Is Wireless MAC Address Filtering a Secure Method??

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by mchiles, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. mchiles

    mchiles Network Guru Member


    I have had a Linksys WRT54G wireless network for a couple of years broadcasting G Only using WPA TKIP security to a couple of Dell laptops with internal Dell wireless adapters and a Dell desktop using a Netgear USB2 wireless adapter. No worries. No problems.

    I recently bought a new color printer and ReplayTV DVR that I wanted to connect to the wireless network. I bought a Linksys WET54G Wireless Bridge and a Linksys WPS54G Print Server. What a pain in the &%#* they have been to get to connected to the wireless network with WPA TKIP.

    I updated all the Linksys boxes with the latest Linksys Firmware upgrades and I could NOT get the bridge or the print server to connect to the router using WPA TKIP.

    I tried using WEP, the Linksys router, print server, bridge and Netgear adapter worked fine. But, Dell wireless adapters in the laptops would not connect using WEP.

    I was able to get everything on the network to wirelessly communicate perfectly with each other when I have wireless security DISABLED. Not a very good long term solution, especially when I live in an apartment complex.

    My solution today was to get all the wireless and wired devices all hooked up by cable or wirelessly connected and running with wireless security disabled. Then in the web interface of the WRT54G the Wireless Security, MAC Address Filtering tab, I set the "Permit Only" button and listed the MAC addresses of only my wireless devices I want connected to the router. Rebooted everything, and so far, everything has stayed connected.

    My question is, is this method of wireless security a 'good' one. Is MAC Address filtering an easy security to 'crack'. How does it fair with WEP or WPA TKIP (not that I have been able to get them to work anyway).

    Thanks for any info.

  2. SteelersFANinMA

    SteelersFANinMA Network Guru Member

  3. anotherlab

    anotherlab Network Guru Member

    Return the Linksys bridge for one that supports WPA TKIP. I have a few SMC SCM2870W bridges that I use on my Tivo's and one of my desktop PC's. They work great and setting up WPA was trivial.
  4. nani

    nani Network Guru Member

  5. howardp6

    howardp6 Network Guru Member

    I have my WPS54G running firmware version 6047 connected to my WRT54GV1.0 running HyperWRT 2.1B1 (Rupan) with WPA TKIP. The WRT54G is using WPA Personal. The firmwae version 6047 was downloaded from this site. The hyperWRT was based on firmware version 4.20.6. MAC address filtering is not secure at all, MAC addresses are sent in plain text and you can change the MAC address of a device,
  6. benzino

    benzino Guest

  7. SteelersFANinMA

    SteelersFANinMA Network Guru Member

    benzino, as far as your question goes, it's all about the strength of your password. Check out this post on how to best secure your wireless network with WPA or WPA2:

    Also, check out a post by pharma on this thread about 2/3 down the page, posted on 2005-11-22 12:45:42. This post gives a better idea on the differences between WPA and WPA2 plus a link to a WPA2 FAQ:
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