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SBC wireless trouble

Discussion in 'Networking' started by bscharres, Apr 6, 2004.

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  1. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    Hi, my problem concerns trying to access my new SBC DSL service in a wireless mode from my IBM Thinkpad with Windows 2000 and a Linksys model G wireless adapter card. I set up the DSL service on my primary desktop computer, a Mac G-4 a week ago using the home installation kit from SBC, which includes their own modem/router. The installation went smoothly, and I'm operating with no problems on the Mac. However, when I tried to run the CD start-up program on my IBM as directed, halfway through the process it tells me that I'm not connected to the network. I've tried over and over with no results. The card is working properly, and in fact recognizes about six other networks in close proximity (I live in a high-density area.)

    First I called SBC. I was told that because I didn't buy SBC's own brand of wireless card, they couldn't vouch for the possibility of my accessing the network. I was also told to direct my question to Linksys. Also, the quite unhelpful technician told me that SBC instructions are set up primarily for Windows XP users, and he wasn't sure he could help somebody with Windoes 2000 anyway.

    I called Linksys, and that person told me that my problem is that I didn't buy a Linksys router, and that until I had a router there was no solution to the problem.

    I just keep getting the run around no matter who I call. It would seem that the problem comes down to adjusting the settings on my Linsys card (I think). I finall was told in another call to Linksys that the SSID should be the word wireless followed by the last three digits of the serial number of my modem/router. I've entered this in the card program, but it's also asking me for a password and a WEP key in hexadecimal format. When I try entering the password, a number/letter sequence has sometimes appeared automatically in the WEP window. I'm told that the WEP is something that's encrypted in my modem. Another SBC person said it would be the number printed in brackets under the serial number on my modem, but that doesn't appear to be it--that is simply a sequence of ten numbers. I take it that the WEP should be a longer sequence of both letters and numbers.

    I'm sorry that this message is so long, but I can't seem to get any really basic information from anyone. I need to know exactly what information is necessary to program the card to recognize the network, and where I might find that information. Terms like SSID and WEP are unfamiliar to me, and they are not defined in any of the support material I've received for installation.

    Thank you for your advice.
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    i dont see the make of router, is the router both wireless and lan, are you using lan or wireless with the mac.
    if connected on mac by lan will the ibm connect via a lan (assuming the laptop has a lan).
    if connected on mac wireless, can you look at the properties of the mac wireless connection and copythe settings into the ibm?

    this may help with ssid etc

    http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/wireless/g/bldef_ssid.htm
     
  3. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your reply. The Mac is connected to the modem via ethernet cable. It's only the laptop that I'm trying to use in a wireless mode. I'm not sure I understood your question completely, but does this clarify the set-up? The modem/router is SBC's own brand supplied with their "free" start-up package.
     
  4. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    does the Laptop have a lan connection?? then you could try that first and get the laptop working, on a lan. and then move onto wireless from there.

    the wireless will need to be setup in the router - it may be set to the default setting of 192.168.0.1 and you may be able to connect via a webbrouser from the mac.

    then you need to configure the wireless part of router - the ssid is the name for the wireless network. the wep are keys if you want to enable secure access again need to be set up in router
    has the sbc got a website? to see the details on how to configure the wireless section
     
  5. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    "and in fact recognizes about six other networks in close proximity "

    these are the ssid from other wireless routers, and can be called anything thats setup in the router,

    the following is from my wireless -

    SSID
    Service Set Identifier (SSID) is the name designated for a specific wireless local area network (WLAN). The SSID’s factory default setting is “default”. The SSID can be easily changed to connect to an existing wireless network or to establish a new wireless network.

    Channel
    Indicates the channel setting for the DI-614+. By default the channel is set to 6. The Channel can be changed to fit the channel setting for an existing wireless network or to customize the wireless network.

    WEP
    Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP) is a wireless security protocol for Wireless
    Local Area Networks (WLAN). WEP provides security by encrypting the data that is sent over the WLAN. The DI-614+ supports 3 levels of WEP
    Encryption: 64Bit encryption, 128Bit encryption, and 256Bit encryption. WEP is disabled by default. The WEP setting can be changed to fit an existing wireless network or to customize your wireless network.

    do you have any instructions as above????
     
  6. jtatsud

    jtatsud

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    bscharres,

    I have worked on SBC Yahoo "devices" before, and they are indeed strange beasts. Is your device from 2Wire? Is it a HomePortal? If so, maybe the following will help...

    First, 2Wire HomePortal devices are "try to do everything" devices which provide a modem and router in one device. On the router side, they support wired, wireless, and phone network connections. They have a single Ethernet connection and a single USB connection so if you want to attach multiple systems via Ethernet, you need to purchase a switch or a hub.

    Typically, they ship with wireless connectivity enabled and are WEP enabled. The wireless support is 802.11b - so your 802.11g adapter should still work, but it will connect at a maximum speed of 10 megabits instead of 54 megabits.

    The SSID for wireless connections is 2WIRE + the last 3 digits of the serial number of the 2Wire device. Example: 2WIRE123

    The WEP security is indeed set to the 10 digit number below the serial number. But be aware that this should be set to 64-bit or 40-bit HEX (not alphanumeric) on your wireless adapter card. 64-bit and 40-bit are essentially the same - and use 10 hex digits, but some vendors refer to this as 64-bit and some refer to it as 40-bit.

    Hopefully, this will get your wireless card to work. However, in my experience, 2Wire does not spend as much time as other vendors making sure that their products work with other vendors equipment so there are no guarantees.

