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Problem with Netgear WGR614 router & centrino laptop

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by lochgreen29, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. lochgreen29

    lochgreen29 Private E-2

    I have recently purchased an Acer centrino laptop to add to my wireless home network.

    The heart of my network is a Netgear WGR614 router connected to a cable modem. I have implemented WEP security encryption. Netgear offer two methods, 64 bit or 128bit. My other products (Netgear and Linksys) work fine.

    Trying to configure my new laptop, the wireless networking software recognises my network, but when I key in my WEP key, I get the error message:

    "The network password needs to be 40 bits or 104 bits depending on your network configuration. This can be entered as 5 or 13 ascii characters or 10 or 26 hexadecimal characters."

    Removing WEP security allows access (so the card looks ok), but I need WEP security. Unfortunately, when I remove WEP security, my networks runs really slowly. The desktop PC connected my a standard network cable to the router almost grinds to a complete halt (very weird, since it shouldn't be effected by WEP).

    Ideally, I want to get this new laptop into a secure environment.

    Any ideas?
  2. TheDoug

    TheDoug MajorGeek

    Many wireless routers and APs have had known issues with the Centrino chipset. I solved several Netgear connectivity issues myself thru firmware updates, although, admittedly, WEP was not one of them. Your router has been offered in multiple revisions, each requiring its own non-interchangeable firmware. Might be worth looking into:

  3. lochgreen29

    lochgreen29 Private E-2

    Fair comment. I haven't tried up update the firmware of the Netgear router yet. This may help with the slowness of the network when no security encryption is switched on. I will definitely give this a go.

    However, I don't see how this will help with the differences in approach to WEP keys.

    I am away for the next couple of days & dare not risk mucking up the network (the kids will kill me). I will try the firmware upgrade when I get back.

    Any one else got experience of the WEP incompatibility?

  4. TheDoug

    TheDoug MajorGeek

  5. lochgreen29

    lochgreen29 Private E-2

    OK, a bit of a break though tonight.

    I downloaded the manual on the Netgear site you recommended. It told me that 40 bit encryption is the same as 64 bit encryption (doesn't really say why & who cares !).

    I reduced my passphrase length on the Netgear WGR614 router to 5 characters (a requirement for the centrino card on my laptop). The passphrase was accepted and the laptop connects...... or appears to.

    Although the laptop says it has connected to the network, it can't see anything, or be seen.

    One step forward....

    Before I started this, I upgraded to the latest version of the router firmware (there is a further upgrade available, but it is only in beta.... I am not convinced about upgrading to that right now).

    Any ideas for the next step?
  6. lochgreen29

    lochgreen29 Private E-2

    Update for those interested.

    I logged a call with Netgear technical support. They said that WEP encryption between Netgear routers and centrino laptops will bot work. They recommended using MAC address security and to switch off WEP. Tried it & it worked (after upgrading the router firmware to the latest supported version).

    I am having to experiment with the MTU settings on the router to keep my Playstation 2 wireless connection happy. Default setting was 1500. My PS2 was dropping connection. Netgear recommended changing the setting to between 1335 and 1400. Setting at 1400 stops the dropping out, but some experience of lagging. Netgear recommend changing the MTU by +15 until the problem goes away.

    So, basically, I have a less secure network, which works most of the time. Good enough.....

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