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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two computers wireless connected. What I now want to do it set up a password so hacking into the system by outsiders is as difficult as possible. I think we are talking "network key" or "Wired equivalency Privacy Key".
I know nothing about setting up a wireless connection so don't want to risk disturbing the existing set up which works fine; I just want to add password access.
One computer has Windows XP Home and the other Vista Home Premium.
Can anyone give me some not too technical advice that will help me do this please?
 

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The encyption key for the network is probably stored on your Router (assuming you are using a Router), there should be setup options in the Router Admin page. If you setup an encryption key you will then need to reconnect the machines to the Router, using the same key and all should work OK. This shouldn't have any impact on other network setup options.

If you can tel us what make and model of Router you are using then I am sure someone can help you out in more detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for that. The router is a D-link D-524 802.11G/2.4GHz Wireless Router connected to a Netcomm Ethernet USB/ADSL Modem Router. How do I get into it? I haven't been brave enough to proceed with "Wireless Network Setup Wizard" in the Control Panel as it seems it is going to set up a new network connection and I am afraid it may destroy the existing one.
 

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You don't need to run the network setup wizard as you already have the network up and running :)

Ok, here goes :)

It is sometimes easier to do this if you have via a machine with a wired connection but not essential.

1: With the PC on and connected to the Router open Internet Explorer (or your prefered internet browser).

2: In the URL field at the top (where you see the website addresses) type 192.168.0.1 and press Enter

This should bring up your Routers Login screen

3: Assuming you haven't changed it the login should be the default:
Username - Admin
Password - (leave this blank)

You should now be logged into your Router Setup pages

If you want to change the Username and Password this can be done from the Tools tab within the Router setup, this area will become apparent as we go through this.

4: You should default to the Home tab and should see a 5 buttons down the left side Wizard, Wireless, WAN, LAN and DHCP

5: Click the Wireless button

This is the setup information for your wireless network including any encryption

6: You should see an option to Enable / Disable Wireless Encryption Protocol (WEP) click the Enable radio button.

7: Below that is the WEP Encryption option, I would set this to 128bit.

8: Next is the Key Type. You can either use a HEX or ASCII key type, HEX requires a Hexidecimal number of a specific length dependant on the Wep Encryption level selected, ASCII is text. I normally go for ASCII simply because its easier to remember a word or phrase than a HEX number and you will need to enter the same information into all the PCs that are connecting to the Router.

9: Below that is 4 lines to input Encryption Keys. These are the HEX numbers or ASCII characters that will be used to generate the encryption. Any PC that wants to connect to the Router will required the selected Key. You do not need to enter 4 if you don't want too. Input the keys as you require and click the Radio button next to the one you wish to use. Remeber the key you have chosen to use :)

10: When complete Click Apply

You may find that you loose connection to the Router at this point, especially if you are doing this wirelessly. If that happens you will need to search for and re-connect to the Router from your PC (will need to be done on all PCs connecting wirelessly). When you try to connect it should open a window asking for the Encryption Key, when it does type in the Key you selected at step 9, it must be exactly the same, and Click OK. You should then reconnect and be on an encrypted wireless link.

There may be an option to Save the Routers settings somewhere in the Setup pages, I couldn't see it any where obviously on the Online Manual I used to write this up for you.

http://www.fixya.com/support/p277725-d_link_airplus_di_524_wireless_router/manual-14181/page-01

Hope this helps, any problems just ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tanis, it was so good of you to go to that trouble. The problem I am having is that 192.168.0.1 brings up "The connection was reset The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading." error. Is it possible my router has a different IP? If so is there any way I can find what it is?
 

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OK, my first thought is, what browser are you using? This was a problem for people using Firefox, so if you are using Firefox it might be worth trying it with Internet Explorer and see what happens.

To confirm the IP for your Router go to the command prompt (Click Start > Select Run > type 'CMD.EXE' (without the inverted commas' and press Return).

When you get the black window up with the prompt type 'IPCONFIG' (again without the inverted commas) and press Return. You will get a list of IP addresses, your Router should be the one listed as Default Gateway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Tanis. IE gave the same result as my FF, but when I ran the CMD.EXE suggestion I found 192.168.1.1 was the address, (you were close). However Admin, (or admin), and no password didn't work. Amongst my computer paperwork I have found a login and password for my D-Link Router, but when I try to use that the login window says: <A user name and password are being requested by http://192.168.1.1. The site says: "NetComm NB1300">, and the login/password I have doesn't work.
So is there another login for the D-Link Router I wonder? The other alternative is that the techie who installed the new computer at a later date changed it, but that doesn't seem likely.
The set up is that the computer connects to the D-Link unit, which is connected to the NetComm unit, which is connected to the broadband/phone connection. The D-Link unit is wireless connected to the other computer. The NetComm unit is the original modem which was connected directly to the computer before there was a second computer on the system.
Sorry to be a pain, but have you any suggestions on what I can try now?
 

