WPA - Network Key field grayed out?

Discussion in 'Wireless Networks' started by GW, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. GW

    GW Guest

    ON my laptop, if I set wireless connection properties to WPA/AES, it won't
    let me enter a network key. Also, the options are WPA or WPA-PSK. My
    linksys router has two choices WEP, WPA/WPA2 Personal. What do I pick on
    router and in Windows config??
    GW, Aug 3, 2007
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  2. GW

    Lem Guest

    WPA-Personal = WPA-PSK

    WPA = WPA Enterprise = WPA with a Radius Server (which almost no home
    setup has/can afford)

    With WPA-Enterprise, the key is provided by the RADIUS server, which is
    why it won't let you enter it.
    Lem, Aug 4, 2007
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  3. GW

    GW Guest

    Thanks Lem, so my router only has WPA/WPA2 Personal, so in Windows I pick
    WPA-PSK, then enter a passphrase key?

    Why can't I enter a pass phrase in Windows if I select WPA with AES?
    GW, Aug 4, 2007
  4. GW

    Lem Guest

    I'm surprised that your router only has WPA/WPA2 Personal. My rather
    old Linksys WRT54 v.4 (with 2-year-old firmware) has the following options:

    WPA-Pre-Shared Key
    WPA2-Pre-Shared Key Only
    WPA2-RADIUS Only
    WPA2-Pre-Shared Key Mixed
    WPA2-RADIUS Mixed

    However, what you want is either WPA-PSK (WPA-Pre-Shared Key;
    WPA-Personal) or WPA2-PSK (WPA2-Pre-Shared Key; WPA2-Personal)

    Then enter a passphrase. You'll enter the same passphrase (exactly)
    when configuring the wireless setup in your computer.

    To answer your question about AES, I don't know. It should allow you to
    enter a key. It does for me.

    To be a bit more long-winded, although some routers (like my Linksys)
    refer to TKIP and AES as "encryption options," they are not really the
    same sort of "thing."

    TKIP stands for Temporal Key Integrity Protocol. What this means is
    that your key is dynamically changed keys as the system is used. WPA
    with TKIP uses the same encryption algorithm as WEP -- an algorithm
    that's fairly easily cracked.

    AES is a more advanced encryption algorithm and is part of WPA2. Some
    systems that are sort of half-way between WPA and WPA2 allow the use of
    AES with TKIP.

    If your Windows XP computer doesn't seem to recognize AES (or WPA2),
    make sure that you're running Service Pack 2 AND that you have
    downloaded and installed KB 917021
    Lem, Aug 4, 2007
  5. WPA-AES is the current version of WPA2, if your Wireless card on the Laptop
    is Not WAP2 compatible chose WPA-AES.
    From the weakest to the strongest, Wireless security capacity is.
    No Security
    MAC______(Band Aid if nothing else is available).
    WEP64____(Easy, to "Brake" by knowledgeable people).
    WEP128___(Hard, but possible to Brake).
    WPA-PSK__(Very Hard to Brake ).
    WPA-AES__(Not functionally Breakable)
    WPA2____ (Not functionally Breakable).
    The documentation of your Wireless devices (Wireless Router, and Wireless
    Computer's Card) should state the type of security that is available with
    your Wireless hardware.
    All devices MUST be set to the same security level using the same pass
    Therefore the security must be set according what ever is the best possible
    of one of the Wireless devices.
    I.e. even if most of your system might be capable to be configured to the
    max. with WPA2, but one device is only capable to be configured to max . of
    WEP, to whole system must be configured to WEP.
    If you need more good security and one device (like a Wireless card that can
    do WEP only) is holding better security for the whole Network, replace the
    device with a better one.
    Wireless Security - http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Security.html
    Jack (MVP-Networking).
    Jack \(MVP-Networking\)., Aug 4, 2007
  6. GW

    tony geudens Guest

    I have a similar mismatch between my router's encryption and the one of
    Windows Vista trying to connect to it. Anyone has a solution?

    So on my wireless router (D-Link DI-524UP 802.11g) i have chosen WPA2-PSK
    (non-broadcasting) encryption.
    When trying to connect to it via Windows Vista - I see my WiFi network - but
    fail to connect: in the Network properties I have selected (in security)
    WPA2-personal (which according to the previous messages equals WPA2-PSK) -
    but then it only gives me AES or TKIP options. When selecting AES and i add
    the 'network security key' - it still doesn't work.

    Why is this? Is it because the router is WPA2-PSK (without AES) and Vista
    only offers WPA2-PSK with AES encryption type? What can i do about it?
    tony geudens, Oct 3, 2007
  7. GW

    Lem Guest

    Does your Vista computer connect to your router if you disable all
    security on both the router and the computer?

    I'm not sure what you mean by "(non-broadcasting)." If you mean that
    you have disabled SSID broadcast, you should re-enable it. Disabling
    SSID broadcast is not an effective security measure and may lead to

    As originally envisioned, both WPA and WPA2 incorporate a RADIUS server
    to generate, rotate, and distribute shared keys. This approach
    guarantees that shared keys are changed very frequently, and makes the
    encryption very difficult, if not impossible, to crack. The problem is
    that most home and small office wireless networks can't afford (or lack
    the technical ability) to include a RADIUS server for their network.
    Thus, both WPA and WPA2 have a "personal" mode in which the encryption
    key is pre-shared (PreSharedKey=PSK) among all of the devices on the
    wireless network.

    Although the base key is pre-shared, WPA introduced a concept called
    TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) in which the preshared keys are
    used to generate Pairwise Transient Keys that are used to encrypt the
    transmitted packets. Each packet gets a new key. This makes cracking
    the encryption much more difficult than WEP, in which the same key was
    used until manually changed.

    The keys are used to encrypt and decrypt the packets of information
    according to an encryption algorithm. As originally implement, WPA used
    the same algorithm as WEP -- RC4. This is not a particularly secure

    WPA2 implements a much more secure algorithm -- AES (Advanced Encryption
    Standard). Before WPA2 hardware was widely available, some wireless
    device manufacturers included the option with WPA to use AES. This
    WPA-AES is, for practical purposes, about the same as WPA2.

    Given all of that, if you set your DI-524UP to use WPA2-PSK, the adapter
    in your Vista computer should be set to WPA2-personal-AES.

    Make very sure that you copy the passphrase EXACTLY when you enter it
    into your computer. It is case sensitive. Try setting your router to
    use a simple passphrase, say 123456, just to see if you can establish a
    working connection. If that works, then you can change the passphrase
    to something more appropriately complex.
    Lem, Oct 3, 2007
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