[vox-tech] [OT] Two questions regardless Wireless 802.11b
margolid at ecs.csus.edu
Mon Jun 21 15:55:22 PDT 2004
Richard Crawford wrote:
> I'm trying to fix things up with my wireless setup at home. I was using
> WEP for awhile, but decided to stop because (a) our computers were having
> a lot of frame errors and dropping the connection frequently; and (b) I've
> heard that WEP is just not all that secure anyway. So now I'm setting it
> up to do MAC address filtering, and allowing only the MAC addresses that I
> specify. Seems to be working just fine so far.
> Two questions, though.
> First, I have a Sony Clie TJ37, which has a wireless card built in. I was
> hoping I could use it to get into my network, but I can't seem to figure
> out its MAC address. Anyone have any idea how I could track that down?
> Am I barking up the wrong tree?
> Second, I would also like to disable SSID broadcast on my wireless
> network, but when I do, our laptop computers can't log in to the network
> when they're turned on. Is there a way around this?
I don't know anything about Palms or Clies but here is one decent google
return for "finding mac address palm os":
I presume that the networking config options are part of the palm os and
not Sony add-ons, but you never know. Also, with the various versions of
the palm os, that link may be useless, but it at least suggests that you
can look up the MAC somewhere in the prefs.
As far as your wireless network goes, I don't think you should tolerate
"WEP frame drop" (or whatever the error said). I'm currently on my 5th
off-the-self WAP, and until the most recent one (a Netgear WGR614),
they've all had some unacceptable hardware failing (some immediately, some
over time). One had weird routing bugs, another had wireless flakiness,
and the rest of them had problems doing WEP with mixed clients or with
lots of network traffic. I was never able to determine if these were
model specific or actual device specific (i.e. "Does THE WAP99023 suck, or
does THIS WAP99023 suck?") No amount of arguing with tech-support about
"This WAP doesn't support large file transfers over WEP with my [Zaurus,
Linux box, Powerbook]" is going to get you any help, so I just kept trying
new WAPs over about a year-and-a-half until I found what I was looking for.
You want WEP. Even though it's a "broken" encryption scheme, you want to
use it. I don't have any recent stats, but breaking WEP keys with the
available tools (let's say AirSnort) isn't a quick process. Somebody
looking to sabotage a business is probably going to put in the requisite
energy. Otherwise, you have to consider who cares about breaking your WEP
key - your bored neighbor, your tech-saavy enemy, or somebody else willing
to sit in your driveway anywhere from a few hours to a few days depending
on how long it takes to break the WEP key... You never know.
Here's a good "Why use WEP even though it's broken" article:
My suggestion is use mac filtering AND wep AND ssid hiding. I can't use
SSID hiding myself because it confuses the Macs, of which we have two, but
it works great with wireless tools/Linux clients, and the Zaurus is cool
with it too. I'm guessing you can manually configure the SSID into your
Clie, so that should be OK too.
I can't tell you which model WAP will do for you what you want. My
experience leads me to believe that it's not a Linksys vs. D-link vs.
Netgear thing, but that these things are made so cheaply and in such high
numbers, that every time you buy one, you have pretty good odds of getting
one that sucks. There are some high-end corporate models, but I can't
promise spending $600 is going to solve your problem either. Especially
since I paid $39 for my Netgear, and (knock on wood) everything has been
going great for months now.
As much as tech-support almost never seems to help, you may give it a try.
Also, sometimes bugs are fixed by firmware upgrades, so try that if you
I hope that helps,
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