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View Full Version : WPA - Is it really this easy?


mojo2go
Sep 10, 2004, 11:46 PM
I apologze in advance for being longwinded...
OK... here is the thing. I have my G4 Powerbook hooked up to my Airport Express Wireless network (Which shares a modem with my wired PC network.) My son's PC just joined my airport network last week & all worked fine (he is using a Motorola WUG830G USB Wireless Adapter in lieu of a PCI card.)

At first - I left the network unsecure, just to make sure it could all mesh together. But I did eventually want security, so I called Apple support and had them help me set up WEP 128. I found it odd that I could not just go into Airport Express Setup Assistant and change my existing network to do this. The tech made me clear my AEx unit (wiping out my old network setup) & then set up a completely new network. Everything seemed to work fine, except for the network kept booting my son off everytime he went idle.

So, someone else suggested I try the WPA, since it supposedly is easy to set up and much more secure. Plus all pieces of equipment I'm using support it. So - I called Apple Support again to have them help me set up the WPA - but the tech said since i would have to do that through the Airport Admin Utility - he could not help me. That, technically - no one at Apple Support could "legally" walk me through this because users are apparently not supposed to go in and change things through Admin. (What???)

It's an advertised feature of Airport Express and they can't help me utilize it? (By the way, I have the three year extended warranty on my PB & just got it this summer.) He was, however, very willing to send me the written tech articles that are available on the Apple site. Yeah -- i already read them and they do not *walk* you through the implementation of home/personal WPA-PSK setup.

Anyhoo --- I decided to try using the Airport Express Assistant - and not resetting it first - but simply making changes to my existing network, (i.e. adding the WPA security). I figured -- if they give you the option to do it (change the existing network instead of flushing it and recreating the wheel) -- & to select it (WPA, or WEP or whatever) -- why wouldn't it work?

Well, surprise: It worked. And reconfiguring my son's PC to the WPA was a piece of cake as well. I am extremely skeptical!! Nothing works this easily!! -- Why did the tech tell me I had to do it through the Airport Adimin Utility and not Airport Express Assistant?

So - my other question is this: is having all new, up-to-date equipment (Where everything is 802.11g/WPA supported) really the key with this? It was all basically zero-config. Or am I missing something? Is the sky gonna eventually fall on this for me? Any insight from anyone? :confused:

vraxtus
Sep 11, 2004, 02:32 PM
So - my other question is this: is having all new, up-to-date equipment (Where everything is 802.11g/WPA supported) really the key with this? It was all basically zero-config. Or am I missing something? Is the sky gonna eventually fall on this for me? Any insight from anyone? :confused:

I'm not completely sure what you're asking, but I've found WPA in general to be pretty painless wireless security protocol... so don't worry nothing should happen.... yet :p

janey
Sep 11, 2004, 03:09 PM
That, technically - no one at Apple Support could "legally" walk me through this because users are apparently not supposed to go in and change things through Admin. (What???)
Wow, thats the lamest excuse ive heard from Apple lol.
It's an advertised feature of Airport Express and they can't help me utilize it? (By the way, I have the three year extended warranty on my PB & just got it this summer.) He was, however, very willing to send me the written tech articles that are available on the Apple site. Yeah -- i already read them and they do not *walk* you through the implementation of home/personal WPA-PSK setup.
the Powerbook has nothing to do with this.
And urrr... http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=153131
I think that does the job quite well..

Anyhoo --- I decided to try using the Airport Express Assistant - and not resetting it first - but simply making changes to my existing network, (i.e. adding the WPA security). I figured -- if they give you the option to do it (change the existing network instead of flushing it and recreating the wheel) -- & to select it (WPA, or WEP or whatever) -- why wouldn't it work?

Well, surprise: It worked. And reconfiguring my son's PC to the WPA was a piece of cake as well. I am extremely skeptical!! Nothing works this easily!! -- Why did the tech tell me I had to do it through the Airport Adimin Utility and not Airport Express Assistant?
Uh, because the Airport Admin Utility is the more powerful version of the Airport Express Assistant? They do the same exact thing, except Express Assistant gives you less control over certain aspects of the wireless network. And why be skeptical? Its just a simple check-it-off-and-enter-a-password type thing to set it up on most wireless routers that have WEP/WPA support.

You do NOT have to reset _anything_ if you want to make a change or two. That's like too drastic. Like restarting your computer after installing every single piece of software.
So - my other question is this: is having all new, up-to-date equipment (Where everything is 802.11g/WPA supported) really the key with this? It was all basically zero-config. Or am I missing something? Is the sky gonna eventually fall on this for me? Any insight from anyone? :confused:
No not really, to all of your questions.

Anyway, excuse me if I sound a little...shrug. I dislike Airport Express Utility because every time I open that damned app it screws up my network. I abhor having to make the same changes, forward the same IPs, enter the same MAC addresses, entering the same account details. A real PITA.

mojo2go
Sep 11, 2004, 06:44 PM
the Powerbook has nothing to do with this.
And urrr... http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=153131
I think that does the job quite well...


Yep. I know - I read it -- & after all the horror stories I had read about wireless networking, it just seemed too simple.

I guess I'm just going to sit back and enjoy (as long as I can) that things are running smoothly! Note to self: Don't worry - be happy. :D

Thanks, all!