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Enabling WEP with passwords on a Linksys BEFW11S4 Network
I have a BEFW11S4 Linksys wireless router, and an iBook running 10.2.2. After spending many hours trying to get the WEP to work, I finally figured it out. Go to the router's IP number ( in your browser and click the radio button "make WEP mandatory." Then go to the WEP settings, type in your password, and press 'Generate.' Copy the first code and then go to the System Preferences in OS X, select the Network pane and then click the Airport tab. Next click "Join a specific network," choose your access point's name then enter a "$" (without the quotes) and then enter your code right after that, without spaces or anything; eg: $3jflk3jfllkd8kdf (made up, obviously).

This does two things. It lets you connect using WEP, and makes it auto connect to the access point when a password is neccessary (rather than going to the pull down Airport menu and selecting the access point).

[Editor's note: I don't have a Linksys here to test this with...]
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Enabling WEP with passwords on a Linksys BEFW11S4 | 12 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: Numbski on Dec 03, '02 10:08:35AM

Yeah, it works. I know, I've been doing it for 8 months now (obviously not just with the S4, but you get the idea...).

The thing is, it's in the docs that came with your airport card. If you use an access point other than an Airport Base Station and use 128 bit encryption, the dollar sign has to be there. I'm not sure why this is...surely software could check for the presence or lack thereof of a dollar sign, but nonetheless that's the way it goes.

This one falls in the RTM category. ;)

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wep is not secure
Authored by: bakalite on Dec 03, '02 12:05:46PM

I'm by no means an expert on this stuff but I'm pretty sure that WEP is not secure at all. It also slows down your connection a bit. There are some people who know a lot more than I about this, so do some research if this concerns you.

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Authored by: macubergeek on Dec 04, '02 04:53:34PM

with 10.2.2 the $ sign is no longer required for entering the
hex keys

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Linksys 802.11b
Authored by: copelanduk on Dec 03, '02 06:10:16PM

I've got a Linksys WAP11 v2.2 (Firmware 1.01c) at home and back in 10.1.x I had to do the $[128bit ASCII key] route but when 10.2 rolled around it added those nice options for hex / ascii or airport passwords when using the airport menu item.

I keep my 'Home' location set to most recently used (remember password box checked) so I hadn't really noticed that the specific network option in the network prefs pane hasn't been updated to easily handle non-airport wep keys. When I am roaming I have a different location with best signal in the airport pane. So I'd recommend just setting it to recently used and then using the menu item to select your network once and enter the password (also store it on the keychain) and that way you should have pretty seamless access. The only problem would be if you had several basestations available from your computer and you somehow switched from the desired network but this shouldn't really happen.

Oh and...

wep is insecure. It takes relatively few packets to break wep, but I would still turn it on unless you're offering free access. A few weeks ago I opened my ibook and drove around my block and found 12 wireless networks (bear in mind I didn't drive particularly slowly, I didn't use an external antenna and I just had the laptop on the back seat so the doors may have interfered) and only 2 had wep enabled. I didn't detect my ssid which is 14 floors up in the air but the moral of the story is if I wanted to break into a network I'd choose one without wep, and probably one of the six that still had linksys as the ssid.

Speaking of ssid, my linksys has the option to hide the ssid, but that used to give an automatic kernel panic in 10.1.x (the only time I've seen one since 10.0). Eventually I just stopped trying to hide the ssid, has anyone tried this in 10.2.x?

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Linksys 802.11b
Authored by: slsman on Dec 05, '02 11:03:01AM

In Jaguar I was finally able to disable the SSID broadcast from Linksys WAP 11. This had failed with earlier versions of OSX. In the Network system pref, I select "Join most recently used available network" and "remember network password"

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Linksys 802.11b
Authored by: dafuser on Dec 24, '02 01:06:58AM

I have turned off the SSID broadcast on my WAP11 (firmware 1.4i.1) without any problems. I'm running 10.2.3 on a 1Ghz G4 Powerbook. I did have to configure my Airport card to connect to a specific SSID. I had it configured to connect to the strongest signal, and it wouldn't connect to the WAP11 once I turned off the SSID broadcast.

