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Solved: Wireless Ntwk: WiFi dongle + WEP pswd

Discussion in 'Networking' started by raederle, Mar 27, 2008.

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  1. raederle

    raederle Thread Starter

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    Hello, friendly helpful people!

    I have a specific problem with getting a WEP password to work for my new Macbook. (I also tend to be long-winded, very sorry!)

    I have a Nintendo WiFi Max USB dongle for a wireless network. I have a WinXP desktop, and I want to connect the Macbook to a WEP-protected wireless network. The desktop is wired to the cable modem. I succeeded today in getting the Macbook to connect to the wireless network, without WEP being enabled. That's not ideal, but I can't figure out where in the "ZyDas Wireless LAN Configuration Tool" utility to figure out what the password is, how I can change it, and if I even got it to work if the Macbook would accept it.

    Question: How do I set a WEP password for a WiFi Max dongle?

    _____________Conciseness ends here_____________

    Background: We haven't needed a wireless network for awhile. We got the dongle for the Wii, several months later, my husband got a WinXP laptop, and he successfully connected it to the dongle. He deployed, I shut down the needless (and less secure than wired) wireless network, was plenty happy with my WinXP desktop wired to the cable modem, until the hard drive started squealing about a week ago. Decided to go back to Mac (college Mac was pre-powerPC, ran ?7.5?, and I thought it was all that because it had a CD player and Netscape 1.0) ending my exile in Windows world through Win98 and WinXP because I refuse to go to Vista. I'll leave the desktop to serve as a relay for the Macbook as soon as I can figure out how to get the wireless network WEP-protected. Yes, WEP is horrible, but I only want to keep neighbors from accidentally using our connection (or piggybacking an open network on purpose- they'll have to spend two minutes to hack it first!)
    In the ZD tool, it has two selections under "Mode:" "Access Point" and "Station". I don't know the difference, but under access point I got it to work. When I click "More Setting..." it brings up a box that has "General Connection Setting" options, "Wireless Mode" where I can select b+g, or b/g only, next the "Channel" which I assume is for the Wii? with 1-11 as options, the "SSID" which I gather is the name of the wireless network, and I can type in what I want there, a tick box for "Hide SSID" which I understand means that determined hackers can still find it, but that it won't necessarily show up in a list of available networks automatically, and "Tx Power" which has selections for Levels 0-3, with 0 being "Maximum" and 3 being "Minimum" power = signal transmission strength?
    Under that are separate lines for "Authentication," with options for "Open system" or "Shared Key," next line is "WEP" with a "Setting..." box next to it (that brings up another screen) below that "Fragment," with a slider on it, another slider for "RTS/CDS", "Preamble" with choices of Long/Short, "MAC Address Filter" with Setting next to it which brings up another screen, and "Bridge adapter" which lets me select my cable modem.
    Under "WEP" if I click the "Setting..." box it brings up "WEP Key Setting" and lets me choose "Key Length" of 64,128 or 256, next comes "Default Key ID" and I can pick #1-4, then "Key Format" for either "Hexadecimal" or "ASCII" and last "Key Value" and four boxes (that correspond to the 1-4 from Default Key ID above?) with stars in them that get longer if I change the "Key Length" and that I can type in if I want.

    Is this WEP Key setting screen where I can change the password? Like I was a 5yo, exactly how do I do this? Am I completely wrong to zero on this screen, and does one instead set the WEP password with the native WinXP Network Connection Setup Wizard (haven't found it there, either)???

    I'm happy to download any suggested freeware, as long as it is from a trusted source, but I'd rather not buy any new hardware, thank you.

    I KNOW this can work, motnhs ago, connection to WinXP laptop with WEP-encryption was successful, today, connection to Macbook with open network was successful, husband deployed and can't remember WEP password exactly, and I've been unsuccessful finding anything online that's helpful (I don't want to connect this to a Wii or DS, don't really need it, husband can work that out once home if desired) and I've read weird stuff about Airport and WEP and putting dollar signs in front of passwords, tried that with best-guess password, after guess-word alone didn't work. Very frustrated with myself, the slow-as-molasses squealing HD desktop and the dongle software right now.

    Please be gentle, and please help?

    If you solve this, and give me a P.O. Box, I'll send you cookies!
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you set the WEP on the router (better yet, WPA), when you attempt to connect, I'll bet the Mac will prompt you for the connection password.
     
  3. raederle

    raederle Thread Starter

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    I do not have a router. I have a cable modem connected to a desktop via an Ethernet cable, and a so-called "Nintendo WiFi Max Dongle" connected to the desktop via a USB cable. I don't believe the dongle, which looks like a thumb-drive, is anything more than a weak transmitter, rather than a true router.

