Helping Neighbor with Macbook wireless

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by johnnyW4JVE, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. johnnyW4JVE macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2008
    I am trying to help a neighbor get his macbook working wirelessly secured. He has a 4-year old linksys router and a 2-year old macbook. Not being a macbook wizard, I attempted to set up a 128-bit WEP link but his macbook is running something called airport and does not use the word "key" asks for a password....

    His macbook will connect with security disabled but not secured. Is there a macbook compatible router I could recommend? Or is there something simple I am not doing? We are both retired and not computer gurus, so something simple would be ideal.

    thanks, Don
  2. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    You could use mac filtering or change the wireless to WPA. Wep is really out dated and very easy to crack. The other thing you can do is add a $ to the wep key in the front of the password.
  3. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    What reflow said. If you want to use WEP, it should work, and you just have to put a $ before the numbers, i.e. $####..., and you should get connected.

    However, if you can set up WPA on that old router, I'd suggest using that, as it's more secure, and it uses a normal password which is easier to remember.
  4. johnnyW4JVE thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2008
    The router did not give the option of WPA....another difference, the router speaks the term "key"....while the macbook uses the term "password". Not sure if a password is a key in wireless-speak.

    ????? Don
  5. chriscl macrumors 6502


    Jan 4, 2008
    Stuttgart, Germany
    The router - if using WEP - will let you set a 'key'.

    When you try and join this wireless LAN from the Mac, the Mac will ask for a "Password" to join the wireless LAN - this is the 'key' you entered in to the router.

    As above, try putting a '$' sign before the key; also, be aware that depending on the router you are using, the router may ask for a WEP key, which might be a plain-text phrase you type in - the router will then convert this to hexadecimal, and you may have to input the hexadecimal key as the 'Password'.

    Also, your Linksys should give the option of MAC address filtering - this is where you only allow access to known MAC addresses - the MAC address is the hardware address of your network card - you can find your MAC address from Network Properties in the System Preferences, just open the properties for the Airport card, then look for the "Airport ID" - that's your computer's MAC address.

    Only allowing connections from known MAC addresses is better than using just WEP; as mentioned above, WEP is not really secure and can be broken (giving an attacker access to your wireless LAN!)

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