[P1] Disabling WEP wheb Adding a Dell Laptop to My Airport Network

Richard McKay richard.mckay1 at virgin.net
Sun May 9 16:19:50 PDT 2004

Am 9/5/04 10:55 pm schrieb "Thomas D. Kearns" unter
<thomas.d.kearns at verizon.net>:

> how exposed am I with
> encryption off?  Should I return the Dell and get a different Windoze
> laptop?  I don't do my online banking using the Airport - I do it on
> the iMac attached to the Airport by ethernet.  I live in apartment
> building so neighbors will be able to use my bandwidth.  Is that the
> only downside?

> Disable WEP encryption.

It depends on your personal comfort level with security. Currently you are
allowing strangers to connect to your network and therefore possibly
allowing access to other computers on that network as well as the data on
any of those computers. Consider the comparison to leaving your house door
open...not everyone may come in and of those not everyone would take
everything of value they found but there is the danger thereof...it may
never happen but it could also happen the first time someone notices.
Personally I would enable WEP again and keep the Airport (and thereby the
rest of the network) as secure as possible.

You could always connect the Dell by ethernet for when you want to go online
with a longer cable to allow some mobility freedom.

Of course you should try to see if the Dell can use WEP encryption in one
form or another and then you could just use the equivalent Hex password to
connect securely. It would also help to make the Airport a closed network so
that it makes it harder to find and connect to the network for others.

I would suggest the Dell information is incorrect and that you can indeed
use windows machines with airport base stations. That is what the 802.11b
standard represents. It may be ignorance on Dell's part or just that they
(Dell) provide a means to connect wirelessly but without WEP and other
features. Not going to get into a flame war here.

If you are doing any banking online using this network then I would strongly
recommend considering making the possibility to connect to the network and
any computer on it as hard as possible (for non authorized persons) as it
won't matter how you do the banking if someone can access your network and
has criminal intent then they can access the iMac once they are on the
network...protect yourself, your privacy and your data...this would involve
(at best) firewalls, virus protection, routers with NAT and other features,
password protection and WEP or SSH connections where possible as well as
informing yourself of security issues. However, reality may suggest lesser
controls but at least make your network closed, add a firewall and use WEP
as a minimum.

Hope this helps,


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