[ubuntu-uk] WEP key

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Wed May 30 22:01:35 BST 2007

London School of Puppetry wrote:
> On 30/05/07, *Andrew Price* <andy at andrewprice.me.uk 
> <mailto:andy at andrewprice.me.uk>> wrote:
>     On 30/05/07 18:06, London School of Puppetry wrote:
>      > Can anyone tell me what a WEP key is and what it does?
>      > Caroline (LSP)
>     Hi Caroline,
>     Note: I'm a computer science geek but I'll try to keep this simple :)
>     WEP ("Wired Equivalent Privacy") basically provides a layer of security
>     on top of a wireless network connection. In order to connect to a
>     WEP-secured network with your wireless card, you need to provide your
>     network connection manager with the WEP key for that network. The WEP
>     key is a string of characters (you can think of it as a sort of
>     password). Not all wireless connections use WEP, some are completely
>     open, some use different kinds of security methods.
>     I'm sure someone will mention this next bit so I'll get there first: WEP
>     has been found to be quite easy to circumvent, so it's not that good a
>     way of securing a wireless network, but it's better than nothing and
>     it's still used quite widely.
>     Hope that helps.
>     --
>     Andy Price
>     http://andrewprice.me.uk
> Hi Andy, that was well explained- I have also looked on wikipedia and 
> read about WAPs
> but what no-one has explained to me in what it looks like

A WEP key or similarly, a WPA key looks like is a number, usually a 
longish number.

(note I have almost no experience of this!)

an example might be
(see http://clariondeveloper.com/wepgen/ for where it came from)

The key above is a number, believe it or not. In the hexadecimal 
system, you would count uop from  zero using numerals 0-9 and continue 
with a few alphabet characters up to 15
  as follows
0123456789 a b c d e

( I think..... :-)  )

So in the example above '9' means - simply 9. But 'a' means the number 10.

Dont worry about what the numbers are, just that a key is a sort of 

You have to enter your own secret number into the unit (network 
gateway device?)  (do note it safely somewhere) so it can be used in a 
code system to cause encryption.

The number is usually entered using a computer on a network connected 
to the gateway device, usin ga web browser on the computer.

>- In my hand I 
> have something called 802.11b/g  Security Gateway.  Is this a WEP or  a 
> WAP ?

The handbook or specification summary should tell, you cannot usually 
tell by looking.

> I have  plugged it in to  the computer, then plugged it using 
> another cable into my Alcatel Speed Touch Pro Router thinking I would get
> use of my lap top downstairs for Internet but lost all internet 
> connection for both computers?
> Is there something not compatible?
> Caroline

Sorry I dont know - I am about out of my depth already (!). I would 
look at the gateway instructions to see if it was intended to go where 
you expect, and how it would be setup.

Good luck.
alan cocks
Kubuntu user#10391

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