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vetinry
2006-06-08, 02:04
Good morning

I've just been scanning the forum but can't find an answer to what I hope is a simple question.

I've just got a new ZyXEL wireless router from work, which replaces an old (and not very good) linksys WAG54G. I was running WEP 128 but work have advised me to use WPA PSK for improved security.

When I set up my SB 2 on the old network, I entered all of the 26 characters for WEP 128

Is WPA personal the same as WPA PSK (the ZyXEL has WPA 1 and WPA 2 - what is the difference?) ie if I enter my key that I'm using on the network, will things work ok?

Thanks in advance

Steve

snarlydwarf
2006-06-08, 07:55
WPA's naming is confusing.

There is WPA/PSK/TKIP, WPA/PSK/AES, WPA/whatever-it-is-with-radius, etc.

And then a whole different set with WPA2.

What you want is WPA with Pre-Shared-Key (PSK) using TKIP encrytion.

Or WPA2, PSK with AES encrytption.

Other combinations like WPA/PSK/AES are "optional" in the WPA spec and usually don't work (and the SB doesn't support them).

vetinry
2006-06-08, 14:27
Hello

Many thanks for replying.

The ZyXEL is (or was) definitely set up for WPA PSK with TKIP - The squeezebox found the network and correctly identified that it was WAP encryption but then when I put in the password (I assume that's the Pre Shared Key PSK) exactly as in the ZyXEL router set up, it wouldn't connect.

Does the SB2 definitely support PSK, and did I enter the right password? I've rolled back to 128 WEP and everything is working well, including the ethernet bridge, which is great, but I'd ideally like to use WPA for better security.

Any more help or suggestions?

Cheers

Steve

vetinry
2006-06-08, 14:29
Oh, and what is the difference between WPA and WPA 2 - is 2 newer and better, or just different? And does the SB2 support them?

Thanks

Steve

snarlydwarf
2006-06-08, 14:55
Yes, the SB should support WPA/PSK/TKIP just fine: I use that myself. And, yes, PSK is the three-letter-acronym for "password"... Pre-shared means "you have to enter this in each device".

Make sure you enter it -exactly- the same and have no trailing spaces at the end on the SB. If you're going from a longer key to a shorter one, delete the characters at the end, not space over them.

The "personal" mode is what you want. The other mode requires a server for authentication and really isn't worth the trouble and the SB doesn't support it anyway. :)

The differences between WPA and WPA2 basically boil down to two things:

WPA = TKIP Encryption, AES was "optional"
WPA2 = AES Encryption, TKIP is "optional"

There is some minor tweakage to the algorithms due to potential weaknesses in WPA, but those weaknesses don't have a known exploit yet. Either should be secure, and either is far more secure then WEP which isn't secure at all. :)

The Squeezebox supports both WPA/TKIP and WPA2/AES. Which you use depends on other devices on your network and which they can handle.

vetinry
2006-06-08, 15:08
Hi Snarlydwarf

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply.

Perhaps there was an additional space at the end of the key - I was pushing the right arrow on the remote to go to the next screen so maybe it happened then. I don't think there were any other errors.

The rest of the network is WPA PSK with TKIP so I will stick with that and hopefully everything will work.

I'm off to the states tomorrow for business so I'll have another go when I get back next week

How much better is WPA than WEP anyway?

Cheers

Steve

vetinry
2006-06-08, 15:10
Should have read all of your post a bit more thoroughly.

It looks like I should definitely try and get the WPA fixed ASAP if WEP isn't too secure.

Steve

snarlydwarf
2006-06-08, 15:34
WPA is an infinite amount better than WEP.

It is possible to break into a WEP network in a matter of minutes. The only known attack on WPA/WPA2 networks is a dictionary attack: choosing a good password gets around that.

JJZolx
2006-06-08, 15:35
Should have read all of your post a bit more thoroughly.

It looks like I should definitely try and get the WPA fixed ASAP if WEP isn't too secure.
Yes, it's worth the effort, although it really should be no more difficult than using WEP. The SB could be having a problem with that particular model of router, but I'd hold off on assuming that until all else fails.

If I were running into problems setting up the wireless, I'd do a couple things first:

Do a factory reset of the Squeezebox. Unplug the SB, then press and hold the ADD button on the remote while plugging in the power again.

Power cycle the wireless router.

Powe cycle the DHCP server (I'm guessing this may be running on the ZyXEL router).

Double check that the password has been entered correctly into the ZyXEL. If you have other wireless devices, it may be easier if you can confirm the wireless setup by getting one of them on the network first before tackling the Squeezebox.

If you'll be using DHCP, make sure it's set up correctly on the DHCP server (the ZyXEL?) and that you're not duplicating any IP addresses that you've statically assigned to other equipment.

vetinry
2006-06-08, 23:18
Good morning

Have just had another go and it's all working fine now. The network in the house now is so much better than with the linksys

There is an option on the ZyXEL to tick a mixed mode tab under the WPA option, but I have left it unchecked - does this do anything important?

Off to catch a flight to Washington now.

Many thanks for your help

Cheers

Steve

Mark Lanctot
2006-06-09, 10:09
There is an option on the ZyXEL to tick a mixed mode tab under the WPA option, but I have left it unchecked - does this do anything important?

I believe this is where the router can accept both WEP and WPA clients. Keep that option unchecked.