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Fixed: WRT54GS and PSP working in harmony

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by drwobbly, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. drwobbly

    drwobbly Network Guru Member

    I got my PSP online with my WRT54GS v1.1 (firmware v3.37.2) with the following settings. I had to trawl the forums and combine lots of info - sometimes confusing and contradictory. So have tried to be as comprehensive as possible here - good luck! Would have been a lot easier if Sony had provided better info / some tutorials:

    The key thing is to set WEP off. But here's the longer version(!):

    Linksys WRT54GS
    ---------------
    channel 11
    wifi type: Mixed - v. important as PSP is only 'b' compatible
    SSID broadcast - not necessary, but easier if on broadcast
    WEP / WPA encryption etc off

    PSP
    ---
    Network Settings/Infrastructure mode/set up new connection/
    Scan for SSID or enter manually
    WLAN Security setting: None
    Address Settings: Custom
    IP Address Setting: Manual - The PSP manual states that if users have DHCP
    (which is necessary for cable modems/my ISP),
    then IP addresses etc have to be entered manually.

    IP Address: 192.168.1.102 - next available (local) IP address after your existing
    computers on the network
    Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0 - router's given subnet mask
    Default Router: 192.168.1.1 - router's (local) IP address
    Primary DNS: 192.168.1.1 - router's (local) IP address
    Secondary DNS: blank

    Proxy Server: Do not use
    Internet browser: Do not start
    Save Settings

    Note my local IP address range is 100-149. Another PC had an address of 192.168.1.101, so I chose 102 (next available address) for the PSP.


    THIS WORKED FINE - first in network settings where you just test the connection, then in Network - WWW Internet Browser (from PSP's home/start page).


    HOWEVER, TECHNICALLY YOU ARE OPERATING IN AN UNSAFE ENVIRONMENT. SO ONCE YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED GETTING THE PSP ONLINE, ENABLE MAC FILTERING SECURITY TO STAY SAFE. Technically Mac filtering is safer than WEP (assuming properly implemented) because you are specifying which computers can access the network and all others can't.

    So go to each of your wireless computers and start a command prompt / dos window. Then type
    'ipconfig /all' and press return.

    Note the physical address - capitals and numbers separated by '-'

    Then in your PSP go to Home and Settings and System Settings. Almost at the bottom is 'System Information' Note the 'Mac Address'.

    Now go back to the computer connected to your router (that you installed the router software on) and after connecting to your router in a browser (by typing http://192.168.1.1) and then entering the user:(default: leave blank) and password: default: 'admin'. Click on the 'Wireless' option and in the 'wireless security' tab make sure encryption etc is set to 'disable'. Then go to the 'Wireless Mac Filter' tab and set to 'Enable' and the 'Permit only listed PCs' option. Click on 'Edit Mac Filter List' and in the available boxes enter all the Mac addresses / physical addresses. But replace the '-' with ':' for the physical addresses when you enter them to this page - basically the format of the PSP Mac address is the correct one. You may need to check the router monitor / wifi card monitor on all PCs to enter their addresses too. Save settings on this page AND on the original page. Click continue both times. Go to another tab, then return to these windows ('Wireless Mac Filter' and 'Edit Mac Filter List') to make sure the changes have been saved. Then logout / close the window.

    Now restart all other PCs on the wifi network and check that they have adopted the new settings (ie WEP off). I found with my WMP54GS wifi card monitor / software that to start with it still had WEP encryption on. But after the restart, it re-searched and adopted the new WEP off settings. The animation showed the card accessing the access point, but not the internet. But I ignored this and started a web browser and the internet loaded fine. Later I went back and the animation confirmed internet traffic / access.

    I think thats everything(?)

    So I have a secure wifi and PSP internet access. Hurrah!

    Another top PSP tip - if you use the keyboard and want to enter the same letter again or another letter from the same keypad, you have to go up to the arrows and choose the one pointing right to advance the cursor before entering the letter required.

    Another top WRT54GS tip: The PC I installed the WRT54GS software on is constanftly losing the internet connection and the only way to get it back is restart the computer. However, another PC (same - Win2k with service pack 4 and latest rollup - OS) with the WMP54GS wifi card is much more consistent / doesn't lose the connection more or less ever. The only difference is the (wifi = WMP54GS card) - on the less stable PC I use a cable to connect to the router. So maybe the problem is something to do with how the network is presented to the motherboard/PC when it thinks it is a standard ethernet network compared to that of a wifi/Internet network...? Bit out of my area of expertise - but just trying to think what is different between a standard ethernet port and a wifi PCI card...


    Another thing I do (although it probably doesn't do anything to help other than provide something vaguely logical for me to clutch at!) is to always leave a browser open with a page that refreshes automatically - eg http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4.

    Hope this helps.
     
  2. NateHoy

    NateHoy Network Guru Member

    Just a warning on this and a word to the wise - MAC filtering is NOT a security feature, despite its original intent. It was a great idea, but it can be easily defeated nowadays using a clear and obvious flaw.

    MAC address filtering will not stop any but the most casual of WiFi surfers. MAC addresses are transmitted in cleartext, no matter what connection protocol you use, so all someone has to do is put a card out there capturing packets, grab a MAC from the list, wait for you to disconnect that client, and they can connect at will.

    You can SLIGHTLY increase security by also turning off your SSID broadcast. The casual surfer won't even know you are there, and the hacker won't have as easy a time finding you (especially if there are other WiFi points in the area), but again that is also sent in cleartext to clients who know it, so again a radio sniffer can get that with a few seconds' effort.

    WEP is "somewhat" secure. It takes actual hacking programs to break it, though a determined hacker can get in within a few minutes if he/she has the correct tools.

    WPA, in its various flavors, is "very" secure with a good keyword (very long, no dictionary words, lots o'dem special characters).

    Obviously, if your clients do not allow secure connections, then you need to run wide open :eek: . I'd do something like engaging parental controls and/or only turning on wireless when you are ready to play on your PSP, and leaving it off the rest of the time, or "unsecuring" it when you want to play, then re-securing it afterward.

    You may also consider physical security measures, like turning your WiFi radio down to the bare minimum power required to reach your clients (if you are running aftermarket firmware that allows you to adjust your antenna power), shielding the side of the router that is exposed to the street to mitigate "wardriving" threats, etc.

    Perhaps even a secondary "unsecure" router that has a default route that only allows access to the PSP servers, or is placed upstream of your current routers so a hacker can only get Internet access and can't get into your LAN, then a regular router that has WPA enabled that runs the rest of your wireless LAN.
     

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