Help w/ Airport Extreme Password Protection

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by kbrown, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. kbrown macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    #1
    Hello,

    This is probably a really, really dumb question... but please help if you can because it is driving me nuts. I'm basically a newbie and just purchased the Airport Extreme so that my wife can use her new work provided PC laptop via wireless network at the same time I use the (superior) IMac...

    Here's the problem: the internet works great! However, even though I thought I set up everything correctly, there is absolutely no password protection for the wireless network and as a result everyone in the neighborhood can access.

    I thought that I followed the directions precisely. I plugged everything in, started it up and I selected a password using the strongest (I believe) WPA security.

    However, both the IMac and the notebook easily log into the wireless network without any password required. In fact, the PC says that the network is "unprotected".

    When I go back in to reconfigure the network, it states that it is password protected (but no password is required to access.... HUH???)

    When I finish set-up it always says "There was an error joining the wireless network 'X'. Try selecting 'X' from the Airport Menu." I go up to the top menu bar and select the network. It doesn't require a password and I can use the internet fine, even though I previously told it that a password should be required.

    I then try and go into the Airport Setup Administrator. It asks me to "Select the Airport Base Station you want to modify. If it is not on the list, click 'Scan Again'." Well, it is never on the list and when I go to scan again it doesn't show up.

    Weird, however, that the internet works fine (just not protected). What am I missing? I've tried restarting everything a couple of times, but I get the same thing every time... the internet works, it's just that nothing is protected.

    I'm sorry... this is probably a really lame question but it is one of those "computer things" that drive me nuts. I would greatly appreciate any guidance that you may have.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #2
    I would do a factory restore the of AirPort. You can do that by doing the following: While it plugged in and turned on, take a straightened paperclip and press and hole the little hole on the back of the Airport until the LEDs on the front start flashing rapidly. It should now appear in the AirPort Admin Tool software and then I would do whats listed below.

    Note: Doing a factory restore will erase ALL settings in the AirPort. So if there's any special settings needed to make the internet work, make a note of those if you can't remember what they are. (Example: PPPoe username and password for DSL)

    You can do 1 of 3 things, or all of them....

    1. Disable WPA and enable WEP. Then enter in a password for WEP. Don't make it an easy thing to figure out either.

    2. Enable MAC Address Filtering. In the AirPort Software its under Access Control Tab. Click the + button and then put in the MAC Address of the PC Notebook, enter in a description (whatever you want) and click ok. Then repeat it to add in the MAC Address for your iMac.

    3. Disable the broadcast so it doesn't broadcast the signal to the outside world. Then if someone wants to connect to your AirPort they need to know EXACTLY what the name of your AirPort is. This alone will make your network more secure than it already is, but I wouldn't rely on it. As with the WEP password, I wouldn't make it something that easy to figure out.

    You can disable the signal broadcast by clicking on the AirPort tab and then checking the box that says Create a closed network.

    Different people will tell you different things as to what is the best way to secure your wireless network. No one person is right and no one person is wrong. No one thing is fool proof, but the MAC Address filtering and the disabling of the signal broadcasting in my opinion are the 2 best and easiest ways to secure your network.

    BTW...no question is a stupid question! We were all where you were once too. If you don't ask the dumb questions, you'll never know the answers. :D
     
  3. kbrown thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
  4. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #4
    You do know that by using kisMac you can get anyones MAC address in the matter of seconds. Then you can easily spoof a MAC. And the network name in the matter of minutes....WPA is really your only option. If you become a target there is not much stopping them except for WPA but i hear some people can even crack that.:(
     
  5. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #5
    Yes, I know that, but if you disable the signal, its kind of hard to get that MAC Addresses now isn't it. No one thing is fool proof and I hardly doubt someone will sit outside your house and spoof a MAC Address just to get in. They will just go find an easier target like an unprotected network. So quit arguing this with me. I do this everyday professionally.
     
  6. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #6
    Not if you know how...but i will drop it..by the way i do it professionally too. :D no hard feelings. But i still agree with you that it is worth it. As most people just move on unless the network picks up automatically, and many will ignore them if they have any type of encryption.
     
  7. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #7
    No worries! :D I just get annoyed when people want to play who's right and who's wrong and I'm not solely point this at you. Like I said before, its really a matter of who you ask. One person will tell you this and the other will tell you something else. Neither person it right or wrong. Nothing you do with wireless security is 100% fool proof and if someone wants in that bad they will find a way in no matter what you do. If anyone is that anal about security, then the best security for wireless is to use Ethernet. I don't think anyone can argue with that.

    BTW...I'm also annoyed that we've had to answer this question like 10 times in the past week. People here need to start using the search feature!!! Its there for a reason..... I apologize ahead of time if I came across as a dink to anyone......
     
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #8
    Sorry to hijack the thread.. I'm just wondering if it's a bad thing to only use MAC address filtering and hide the SSID. Because that's all I do.. I figure anyone determined enough to find my SSID wont be deterred by encryption.
     
  9. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #9
    Thats all I use too along with the other tech I work with. The only bad thing is that once they do happen to get in, they can access everything. But like I said, 9.9/10 someone is looking for an open network (an easy target) and will just skip over yours. Someone would have to be really determined to get into your network. If someone wants into your network that bad they will find a way in no matter what you do....
     
  10. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #10
    That will stop the type that just want a free internet connection. Which is 90% + of the people who try to get onto wireless networks. If its a company you might want better protection or if you think you may be a target as all they have to do is fire up kismac wait a little bit for it to get the SSID then look at the MACs transferring data.
     
  11. gelatin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    #11
    hey guys i see you are pros at this,could you tell me how to use kismac to get thru security?

    no jokes here but ive downloaded it to study urban systems for my graphics project. no malicious intent at all i just want an understanding.
    i know how to scan but i dunno how to crack passwords and use the map feature properly

    ta

    oh and if this is not allowed to be discussed on here could you pm me instead
     

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