exchanged modem/router for same model but now cannot connect to Internet using WEP

Very strange situation. I had an ATT “2Wire” modem/router that was working but connection to the Internet was often poor. An ATT technician came to my home and swapped out the modem/router for the identical model. I changed the ESSID and WEP code to match the new unit and everything was fine with the following wireless units: a wireless desktop, two cellphones, three wireless Archos tablets, and a couple of e-reader tablets. So all seemed to be fine wirelessly. However…

My laptop (SuSE 11.0, KDE3) simply won’t connect no matter what I do. I changed the ESSID and WEP info in the lappy exactly as was done with the other wireless devices named above. But no good. :’(

The lappy does see the modem/router (a good, strong signal appears in KNetworkManager). But it seems as if the modem/router is rejecting the lappy’s attempted handshake using the new ESSID and/or WEP information.

I thought that perhaps there was something wrong with the lappy’s wireless card, so I took it to a Starbucks to see if it would connect there on an open network, and it did without problem. So the lappy’s wireless card appears to be working fine. It just won’t talk to the encrypted modem/router at home.

Here are the settings on the lappy. Hopefully something here is easily identified as the culprit. With all the clicking I’ve done it certainly is possible that I ticked something that should not have been ticked and just don’t realize what I’ve done.

Network settings screen:

Global options tab:

Network setup method: user controlled with Network Manager

Change default route via DHCP (ticked)

Overview tab:

(click edit to configure wireless card)

Network Card Setup screen:

General tab:

Activate device – at boot time
Firewall zone – Automatically assigned zone

Address Tab:

Dynamic Address – DHCP

Hostname/DNS tab:

Hostname: <name of the computer, same as before>

Domain name <same name as before>

change hostname via DHCP (ticked)

write hostname to /etc/hosts (ticked)

Name Server 1: <same as before>

domain search: <same as before>

Wireless Network Card Configuration screen:

Operating mode: Managed

Network Name (ESSID): <name of the router/modem>

Authentication Mode : WEP shared key

Key Input Type: Hexidecimal

Encryption Key: <10 digit code from modem/router)>

Wireless Keys screen:

Key length: 128 (note, I also tried 64 without success)

So, any ideas? Why won’t the new modem/router which is exactly the same as the old one except for the ESSID and WEP work with my lappy yet it does work with a bunch of other wireless devices?

Thanks for your help.
socref

If you are using the networkmanager mode (and not the traditional mode), you can not feed in the wireless credentials using yast. knetworknamager uses only information fed into it directly. For the above setup, choose the ‘traditional mode’ and it should work.

Thanks for reply. But how do I connect if the KNetworkManager is turned off? I changed the setting to “Traditional Method with ifup,” and then added the ESSID and WEP info in the screens that came after that, then saved. But how to connect? Please advise, I’ve never used “Traditional Method” before.
Thx
socref

Before changing the modem/router I was using KNetworkManager and entered the ESSID and WEP info without problems.

Is it possible that despite the fact that I am trying to enter new ESSID and WEP info, the lappy is not storing that info and, instead, still retains the ESSID and WEP from the replaced modem/router?

If that is possible where is the file I need to delete to kill that old info?
Thx
socref

SOLVED! But is this solution acceptable or risky?

OK, I finally was able to get the lappy to connect using KNetworkManager, but only by changing the WEP authentication from “Shared Key” to “Open System.”

Now, I’m totally in the dark here. Does that change leave me vulnerable, and does it render useless the security of the 10 digit hexadecimal code? Or is the modem/router still secured from persons outside my home network jumping on board?

Please advise.
Thx
socref

On 12/01/2010 04:36 PM, socref wrote:
> OK, I finally was able to get the lappy to connect using
> KNetworkManager, but only by changing the WEP authentication from
> “Shared Key” to “Open System.”
>
> Now, I’m totally in the dark here. Does that change leave me
> vulnerable, and does it render useless the security of the 10 digit
> hexadecimal code? Or is the modem/router still secured from persons
> outside my home network jumping on board?

Using WEP is by definition insecure. Any reasonably adept hacker can discover
your key within 5 minutes and break into your network.

If you change to WPA, which your 2Wire modem can handle is better. WPA2 would be
the best; however, all of your devices need to be able to support whatever
method you use.

Many thanks for this reply. I will do some investigation and see about switching over to WPA or WPA2.

In the meantime, I ask again, am I any more vulnerable with WEP set on the lappy as “Open System” rather than “Shared Key?”
Thx
socref

What would have done the job, is this:
Enter the networkmanager settings, remove the entry for your router. Logout, login recreate the entry, done.

On 12/02/2010 07:06 AM, socref wrote:
>
> In the meantime, I ask again, am I any more vulnerable with WEP set on
> the lappy as “Open System” rather than “Shared Key?”

No.

Thanks! Appreciate the confirmation.
socref