Discussion in 'Wireless Networking' started by spasmous2, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. spasmous2

    spasmous2 Guest

    I was wondering what the difference in security between these two
    protocols is: WPA-NONE and WEP.

    I have a local area network that shares internet connection from a
    cable modem on a desktop computer via a PCI wireless adapter. It works
    pretty well but from reading on the internet I learnt the security I
    am using (WEP) is flawed. I bought a new wireless adapter that is WPA
    enabled, however apparently with my setup I have to use ad hoc network
    settings for which WPA-NONE is the only option.

    There's scant information out there, but some random posts out there
    suggest WPA-NONE is no better than WEP. I have a couple of questions.

    1. Is WPA-NONE superior to WEP in terms of security?

    2. Is it possible to use Infrastructure mode with my wireless network?
    spasmous2, Feb 27, 2010
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  2. spasmous2

    Lem Guest

    As I recall, the last time I looked into this (over 3 years ago), I came
    to the conclusion that WPA-NONE (even if you could actually use it) was
    no better than WEP. You don't say what version of Windows you're using,
    but the comment below, from MS-MVP Steve Winograd, who is very
    knowledgeable about Windows networking, suggests that if you have
    installed XP service pack 2 (you should really be at service pack 3 if
    you are using Win XP) WPA-NONE is no longer available.

    As for your second question, you can (and should) use infrastructure
    mode. This should make WPA (or WPA2 if your hardware supports it)
    available. However, in order to use infrastructure mode you'll have to
    buy a wireless router, assuming that your cable modem has an Ethernet
    connection (rather than or in addition to a USB connection). These days,
    you can find a wireless-G router for not very much money. I don't keep
    up with the various models and prices, but you can check out reviews of
    various models here:

    Also consider that using a wireless router provides two big advantages
    over your current setup: (1) your desktop computer doesn't need to be
    turned on in order for other computers on your LAN to access the
    Internet and (2) you have a good hardware barrier (at least NAT and
    probably also a firewall) between all of your computers and the Internet.

    <Steve Winograd 11/2/06; Quote>
    You're right that a Windows XP ad-hoc wireless connection can't use a
    pre-shared key (WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK).

    WPA-None is still supported in SP2 for an ad-hoc wireless connection.
    You can open the wireless connection properties and specify it as the
    value for Network Authentication.

    However, on reflection, it might not be a good choice for Amy,

    1. I don't know what wireless network adapters actually support
    WPA-None in the hardware and drivers. I'd recommend using identical
    make/model adapters in both computers. Even then, it could be iffy.

    2. I've seen reports that installing WPA2 support removes WPA-None.

    3. I don't know if it's more secure than WEP.

    I haven't found any good documentation of this from Microsoft. It's
    mentioned in this article:

    The Cable Guy - July 2003
    Configuring Wireless Settings Using Windows Server 2003 Group Policy

    It's described in this Cisco web page:


    Lem, Feb 27, 2010
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  3. spasmous2

    Lem Guest

    I mis-typed. WPA-NONE seems to go away when you implement WPA2 support
    rather than Service Pack 2. WPA2 support was available as a stand-alone
    update for SP2 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/893357) and was included
    in Service Pack 3.
    Lem, Feb 27, 2010
  4. spasmous2

    spasmous2 Guest

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Lem, Appreciated :)

    While we're on topic, I'd just like to ask what exactly is the
    downside of having an insecure wireless network? I need a little help
    getting motivated buying and installing a router ;)

    People can use your bandwidth - but that's not exactly the worst thing
    in the world. If File Sharing is disabled, then what is the worst they
    can do?
    spasmous2, Feb 28, 2010
  5. spasmous2

    Barb Bowman Guest

    Barb Bowman, Feb 28, 2010
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