WPA Algorithms question

Discussion in 'Cisco/Linksys Wireless Routers' started by Haggis, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis Network Guru Member

    Hi. I recently purchased a WRT54G 2.2, upgraded to the latest Linksys firmware (3.03.6). Everything seems to be working well.

    I have a question about the "WPA Algorithms" selection on the "Wireless Security" page. I'm setting up WPA-PSK, and based on research I did, AES is the more secure choice over TKIP. Either option seems to work fine for my hardware.

    However, when connecting, the PC client can also choose TKIP or AES. Either one works, regardless of the setting on the WRT54G. If I select TKIP on the PC, then the connection details for the PC will show WPA-PSK/TKIP. If I select AES on the PC, then the connection details will show WPA-PSK/AES. This is regardless of the setting on the WRT54G.

    So what is the setting on the WRT54G actually doing? I thought it would enforce the client to use the same encryption, but this doesn't seem to be the case (unless the PC is reporting it wrong).

  2. Haggis

    Haggis Network Guru Member

    (Bump) Can anyone help me to understand this?
  3. MoinMan

    MoinMan Network Guru Member

    Might be a false information in your client driver.
    My wlan driver doesn't support AES and when I select AES in my WRT54GS I cannot connect, so the setting in the router works.
  4. Toxic

    Toxic Administrator Staff Member

    I have my laptop to connect automatically (with WPA-PSK AES) i changed the seetting though it didn't take the change and kept reverting to AES when changing to TKIP.

    I made a new connection rule with TKIP and the laptop would not connect at all.

    so the AES does work on its own in WRT54G.

    now. in Alchemy you can set AES+TKIP which means it has a fall back option for some clients that do not support AES but do support TKIP.

    are you running Alchemy?
  5. Haggis

    Haggis Network Guru Member

    Thanks for responding. It sounds like the router should be enforcing its own setting. Either the client is falling back to the router setting and reporting it incorrectly, or the router is falling back to the client setting (but it sounds like this shouldn't be happening). Is there any way on the router to show what algorithm the router is using, or some other utility that could provide info about the connection?

    I'm not running Alchemy. I'm using the Linksys firmware (3.03.6).

    The client that is reporting the information is IBM Access Connections (comes with IBM Thinkpads), and overrides WinXP's wireless management.
  6. earthsound

    earthsound Network Guru Member

    If you connect to your router through your browser (, enter your password, then click on Wireless, and then under that, Wireless Security, it will show you the security mode and algorithm that the router is currently set to.

    As I have no experience with IBM Access Connections, I cannot help you with that client or what it reports. Perhaps you should enable Wireless Zero Configuration and allow XP to handle the connection & see if you're able to reproduce your original results...
  7. Haggis

    Haggis Network Guru Member

    Yeah, I was aware of this, and this is what I was using to select TKIP or AES on the router. I was wondering if there was a way to show what was actually in use (in case it was somehow different than what was set).

    I was thinking about doing this, but everything is working well. I think I'll ask around on the IBM Access Connections support boards before I start fixing something that isn't broken. Thanks for your help.
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