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#1 Shoban Sen

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 10:41 AM

I have a financially handicapped neighbor. She is a good friend of mine, and to the best of my knowledge, she is trustworthy. She cannot afford to get a broadband connection of her own. She has a Mac laptop computer, and currently she uses dial-up connection to surf the Net.

I have a cable broadband connection, a desktop, and a laptop computer (both of which runs Windows XP), and I have set up a home computer network between my two computers. I use a Netgear router, and my home network is secured (i.e., one needs a passphrase to connect to my network).

The other day, my neighbor asked me if I could let her use my wireless broadband connection so that she can connect to the Internet wirelessly, and surf the Net faster. I really have no objection to this since I know her pretty well. I just have to give her my passphrase so that so can connect to my network. But my only concern is if I give her my passphrase, CAN SHE RETRIEVE PERSONAL INFORMATION/DATA FROM MY NETWORKED COMPUTERS? Can that be easily done? She is not a computer geek or a hacker with advanced computer knowledge and sophisticated software at her disposal. She is just a regular person with enough knowledge of computers so that she can get her work done.

Any advice from a person with solid networking knowledge will be highly appreciated. I want to help my neighbor. But I certainly do not want to compromise my own security.
~Shoban Sen~
I am always learning ...

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#2 RandomUser

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:16 PM

FIrst of all this is a judgement call on your part based on how much you trust your neighbor.
Secondly, If you concerned about locking down your network so that you minimize the security risks, you'll
want to read up on netbios (Microsoft Protocol), File and Printer Sharing, and finally, TCP/IP to understand some
of the basics of securing your network.

Generally speaking however, you'll have little to no issue as long as she's your everyday user. Keep in mind that
if she wanted to get your info she could, provided she knows what to look for and has a strong understanding of
networking and security. Usually you good neighbor doesn't try to hack you, but I've seen cases where someones'
children attempt it.

Two things to note. Make sure that you're using WPA personal or WPA2 personal for your wi-fi encryption.
Also make certain that you must enter a passowrd for your data on both of YOUR machines and that only you
have the privilege to view your files.

Also, disable the Guest account and don't use the Administrator account unless absolutely necessary. Most people
use the Admin account and aren't even aware that they're doing it.

Please post with questions about how to do any of these things.

#3 Shoban Sen

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:21 PM

Hi RandomUser:

Sorry to get back to you so late. I had decided to give my password to my neighbor afterall. She is truly trustworthy, there is no need for her to break into my computer, and she does not have the advanced knowledge about computers like the hackers do.

That said, there is a new problem. She still cannot connect to my network, and that is what I want to know from you or any other person having solid knowledge of networking -- why can she not connect when she has my password??

Is it possible that my network name (SSID) and the password are linked to my computers' IP addresses? In other words, only my computers can connect to the network and no other computer? If so, what can I do to remedy the situation?

My computers use Windows XP, the router is Netgear, my encryption is WEP 64 bit. My neighbor has a Mac laptop. That is all I can tell you. My networking knowledge is really poor. So you have to guide me through every step of the way. In fact, if it is too technical or complicated, I have decided to ask her to take her own broadband connection and I shall pay her bill until she recovers from her financial crisis.

By the way, I have saved a code marked as Key1. I was told by the Netgear Tech Rep (when he helped me to set up my wireless network) to save the the code carefully as that would be needed in case I needed to reset the wireless network or wanted to change anything in it. Could that be handy in this case?

Any help from any individual will be highly appreciated.

Edited by Shoban Sen, 09 November 2007 - 04:23 PM.

~Shoban Sen~
I am always learning ...

#4 RandomUser

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 08:57 PM

So Your ESSID and Password are not linked to your PC in this case.

These are independent of any computers except that you need them to
log on to your router/wireless access point.

Second, what types of errors does she get when trying to connect to your
router/Access Point?

If she's using a Mac this process is much easier. You have to make sure that
you've entered the correct ESSID and Password. Also, you want to make certain
that she's using a Protocol that Matches the Capabilities of the Router.
802.11 a/b/g/ or n? Further make sure that her wireless channel is set to AUTO
to avoid missing your router. You may have to fool around in the MAC Network
Setup to find these things. I don't have a MAC so I can't provide a screenshot.

That Key you saved could be a couple of things. If it's something you wrote down,
then that should be fine. If it's from the XP Network Setup Wizard, that won't work
on a MAC.

I'll check the settings of my Netgear Router tomorrow and recap.

#5 M...

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 11:25 AM

Hello Shoban Sen,

When you entered the WEP passphrase in the Mac, did you enter the original "readable" passphrase or the generated hexadecimal key value? I recall that there was/is a difference in the way the Mac generates the actual hexadecimal key from the original "readable" password/passphrase versus the way other vendors perform the same transformation. I have always found it safest (most reliable) to enter the raw hexadecimal key/password value when specifying the key in the router setup and when specifying the key in a wireless client computer.