When running MacStumbler on the PowerBook, or NetStumbler on my IBM T23 my WAP11 doesn't show up. I suppose you could find it with a RF sniffer, but the average guy doesn't keep one of those in his back pocket.

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Enabling WEP article
Authored by: leebennett on Dec 04, '02 12:28:57AM
I wrote an article that goes into further detail on this, and some of the reader comments on the page are also helpful.

This article includes some info about the post on this page where someone talked about security and bandwidth loss. In a nutshell, sure, WEP is not completely secure and can be cracked, but it does prevent the casual wardriver from gaining access to your bandwidth. And as for the drop in bandwidth…yes, your throughput will decrease considerably for LAN transfers, but if you are only concerned about your internet bandwidth, your throughput will not suffer. WEP cuts bandwidth down to about 4-5 Mbps—vastly higher than then 1 or 2 Mbps speeds cable modems generally provide.

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Linksys Security
Authored by: ccarella on Dec 04, '02 12:17:47PM

WEP insecurities aside, make sure you do a firmware upgrade on your Linksys Routers... there has been a few posts on Bugtraq about some vulnerabilities, most notably one involving a router hijack if remote administration is on... I'm not sure if the firmware fixes all the problems, but its better than the default firmware shipped with the product..
[note] I'm not sure if this particular model is the one that is vulnerable, but I suspect it is

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Thanks a Ton!
Authored by: UltraNurd on Dec 22, '02 08:00:45PM

Trust MacOSXHints to have literally the exact answer to my question :o).

The included manual has absolutely no reference to Mac setup, bad form on LinkSys' part, and the user guide PDF available on their website wouldn't download. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just a scan of the printed copy.

Playing around with the settings on the router's admin page were not sufficient to get this working... although it's not difficult, it's not obvious either.

Anyway, my dad is now giddily wandering around the house with his iBook reporting signal strengths. Yay AirPort!

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Enabling WEP with passwords on a Linksys BEFW11S4
Authored by: rspress on Jun 03, '03 12:25:17AM

Do you put the name on the router name line and the $fskldfkd(wep key) on the password line?

Once set up this way do I have to type the number in each time to access the wireless network? I just want to fire it up and go!

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Enabling WEP with passwords on a Linksys BEFW11S4
Authored by: spiritquest on Mar 19, '04 07:35:54AM

OK, I'm just going to clarify a couple of things here, as I couldn't work out the exact method of enabling this hint .. it's been bugging me for ages. I had to upgrade my firmware as it was ancient, but the new features are worth it.

1) Follow instructions above to generate your key choose (128bit)
2) Choose to connect to your WiFi hub by selecting its SSID
3) when it asks you for a password, slect the drop down menu and select 128-bit Hex
4) Enter the code that was created when generating the key - if you don't want to have to inpout this long code every time you want to connect to your hub, select add to keychain. (as noted in hint above) - u can't paste the code into this box as its protected and you'll be forced to type it in each time.

thats pretty much it - I spent ages trying to put my passphrase into the password box, and used variations of the '$' method. It isn't difficult to get this working but as its been stated it isn't obvious either. Thanks to the original poster, as i would have been lost otherwise!


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Enabling WEP with passwords on a Linksys BEFW11S4
Authored by: aravosis on Jan 02, '06 10:48:05AM

FYI, for my Linksys router, I didn't need to select anything that said "make WEP mandatory" - all I had to do was make sure I was using WEP as my encryption on my router. Then, on my G4 Powerbook, I simply went in to my airport button in the upper right hand corner of the desktop (sorry, I'm new to Macs, so still using PC vocab), and I selected my wireless network, which it was able to find, then where it said "password" I typed the dollar sign and the hexadecimal code that my password generated. It works. Thanks for the suggestion and solution.

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