Wifi "PIN" - what's this?

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 13:30:15 UTC 2010

On 1 July 2010 14:27, Karl Auer <kauer at biplane.com.au> wrote:
> I was trying to connect to the wifi router at a friend's house today.
> With other access points, the access point appears in the drop-down list
> shown by NetworkManager, and I just pick it. If it needs a
> password/passkey it will aks, and that's all I need.
> This time was strange. The access point appears in the list OK, but if
> selected there would just be a looooong delay before Networkmanager
> prompted for a passkey. It had detected the security as being WAP-PSK
> personal. After the passkey was entered, there was another loooong
> delay, then Network Manager gave up and tried the next access point it
> could detect.
> My partner, who has a Vista laptop, tried connecting to this access
> point. She selected the network from the list of networks Vista found,
> and here is when it went strange - she was prompted for a "PIN! This was
> a number printed on the bottom of the access point. She put that in and
> was then prompted for a WPA passkey, and after *that* she was connected.
> What's this "PIN"?!?!? I've never heard of a PIN being needed before.
> Is there some way to tell Ubuntu what the PIN is so it can supply it
> when needed?

Sounds to me like a mis-labelled encryption key. Technically, they
should always be called "keys", but they are often called "passwords",
which strictly they're not, but J. Random Punter knows no different.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamproven
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