Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MartyMcFly

WPA2-PSK + Macbook = Sloooooow

Recommended Posts

I am such a novice when it comes to networking and wi-fi security so bear with me.

 

I have a white Macbook and a 1st gen Mac Mini G4. I previously set up a wireless network (for my macbook) with a Linksys router. I did not have any security on it but I simply created a white list and included on my machine's Airport ID. Not too smart, I know.

 

But then I bought a Netgear router and set it up with WPA. My connection was so slow. It took forever to load my homepage when I would launch Firefox. So I started tweaking with settings and I decided to try WPA2 thinking it might be an improvement. I selected that and applied the settings. No real change. It is still slow as Christmas.

 

The other seemingly related annoyance is that when I open my Macbook and it wakes from sleep it takes several seconds (sometimes up to a minute) for it to connect to the wi-fi signal. This never used to happen when I was set up with the white list on my Linksys. It was always just there and just worked.

 

I haven't tried it but I've heard that WEP causes less of a speed hit but it is not nearly as secure. But surely there is something I can do about the slowdown on my connection caused by WPA.

 

My router's firmware is up-to-date. Everything else appears to be in order. Please help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, unless you have a faulty router, nothing is wrong. I recommend switching to WEP for the speed. Mine works great and I never have any problems with security. You might be able to speed boost what you already have by just clearing cash on your browser because it's probably not caused by your present router. Good Luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are using WEP, use MAC filtering as well. WEP can be cracked in as little as 10 minutes so is as secure as a chewing gum jockstrap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently secured my sister's open network - an 802.11b/g one on an 802.11n-capable wireless router from Netgear - their DG834GT if memory serves me well. There were three Windows-encumbered laptops in the place - one XP and the other two Vista - but no Macs. (I know it's not too relevant for that reason as well as others but I thought the experience is worth relating to those who read this.) The XP laptop, which was the older of the three, had struggled to see the network before any changes were made and couldn't see any others in the area. The two Vista ones had no such problems - one seeing more local networks and the other even more - all down to their respective aerials I guess. I tried WPA and found the XP one could see the network but couldn't connect to it - the symptoms being exactly as if one entered an invalid password - something I proved by entering such into one of the Vista ones. I altered the wireless channel (i.e. on the router) but still the problem remained. It was only when I dropped the security level to WEP that it managed to connect - hence all three laptops were linked up with that less-than-ideal protection. What the above post suggests sounds good but it will be a ball-ache for allowing visitors to connect to my sister's network given that she and her bloke are technically-challenged.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's more likely that the XP box doesn't have a WPA enabled network card. It's an older one, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps... I'm not sure how to tell beyond seeking the laptop's specification on the Internet - though you'd have thought bloody Windows would have told you the hardware was incapable rather than allowing you to try! I'll be back there next week for some non-network geek-work and if I've got time I'll check - as academic as it might be. Incidentally, I used to have a couple of self-built PCs running Windows XP Pro and using identical Belkin "UK" wireless cards - side-by-side too - and only one failed to connect to the network in the same way when I changed the channel to 13 on an AirPort Express-hosted 802.11g network one day. How queer.

Edited by Harry_The_Bustard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Graham: chewing gum jockstrap! Hilarious!

 

I am not that concerned about security. I mean, not as much as I would be if I lived in a metropolitan area. I live in a relatively small town on a street with nothing but retired folks who probably don't know what the Internet is. I think I'm gonna go for WEP with MAC filtering.

 

Thanks everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okaaaay, I am at my wit's end.

 

I have followed the instructions that came with my router (netgear) for setting up WEP with 128 bit encryption. Maybe I just don't understand how it works.

 

In the router's wireless settings after I have selected WEP, I am asked to enter a passphrase. I enter a passphrase. Then I click a button that says "Generate" and that auto-generates 4 Keys. Each Key has a radio button beside it and by default the first one is selected. I click "Apply" to save the changes. When that is done and I go up to the Airport symbol in my Macbook's toolbar I see my network's SSID with the padlock symbol. I select it and when I enter my password (i.e. the passphrase that originally set) it says "Invalid Password". Now I have checked and doublechecked that the password I'm entering for Airport is indeed the same Passphrase that I set up in my router's wireless settings.

 

What am I missing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, regarding this topic of security, are you able to hack into a computer through its wireless netowork, if it's WEP?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay. Problem solved. This is strange. I had to enter the selected WEP "key" as the password in my Macbook's Airport settings. Strange. Same for my iPod Touch.

 

@iRMac: By all accounts WEP is less secure than WPA. That is why I decided to go the added step using MAC address filtering (per Graham's advice). Probably STILL not as secure as WPA but considering where I live and how and where I use my devices, I don't need CIA level encryption. But I do need speed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wait, regarding this topic of security, are you able to hack into a computer through its wireless network, if it's WEP?

Yes. It's relatively easy if you have the right wireless card and from what I gather it's not terribly difficult if you know what your doing no matter what card you have. Even if you live in a metro area I don't think it's a big deal though. Someone has to care enough to go to your house, at least close to get the signal, and take the time to break your wireless when it's not hard to find open wifi. Possible, yes. Likely, not really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

    There are no registered users currently online

×