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Right, ive done a bit of googling on your kit and it would appear that the PC you are trying to connect to the router with is connecting directly to the Netcomm NB1300 Modem/Router. The IP address should be 192.168.1.1 for that and the default login information is:

Login: admin
Password: password

If you log into the Netcomm with that info the do the following :)

1) Once logged into the Netcomm you will hopefully see a mainly blue screen with info on and with a white bar down the left side with some links. Hopefully something like One page setup, show advanced settings, Router, ADSL, PPP

2) If so, click the Router link on the left.

3) This will hopefully show you a page with WAN IP Address, Subnet Mask and MAC Address. Below that should be LAN IP Address, Subnet Mask and MAC Address and under that it should say Total Number of Lan Interfaces: 1 with IP Address and MAC Address underneath. I think that IP address (at the bottom under Total Number of Lan Interfaces) will be the IP Address assigned to the DLink ADSL Router.

4) Hopefully, if you now open up a new browser window and revert back to my original post of instructions it should work. Just put the IP Address you have just got from the Netcomm into the Address bar of the browser, instead of 192.168.0.1. Also, you may need to use the DLink Router login info you have found rather than the default I gave you previously.

Fingers crossed :)

Let me know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tanis, everything worked exactly as you said it would. The only problem I had was that when I tried to get into the D-Link unit using the password I had found on my documentation it wouldn't work . Then I tried with no password and I got in and was able to proceed as per your earlier post.
Now, here is the rub... When I got to step 8 I found it set to Hex and at step 9 I found there was already a number in WEP Key 1.... it was the number written in my documentation!!!!
From this I am assuming that the wireless network is already protected and that anyone cruising up the street looking for open networks would need that number to get in. I had assumed that, as we never needed to provide a password to gain access to the wireless connection from either computer then it was open. Now I am seeing, I think, that it already knows both my computers are allowed to access it, but any other attempt to access it would fail. Is this correct?
If so, and given that the password for one of the units is "password" and the other has no password at all, should I give them both a robust password and just leave WEP Key 1 set as it is?
One other question, at step 7 I found it was set to 64bit. What will be the effect or benefit if I change it to 128?
 

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Yay, finally got there haha.

Right, onto the next questions :)

When you looked at Step 9, if it was already set to HEX with a number in WEP key 1 (and the radio button next to key 1 was selected) then your wireless connection should be encrypted. I am surprised that neither PC asked for the WEP key though, that seems a little strange. Note, it doesn't ask for it everytime you connect, only the first time you connect to the router after setting it up. After that each PC will know the encryption key and will automatically use it when connecting to the Router.

Checking your link is encrypted, using WinXP as I am not familiar with Vista.
Do you have the network icon on your taskbar (bottom right of your desktop) when you are connected? If so, double click it to bring up the wireless network connection window. From there, you should see an option on the right side of the window saying something like 'search for wireless networks' (im doing this from memory :)). If all thats there you should see a list of wireless networks that your PC can detect, look for yours (it will probably say connected by it), it will tell you if it is secure or not. If it says its secure then your wireless link is encrypted.

As for the passwords, personally I always change the login and password information for the router. Its another level of security to stop people gaining access to it, most Routers have admin / password or admin / blank as their defaults.

64bit and 128bit encryption are just different levels effectively, 128bit encryption is a more complex encoding routine and therefore more secure. If you change it to 128bit you will need to enter a new, longer, WEP encryption key and Apply the changes. You will then loose connectivity on both PCs (because they are still setup with the old 64bit encryption key). Re-search for networks, find yours and connect to it, it should then ask for the key which will be the new one you have input into the Router.

None of the above changes (login info / encryption key) will effect how your current network setup works, as long as they both connect back to the Router OK your network will not be any different.

At the end of the day I would always use the best level of encryption available to me. Why use a lower level of security when you have a better one at hand :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again Tanis I really appreciate all your help on this. I have previously clicked on the wireless network connection icon in the tray. This is the result:



If there is another program that configured it I have no idea what it is. If I follow the last paragraph I get this screen on the "Wireless Network" tab:



Being in unfamiliar territory I thought I better show this to you before going any further - if I need to.
 

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Ok, you have the right screens.

On the first screen which you access but double clicking the network icon on your taskbar, click the Retrieve Network List link in the top left corner of the window.

