Finding WAP if SSID broadcasting is disabled

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epaulson

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Apr 18, 2004
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How do I see my WAP if I have SSiD broadcasting turned off? Set up is Linksys WRT55AG with Broadmax DSL router. The machine that I can't figure out how to connect from is running Windows XP Pro (classic mode) with wireless built-in (Centrino). When I originally disabled SSID broadcasting, I was still able to see the network. But, after several hours, when I fired up the laptop again, I could no longer see it and couldn't figure out how to connect to it. As soon as broadcasting is enabled, I can connect without any problems. WEP is turned on. I imagine this is a simple problem to fix, but I'm not familiar with wireless at all.
 

epaulson

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Thanks. What is netstumbler? Isn't it some sort of WiFi sniffer? I don't want to see anyone elses network, just my own. When I have the broadcasting disabled, I can't figue out how to connect. Am I supposed to be able to connect when the SSID broadcasting is disabled?
 
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Hi

Yes it is a sniffer but a good one at that.

If you turn off SSID beaconing you will need to enter it manually into your wireless client config utility. Better to use leave it on and use strong authentication.
 
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In XP, to connect to a wireless AP that has SSID broadcasting turned off, you need to manually enter the SSID and other properties in the Preferred Networks section under XP's wireless config tab. Click on the Add button in the Preferred Networks section and fill in the appropriate info.

From your comments I'm assuming that this is your network, and you already know the SSID of your WAP so you shouldn't need to use Netstumbler. You would use Netstumbler if you needed to connect to a WAP where you didn't know the SSID.

Good luck :)
 

epaulson

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Thanks. I have already set up the properties for my home network as the top choice in preferred networks. I included the SSID and WEP key. However, when the broadcasting is off, it doesn't show up in the available networks. Any other thoughts?
 
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Did you set up the properties BEFORE you turned the SSID broadcasting off? If so, try deleting the settings and manually restoring them. I've had cases where I could not connect via the "old" settings once I turned SSID broadcasting off - even though the settings were essentially the same.

Also, if you haven't already done so - you might try updating the firmware for the router and the drivers for your Linksys adapter. Wireless vendors are continually updating their products so they work better with other vendor's products.

:)
 

epaulson

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Apr 18, 2004
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I did set them up before I disabled it. I'll try giving that a shot and see if it works. Firmware is up to date.

Thanks jt
 
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Saw your new post. Is this problem fixed? If so, please, let us know how it was fixed. Thanks.
 

epaulson

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Apr 18, 2004
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Sorry for the delay. I just added the connection to my laptop again, after removing the prior connection. When I tried to view available networks after doing that, I could not see my network (SSID disabled on the linksys router). Again, all I could see were other available connections in my area. I'm stumped. Help!
 
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In respect to turning the SSID broadcasting off, you may be out of luck. Seems that this router is having lots of issues with security features. Check out the posts at the following URL:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...-6909797-2077715?v=glance&vi=customer-reviews

Also, for an in depth review of the WRT55AG, check out the following URL:

http://www.tomsnetworking.com/Reviews-47-ProdID-WRT55AG-1.php

Finally, found this in one of the customer reviews which seems to be related to BOTH your problems:
The problem I have is that if I reconfigure the device via the web interface (say, to change the password or SSID) then the WAP dies. Wireless seems to still work but I can no longer connect to it via the LAN port. Hard reset is the only fix. I suspect this is a simple firmware bug (v1.05), but it's a good reason not to buy the product.
:)
 

epaulson

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Apr 18, 2004
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I'll take a look at the links. Thanks for the information. the last quote is most troubling, as it sounds like my problem, however I am not sure what I am doing to restore the connection is a "hard" reset. I'm just reapplying the settings via the web interface. I'll log a trouble ticket with the manufacturer, as well.
 
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