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Newbie router advice?

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by RouterUserGuy, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. RouterUserGuy

    RouterUserGuy LI Guru Member

    Hi everybody,

    Sorry about this long (and probably ignorant) post. I sure appreciate your feedback, though.

    I've just set up a Linksys WRT54GS wireless router so my wife and I can connect to the Net from our two portables. (That's the full extent of our network.)

    Before running Linksys's "friendly" setup utility, I connected a network cable to the router, logged onto it with my browser, and made some manual settings, as follows:

    "Setup > Basic Setup"

    _ Changed from "Automatic Configuration - DHCP" to "PPPoE"

    _ Entered my ISP user name and password

    _ Selected "Keep Alive: Redial Period [20 sec.]

    (I set that last interval based on advice I saw in another wireless forum.)

    "Wireless > Basic Wireless Settings"

    I tried activating SES, but I guess I don't understand it. When I click it, it changes to the screen that says "Accepting Clients..." I figured at that point I should try to connect wirelessly to the router, but nothing happens. (And what relation is there to pressing the Linksys logo on the front of the router, which makes it scan for some kind of security connection too?)

    "Wireless > Wireless Security"

    I'd added WPA2 to my WinXP portable, but my wife uses a Mac provided by her school, and it has only WEP. So I selected WEP, 128 bits, entered a passphrase, and generated the keys.

    I then ran the EasyLink setup utility on the router's CD and connected our ADSL modem to the router as instructed. On my first few attempts, EasyLink stalled at various points. I tried restarting Windows and restarting/resetting the modem and router (in various combinations), and finally EasyLink completed. (I declined installing the Norton suite, as the antivirus [AVG] and firewall [Sunbelt Kerio] already use seem to work fine.)

    Our router appears (as "security-enabled") in the list of available wireless connections. We can connect to it using the generated WEP key, and our Net access seems to work fine (I'm using it now). But there are two odd things:

    1. In XP's "Choose a Wireless Network" window showing the available connections, our network always says "Acquiring network address" (and the system-tray icon always shows the "acquiring address" animation). It doesn't resolve to "Connected"---even though I see normal numbers when I run "ipconfig" at a command line. Is this just an XP quirk or am I doing something wrong?

    2. After a minute or so of inactivity, the connection drops and we must manually reconnect. Is there a way to avoid this?

    3. Sometimes I can't reconnect at all. I open Network Connections > Wireless Connection > Properties > Wireless Networks, select the name of our network, then click Properties. The Association tab says:

    Network Authentication: Open
    Data Encryption: WEP

    ...which I assume is normal. However, the Network Key is obviously incorrect---there are only 8 characters (represented by dots) instead of our 26-char. key. I reenter it and click OK (etc.), but when I try to reconnect to the router, again I'm prompted for the key. So I enter it again. And when I do that, it eventually says "Connected"---until the next time I try to connect, and the unreliability starts over.

    What am I overlooking? Our router's signal always appears as full-strength, so I don't think range is an issue. (Oh, and I did change our SSID---forgot to mention that!)

    Thanks for your help (and patience).
  2. Esquire

    Esquire Mesquire Staff Member Member

    A. Don't count the black dots in Windows - it is not always a true representation of the number of characters
    B. SES works with Linksys wireless adapter running Linksys wireless software
    C. Try turn off the firewall on your notebook, it can sometimes interfere with authentication
    D. If you get disconnected often, it can be caused by radio intereference so try a different wireless channel on the router
    E. Which Windows XP version including Service Packs are you running?

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