    Finally, if your card still does not work, you may be able to disable WEP on the 2Wire device. I haven't had to do this yet, but I may be able to get you started in the right direction.
     
  7. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    Thank you etaf and jtatsud. My modem/router is the 2-wire that jtatsud describes. On the card settings, the WEP is indicated as disabled, the channel is 6 (although I thought something on my Mac indicated 8--could that be the problem?) I have tried entering the ten-figure code in the box that asks for a WEP key, but nothing seems to happen as a result.

    My intention is only to use the laptop in a wireless mode in other parts of the house. Here's a question that takes off on one of etaf's suggestions. What if I temporarily unplugged the ethernet cable from my Mac, plugged it into the laptop, and ran the installation program for SBC that way? The problem I see is that at a certain point you have to indicate how you will be connecting that computer to the internet, and you only get one choice. If I choose ethernet connection initially, can I go back in and change it to the wireless card later? Would this process get the laptop in sync with the network in some fundamental way that would help the card function later. Sorry that these all must seem like stupid questions, but I don't have any technical experience with networking.
     
  8. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    From your 1st post you say you can see 6 other networks on the laptop - can you see one called 2WIRE???
    see "Jtatsud2.

    so from win2000 log in as an administrator
    you may already see an icon in the system tray.

    double click on this to open the wireless connection -
    you should your wireless name in amoungst those available,

    then you should have the opportunity to enter the wep key
    The WEP security is indeed set to the 10 digit number below the serial number
    i assume this is the device ftp://ftp.linksys.com/pdf/wpc54g_ug.pdf
     
  9. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    When I clicked on the "site survey" for my Linkseys adapter card in the laptop (which is the card you mention) I saw a varying number of networks, up to six at one point, and these included my own, identified by the SSID, which it seems I have entered correctly as 2-wire + three digts from the router serial number. Three of the other networks shown also were identified by SSIDs in a similar configuration. It's ironic that my card seems to see my network, but I can's actually access it at this time. The percentages oof signal strength were also shown, and these were at 100% for my own, and from 73% to 20% for others nearby.

    I'll try your suggestion, but can't do it until tonight, since I'm at work now. I'll print out all your replies and check them over carefully as I continue to grapple with this. Thank you.
     
  10. jtatsud

    jtatsud

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    Another suggestion...

    SBC typically wants you to install a ton of software on your system. Once you get the modem/router connected properly to the Internet, you don't need ANY of this software! The modem/router will take care of your connection settings for PPPoE. The only value to the software that I can see (in the SBC modem/router configuration) is to enable you to register your connection with SBC. Some of the software I would consider to be spyware!

    If you have installed any of this software on your laptop, it may actually be impeding your ability to successfully communicate with the router. So if you have any of this software on the laptop, my recommendation would be to uninstall ALL OF IT!

    I have taken my laptop to homes with 2Wire Homeportals and was able to successfully connect to the Internet without installing any of the SBC Yahoo "junk".

    Also, this may be obvious, but just to confirm...

    DON'T use the passphrase field for WEP. This is a Linksys only method of enabling WEP (D-Link also has a passphrase, but I do not think they are compatible), and since the router is not a Linksys router, the passphrase will not work.
     
  11. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    Thanks a lot for that tip about the passphrase. I never would have known that and have been trying to fill it in, thinking that was part of the problem. Regarding the Yahoo stuff, there comes a point on the SBC installation disk where you can reject all their extras, including Parental Controls, etc.; since the disk has never allowed me to complete the installation on the laptop (claiming I'm not connected to the modem), nothing has actually been installed. I de-install everything after every attempt (and the attempts number about 20 by now.)
     
  12. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    as you can see the ssid from your network - you probabaly only need to configure the card on the laptop for the default wep.

    jtatsud :-
    The WEP security is indeed set to the 10 digit number below the serial number. But be aware that this should be set to 64-bit or 40-bit HEX (not alphanumeric) on your wireless adapter card. 64-bit and 40-bit are essentially the same - and use 10 hex digits, but some vendors refer to this as 64-bit and some refer to it as 40-bit.

    then it should work..

    or if the other networks are set up as default with no wep key you could probabaly just use there network :) :)
     
  13. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I'll be trying your advice tonight, but maybe not the part about the OTHER networks (although that would be funny).
     
  14. bscharres

    bscharres Thread Starter

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    It's me again. I've tried typing in the 10-digit serial number from the modem in the box for WEP for the wireless card (but ignoring the password box jtatsud has advised). Then I save the changes, but the serial number never seems to be saved. When I go back to look at that setting, the WEP box is once again empty, not even asterisks or something that would indicate it's been filled in.
     
  15. jtatsud

    jtatsud

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    In looking at the URL for the Linksys Wireless Adapter instructions provided by etaf, it appears that the Linksys card does NOT support WEP in Hex mode. It only supports alphanumeric passwords. So the way you are set up, you are never going to get this to work.

    I think your only alternative is to try to change the router's settings. This is somewhat risky if you don't know what you're doing, but if you want to give it a try, I think you can get to the router's admin panels by using IE and going to either:

    homeportal/management

    or

    172.16.0.1/management

    If you are able to get to the router's admin pages, the ONLY thing I would change would be to disable WEP. This will leave your wireless network wide open to intruders, but at least you can see if the router and card will work together (still no guarantees). If this works without WEP, we can go back and see if you can enable WEP in alphanumeric mode.

    Good luck :)
     
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