Distribute WAP key automatically

Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by SpiritBoy, Mar 3, 2005.

  1. SpiritBoy

    SpiritBoy Guest

    I have about 300 laptops I need to attach to a network thru numerous
    access points. I have not made a decision on the make/model of the
    access points. All of the laptops will be WinXP SP2. I would like to
    set them up with some type of WPA. I would also like to have a random
    shared key generated, if possible, then distributed to the laptops
    automatically with out user intervention. We do not have Active
    Directory and do not want to have to keep track of username and
    passwords w/ a RADIUS server. This is a school environment so security
    is not much of an issue, but I do not want just anyone coming in and
    attaching to our network.

    I would appreciate any help with determining a direction I could go. I
    have noticed a setting within the XP wireless client saying something
    about the key be automatically sent to the client.

    Thanks for your time and help

    Jason
    SpiritBoy, Mar 3, 2005
    #1
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  2. Hi Jason,

    There are a couple of different ways you can configure (also know as
    provisioning) the Wireless Zero Configuration client without using the UI.
    The first is by using the Wireless Network Setup Wizard with a flash drive.
    There is a Cable-Guy article describing how to use the wizard to do this
    here:
    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/columns/cableguy/cg0604.mspx

    There is also a static provisioning API which can be used by developers
    to write a program to add network profiles to the Wireless Zero
    Configuration client. The API is part of the DDK and can accept Wireless
    Zero Configuration settings in the form of XML data. Here is a link to the
    API in MSDN:
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/d..._2dd6673a-95cf-4c91-a8b2-57c76adc5163.xml.asp

    You might want to ask yourself how often you are planning to change the
    keys on the wireless network. If you do not plan to change them often, then
    perhaps using the Wireless Network Setup Wizard will be the correct solution
    for you. If you plan to change them frequently, then you might want to
    investigate writing an application using the static provisioning API.

    Regarding your question concerning the setting for "The key is provided
    for me automatically" within the advanced settings, this setting is used in
    two cases:

    1) If you are using a wireless network configured to perform authentication
    using the 802.1X protocol and an authentication server (Active Directory/IAS
    or RADIUS, etc), upon successfully authenticating to the wireless network a
    unique encryption key will be provided to the client by the authentication
    server.

    2) Some older wireless network cards (for example some older Cisco models)
    had some flash memory which could store encryption keys. Typically the keys
    on the card would be configured by an IT department and the card would be
    given to someone using the wireless network.

    Thanks,
    Chris Gual [MSFT]

    "SpiritBoy" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have about 300 laptops I need to attach to a network thru numerous
    > access points. I have not made a decision on the make/model of the
    > access points. All of the laptops will be WinXP SP2. I would like to
    > set them up with some type of WPA. I would also like to have a random
    > shared key generated, if possible, then distributed to the laptops
    > automatically with out user intervention. We do not have Active
    > Directory and do not want to have to keep track of username and
    > passwords w/ a RADIUS server. This is a school environment so security
    > is not much of an issue, but I do not want just anyone coming in and
    > attaching to our network.
    >
    > I would appreciate any help with determining a direction I could go. I
    > have noticed a setting within the XP wireless client saying something
    > about the key be automatically sent to the client.
    >
    > Thanks for your time and help
    >
    > Jason
    >
    Chris Gual [MSFT], Mar 4, 2005
    #2
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