Link #1
[DOT].L
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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3Com OfficeConnect Wireless 11b Cable/DSL Gateway issue

My dad has once again dug up an old piece of electronic and has asked me to get it working, and once again I've run into a problem.

The wireless function on the Gateway is making me scratch my head. It works fine when the connection is not using encryption, but once I encrypt it (wpa/wep) it doesn't seem to want to assign me an IP address. It would get stuck at the "assigning network address" part then disconnect after a few tries.

For WPA, there are two options. Manual pre-shared key (looks something like this format "00 00 00 00 00 00 00") and pre-shared passphrase. WEP options are a lot more complex, but I can supply screen shots if needed.

Since I don't really understand the concept behind keys or how to set them, I messed around with the passphrase options but to no avail.

I understand this is an old discontinued model, but I do want to get it working properly so any help is welcomed.
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Old 2009-07-31, 18:18   Link #2
chikorita157
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Passphase is required to generate a WEP key. The router I own (Buffalo WHR-HP-G54) requires a phassphase inorder to generate a key.

Once you type a passphrase, press generate and it should pop out with WEP keys which you use to connect to the wifi network.



The security page should look like this, but it may be different depending on what router/firmware you are using. Also note that the passphase and WEP keys are whited out for security reasons.

WEP keys need to be 10 characters long (64-bit) 26 characters long (128-bit) 58 characters long (256-bit) using digits 0-9 and letters a-f.

Note that WPA encryption is not compatible with older devices (such as the Nintendo DS).
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Old 2009-07-31, 19:04   Link #3
[DOT].L
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Thanks, Chik. Now that I understand how keys work, I got it working under WEP in like ten seconds. Problem solved.

I'm assuming my WPA passphrase encryption works the same way, no?
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Old 2009-07-31, 19:57   Link #4
chikorita157
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I think WAP is almost like WEP, but allows letters A-Z (uppercase and lowercase, case sensitive) and symbols (ex. $,#) to be used... but I don't know since I only use WEP, but it should be similar...

Also, if you use a higher bit (e.g. 256-bit, it will be more secure) but you have to key in more digits and letters and not all devices support 256-bit.
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Old 2009-08-01, 07:55   Link #5
SeijiSensei
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WPA is considerably more secure than WEP and not much harder to set up. WPA also supports long "passphrases" rather than a simple password. My passphrase is a memorable entire sentence with punctuation as well. In my case, with a Linksys, using WPA-PSK ("pre-shared keys") I simply typed the passphrase into the router and later into the dialog box that popped up on the client computer.

WEP keys can be broken in just a few seconds with widely available hacking tools. Attacks against WPA devices usually rely on "brute force" methods like trying thousands of different passwords. Long passphrases with WPA require so much effort to break that an attacker will find it more profitable to move on to the next router in your neighborhood rather than wasting time with yours.
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Old 2009-08-01, 17:35   Link #6
Ledgem
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It never ceases to amaze me how many people still use WEP. I've cracked a few WEP passkeys before and can vouch for the fact that it's frighteningly easy to do these days. Doesn't matter whether you do 64-bit or 128-bit. I haven't personally managed to crack a code within seconds, but I have done it in under 20 minutes quite easily. WEP will prevent people who have no technical know-how from gaining access to your network or reading over your data, but that's it. It's very insecure.

In the past, some devices had issues with WPA encryption. These days it shouldn't be a problem. For your information, there are three WPA options: WPA-TKIP, WPA-AES, and the newer "WPA2" (this also uses AES, but I'm not sure how it differs from WPA-AES. Note that AES is "military-grade" encryption). Of the three, WPA2 (AES) is the best you can get, and as far as I know it is currently uncracked. WPA-TKIP can now be cracked, but as Seiji mentioned, it takes a considerably longer time to crack than WEP.

Many years ago (early 2000's, maybe 2002) I could only get WPA encryption to work with some laptops if it was set to WPA-TKIP. So if you're having issues with WPA, try TKIP. It isn't as good as WPA-AES or WPA2, but it's far better than WEP!
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Old 2009-08-01, 20:59   Link #7
chikorita157
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Thank god the new DSi supports WPA, but I don't think the older games with Nintendo Wifi even played on the DSi can use WPA (I don't know why, when there is WPA support on DSi). This is the main issue with Nintendo DS and DSLite since they only support WEP encryption and only support b-band wireless so you pretty much stuck with WEP if you use Nintendo Wifi Connection unless you use a Nintendo USB Wifi Adapter which they no longer sell or create a virtual network and use a MAC filter so the DS would only connect.

I don't think this is a issue with other game consoles (Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, DSi) and recent laptops with wireless cards.

Also WEP can still be effective opposed to unsecured if you don't broadcast the SSID and use MAC filtering, but WPA is still more secure.
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Last edited by chikorita157; 2009-08-01 at 21:14.
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