See the following thread, in particular starting at the first post from kaylee:

"...The other thing i had to do (which i found out from these forums actually), was rather than use the WEP password to access the network, was use the WEP 40/128 bit HEX - and entered the actual key generated by the password/passphrase - i was able to find this out from the config application on one of the other computers in the house."

http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-76282.html

Also see this -- when specifying the hexadecimal key on the Mac, begin with "0x" (zero followed by 'x') followed by the hexadecimal characters in the key:

http://domster83.wordpress.com/2007/03/09/...ep-on-mac-os-x/

The "Key1" value you refer to might be the raw hexadecimal version of the wireless encryption (WEP) key. You can verify this by accessing the router's configuration utility. The manual for your Netgear router should specify how to access the router's configuration utility/pages. If you don't have this manual, you'll need to know the exact model number of your Netgear router in order to download the manual from Netgear.

#6 Shoban Sen

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:46 PM

Hello Everybody:

Thanks for all the help you tried to give me. Our problem actually is resolved now. My neighbor is enjoying "YouTube" at this moment using my secured wireless network!

I had contacted Netgear Support for this, and they had replied to my online support request within an hour from India with very clear cut and easy to carry out instructions. Following the instructions, my neighbor got connected with my wireless network in less than 10 minutes. She had to change certain configurations in her computer and enter the Key 1, rather than the actual "readable" passphrase, in the field for password and Voila ... she got connected. She just has to find a good job now, and she'll be all set in life. She already has a good neighbor and a free broadband connection!!!
~Shoban Sen~
I am always learning ...

#7 RandomUser

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 05:22 PM

I´m curious Shoban,

Which Model of Mac was this and what Version of OS X?

When I ask about the Model, is a Mac Book/Mac Book Pro, Ibook, or Powerbook?

I´ve seen this issue before but I´m trying to figure out if it applies to
specific models/OS´.

I´d appreciate your response.

#8 Shoban Sen

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 03:38 PM

Dear RandomUser:

I don't really know which Model of Mac my neighbor has and which Version of OS X her machine uses. But I think it is not relevant in this case. Had it been relevant, the Netgear Support person would have asked me the same question before suggesting a solution to the problem. The procedure they suggested is very general in nature, and I think it would apply to ALL Mac computers trying to join an existing secure (WEP encryption) network.

For the benefit of EVERYBODY trying to hook up a Mac computer (new client) with an existing wireless network, I shall quote below the procedure suggested to me by the Netgear Support person and this worked like a charm. Anybody having a little working knowledge of Mac computers probably can figure it out himself/herself provided he/she is willing to fiddle around the machine a little bit. Okay, here is the procedure:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. From the Finder (desktop) click on the Apple menu, then click on the System Preferences option.
2. After the “System Preferences” window opens, click on the Network option under “Internet & Network”.
3. When the “Network Preferences” pane opens, select Airport under the “Show” section.
4. After selecting “Show: Airport”, click on the Airport tab. When the “Airport” area opens, tick the option for Join a specific network and input your SSID into the “Network” field (Netgear is the default SSID for all Netgear wireless products). Also be sure to have the Show Airport Status in menu bar option clicked.
5. If you’re using WEP on your wireless network, input “Key 1” or “Key” from your Wireless router into the “Password” field, please input all letters in UPPER CASE.
6. Click on the Apply Now button to save your settings.
7. Power down your computer and power it back up.

If you do not have access after powering back up please try the steps below.

1. Click on the Airport icon in the “Menu” bar, and make sure that the “Airport: Off” option is not grayed out, if it is, click on the Turn Airport On option.
2. If you click on the Airport icon in the “Menu” bar and find that the option for “Airport: On” is grayed out, then click on the SSID and you should get a connection.

I hope the steps above will help resolve the issue. If you need any further help please reply us back so that we can continue to work on a solution. Thank you for choosing Netgear.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's it. I am totally happy with Netgear and recommend their products to everybody. Just remember to "register" the product/s with Netgear. You will then receive FREE prompt, courteous, and efficient tech support from them for ever. This is the second time they helped me out. The help came all the way from India within an hour. And each time the problem was resolved in just one attempt. What more can you expect?

RandomUser, please let me know if the above info was helpful for you.
~Shoban Sen~
I am always learning ...

#9 RandomUser

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 07:50 PM

Shoban, I understand this may not be relevant, but I like to know
for Reference. I know that it may be specific to the Mac World
regardless of Model. I simply like to know what's going on behind
the scenes if you will.

It''s interesting to see how and why the network setup is implented in
such a restrictive manner. I wonder if it's due to a service that runs in
the background.




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