Q

Troubleshooting WEP connection

I recently connected my XP Pro desktop to a Linksys BEFWS114 router, using an Ethernet cable. I also have a D-Link DWL-G650 wireless card for my laptop. Here's my problem: when I enabled WEP on the router, my laptop was unable to receive any signal. When I did an "ipconfig" at the c-prompt, Default Gateway was blank. However, once I turned off WEP, signal was back again and I was able to access the Internet. Why?
When you enable WEP, you must enter the same WEP keys at both ends of the wireless connection.
  1. On your Linksys router, click on the "WEP Key Settings" button, type in four keys (or generate them with a passphrase), and copy down those keys exactly. Either 40 or 128 bit WEP will work with your DWL-G650. Pick key #1 as your default transmit key.

  2. On your laptop, configuration depends on whether you're running Windows XP or another operating system. On Windows XP, you'll be prompted to select an available wireless network and enter a network key. Enter the same hexadecimal key value as you did for key #1 on your router (not the passphrase, the actual key) and make sure the checkbox for 802.1X is NOT checked. On other operating systems, you'll need to configure WEP keys using the D-Link Air Utility. Here again, you'll be presented with a list of available SSIDs. When you pick one and click on "Connect," you'll be prompted to enter four WEP keys. Leave other settings at default, enter the same four keys (in hex), checking off the first key as the "default key."

Once you've entered the same keys at both ends, that should do it. Once wireless is connected, your notebook will be able to get an IP address (i.e., ipconfig will show a default gateway again). If you continue to have trouble connecting over wireless with WEP enabled after entering identical WEP keys at both ends, I recommend browsing the D-Link website for tips on configuring your DWL-650.

This was first published in September 2004

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