This will bring up a list of wireless networks that your machine can detect. It will show information on the network name, if it is Secure or Unsecured, signal strength etc. Your network will probably be the one at the top and it should say Connected next to it, Hopefully it will say it is Secure which means you have encryption on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It says "Refresh network list" not "Retrieve". I don't think that is important, but clicking it does nothing except the screen give a flicker sometimes.Could this be because the area to the right says says "Windows cannot configure this wireless connection? "
 

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Ahh OK, my mistake :) because the check box at the top saying something like 'allow windows to manage my wireless connection' isn't ticked means that another peice of software is managing the connection, not a problem.

The software that is managing the connection will have come with the wireless network adaptor that you are using on the PC, probably a USB dongle or maybe even an internal wireless adaptor card?

The software should be on your start menu and there is probably an icon for it on your taskbar (bottom right). If you find the software and start it up it should have similar sorts of options ie. searching for networks etc. It should also show you which network you are currently connected to and if it is encrypted or not. Based on what you have said so far I am pretty sure your wireless is encrypted.

Sorry I can't be more specific, if you have a problem keep posting and ill keep working at it with you :) as long as you have the patience haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There is nothing in the task bar or the startup list that looks like it.
I have the original CDs if they may help. There is a TP-Link one plus a NetComm one and also one marked 802.11g Turbo Wireless LAN PCI Card which is a mystery to me. It says "Driver / Utility / Manual" on it.
Will any of them help?
By the way, you are the one with the patience! :)
 

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The one you have marked 802.11g Turbo Wireless LAN PCI Card is a possibility!

Lets find out exactly what wireless adaptors you have in your PC :)

Assuming the WinXP installation:

1. Click Start > Control Panel

2. If you are in Classic View double click System and go to step 4.
2. If you get a screen which says Pick a Category then click Performance and Maintenance

3. Click System

4. The System Properties window will open, select the Hardware tab

5. Click the Device Manager button near the top, the Device Manager window will open.

6. Look down the list to find Network Adaptors, click the + sign next to it if it isn't already expanded. What Adaptors do you have listed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There are two...
TP-Link 11b/g wireless adapter and VIA Rhine II fast eternet adapter.

By the way, I've found another CD... the D-Link quick install and manual disk
 

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" Now, here is the rub... When I got to step 8 I found it set to Hex and at step 9 I found there was already a number in WEP Key 1.... it was the number written in my documentation!!!!
From this I am assuming that the wireless network is already protected and that anyone cruising up the street looking for open networks would need that number to get in. "


I couldn't help but notice you're using WEP. This stands for "Wired Equivalency Protocol." The idea is that anything secured with WEP is supposed to be at least as secure as connecting to your network by ethernet cable. It isn't so.

WEP is easily cracked in less than a minute by those who know how.

You're far better off changing your encryption to WPA, or, if your router is new enough to support it, WPA2. Then you, your bandwidth, and your personal information will be far more safe from prying neighbors and war-drivers.
 

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WDM2991 is correct however, the likelyhood of your link being accessed is fairly small on the whole.

You can change it easy enough to WPA on the same page that you setup the wireless access key. However, both your wireless adaptors (on the two PCs) also have to support WPA for it to work, I don't know if this is the case for you.

As for your adaptors, the TP-Link one is your wireless adaptor the other is your normal, wired, network adaptor.

If you go Start > All Programs is there anything in there for TP-Link? (Called TP Link Utility I believe) If there is that is your wireless adaptor software. Start it up and you should have similar options to search for networks.

For how to use the utility check here: http://www.tp-link.com/support/showfaq.asp?id=57
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry Tanis, I thought I had answered this shortly after your last post, but looking now it isn't there. Maybe I previewed and then didn't post. Anyway....

Yes there is a TP-LINK in my programs.
It has two sub entries:

TWCU 4.1.2.94 which leads to TP-LINK Wireless Client Utility. When I click that the Missing Shortcuts window opens , but the search is unsuccessful, the choices being 'Fix it', 'Delete it' or 'Cancel'. (I chose cancel).

The second sub entry is TL-WD321G Wireless Utility. This has two sub entries:

Add or Remove TL-WD321g Wireless Utility. I ignored this one.

TL-WD321G Wireless Utility. Clicking this just give a message saying it is already running. Right clicking doesn't seem to be of any use either.

Regarding wdm3911's suggestion, how do I discover whether each of the computers can accommodate WPA and if they can how do I change it? I know where to change to WPA, but not what to change, (if anything), on the WPA screen which then opens.

Assuming I do change will the two computers be aligned with it automatically or are there other steps to take? And what happens about the password? (I am working on the assumption, though I haven't confirmed it, that the old WEP hex password is active.)

This is turning out quite a saga. Let me know if you are growing tired of helping me, it would be understandable. :)
 
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