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Small Wireless Network

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Morning Chaps,
I am trying to use the Internet with two wireless laptops. The first is my Acer XP Home and the second a Compaq 2000 Pro. I have a Linksys Router. I have set up the Acer with a unique SSID and a key and it shows as secure on the surrounding networks profile.
I duly went to the Compaq to configure the settings with a flash drive/CD; only to find that I couldn't do so because of system limitations. I managed to find my way manually, to a point where I entered the Unique Key in the appropriate places and pressed 'Connect'. At this point I was presented with a dialog box as follows, 'The Network Password needs to be 40 or a 104 bits depending on your network configurations. This can be entered as 10 or 26 hexadecimal characters.'
This stopped me in my tracks and disappointed me, as I thought I had been quite clever, for a Newbie, in finding my way unaided thus far. I new it was time to call on your goodselves for assistance as my knowledge of hexadecimals is very limited.
Anyone out there who will assist this struggling, old pensioner? As always I will be grateful for any advice.

Thank you for reading what will probably be regarded as insufficient information. Sincerely, Cigos.
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The Admiral

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Hi Cigos:

This may belong in the networking forum, but I'll try to help you out here.

The problem is the limitations of WEP. WEP, or Wireless Encryption Protocol, is a method of encrypting data as it travels over a wireless network. The problem is that WEP requires a hexidecimal password for that key to work. If you would like to branch out and use all 36 letters and numbers, as well as having a more secure network, I would advise you to set up (using your Linksys router's interface) a WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK. WPA is a stronger encryption, and PSK stands for PreShared Key, which is basically a password (just not in hexadecimal). I think you'll be much happier that way.

Also, remember how a network works. Basically, the router, your Linksys, is broadcasting internet. The internet he is broadcasting is labeled with an SSID, basically a name tag. The computers you want to connect see the SSID, identify it, and connect to it. So your Acer wouldn't have an SSID, because it isn't transmitting the internet. The Linksys is where the SSID is.

Edited by The Admiral, 19 July 2008 - 10:06 AM.

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