    I would prefer not to go out and buy a router if I don't have to. I know WPA is loads better than WEP, but if I can get WEP to work, that's all I want. I only want to stop accidental (or purposeful) open system piggybacking.

    My bafflement proceeds from where I set the WEP password in the utility provided with the dongle. And whether I AM doing it correctly but the Macbook is being difficult.

    I have gotten it to the point where the Macbook asks for a WEP password. But the connection either failed or timed out, multiple times, even with the mysterious Internet-suggested insertion of a $ before the password.

    Maybe I should try doing what I think is setting the WEP password, see if I can get our Wii to connect, and if that's successful then I'd know if that's the password setting screen or not. But I read on the net that getting the Wii online is a pain, and I don't know that this detour is worth the effort, if someone could just tell me where I set the password.

    Sorry I am so long-winded. Thanks in advance for any advice, and remember, free cookies if you solve this for me and PM a P.O. Box for me to send them to!
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Are you trying to create an ad-hoc wireless network between a MAC and another computer or game machine? Or are you trying to connect to somebody else's secured network?
     
  5. raederle

    raederle Thread Starter

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    "Are you trying to create an ad-hoc wireless network between a MAC and another computer or game machine? Or are you trying to connect to somebody else's secured network?"

    I am trying to put a WEP password on my own, somewhat-functioning, wireless network so that I can connect an Apple Macbook to the Internet. I really don't care if the Wii is online or not--- it hasn't been for months. I'm sorry, I'm not clear on what an ad-hoc wireless network is.

    The icon in the systray tells me I have a wireless network connection functioning with excellent strength and 54 Mbps. This wireless connection was created by plugging a "dongle" into a USB port in my WinXP desktop which is directly wired to my cable modem - hence no easy-to-setup wireless router is in the mix. The dongle is made by Datel, and is intended for creating a connection between your computer and a Wii or DS.

    The Macbook's Airport lets me select my wireless connection from a list of (probably my neighbors) wireless networks. I have connected the Macbook to the dongle with no WEP encryption in place. I don't want to leave it unsecured, and even crappy WEP is better than nothing. What I'm having trouble with is figuring out where I set/change the WEP password in the "ZD Wireless LAN Configuration Tool" provided with the dongle. Googling hasn't helped, as this IS intended for gaming, not computers.

    I tried to connect the Wii just now (which HAS been connected to the dongle in the past, WITH WEP encryption) but it doesn't like the password I provided, though it also sees the network.

    Any idea what I'm doing wrong? Which screen of this *%^$^&$ utility sets the password? What would it look like? Is a "Key" the same as a password? (I thought there was a difference...) Should I care about "Fragment?"

    mmmmm.... chocoloate chip and walnut? white chocolate and macadamia? can you smell those free cookies? Please help!
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Terry
    There are two types of wireless networks--infrastructure and ad-hoc. Infrastructure means there is some controlling influence; for us home networkers that almost always means router. Ad-hoc wireless means just between or among computers (or similar devices).

    I think you are trying to create an ad-hoc wireless network between an XP and a MAC machine. On each of those machines, using whatever wireless utility you are using, you need to define a network (create a profile) giving the same SSID, the same channel (or auto) and identifying it as ad-hoc (not infrastructure).

    I have found that the first time getting two PCs (no experience with MAC) to talk this way can be a bit nerve racking--trying to 'connect' or 'initiate' on one and then rushing to tell the other the same thing. Once it gets going, the PCs then usually "find" and connect to each other just fine.

    Have you gotten this far yet? Oh, and ad-hoc is probably going to report 11Mbps, not 54.

    Tell us the wireless utility that you are using on each machine--better yet, give a link to a user guide--and maybe somebody can help find the right instructions for the above and for then assigning WEP.

    By the way, with WEP you should use a HEX key. And since $ in not in the HEX set of digits, don't use one.
     
  7. raederle

    raederle Thread Starter

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    WEP keys require 10 digits, which I didn't know, and upon making a WEP password the required length, it suddenly works!

    Sorry not to reply sooner, but I shut my Internet connection down yesterday while trying to mess with things to get this to work. Back up this afternoon, came across the 10 digit thing in passing while googling, tried it, works.

    Sadly no cookies, since nobody fixed it for me (evidently, my problem was STUPIDITY, but I defy you to show me where it explicitly states the 10 digit thing anywhere in the "ZDWLAN Configuration Tool" &%^&$^%& utility which the dongle uses to make wireless go.) Oh, ALL RIGHT, since John and Terry did try, PM me a place to send them, and they'll be in the mail on Monday. But only a dozen!
     
  8. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    First Name:
    Terry
    10 HEX digits for 64-bit WEP, 26 HEX digits for 128-bit WEP (just in case you ever want to use 128-bit).

    Thanks for the offer, but I'll pass since I didn't even really understand just where your attempts were failing. :)
     
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