Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WPA2: securing my wireless network at home

A few weeks ago I bought a new laptop and soon after that I replaced my old router with a new device with wireless capability.
First I set the device up using WPA, but I only managed to get it working when the laptop was running Windows. In linux, only WEP - an older but much less secure way of encrypting the data which is transmitted between the accesspoint and the laptop - was supported by the tool I was using.
Last weekend I started looking for ways of configuring my laptop to use the WPA2 standard, both in Windows and linux.
After searching some forums I stumbled upon a topic about a tool called knetworkmanager (a frontend for networkmanager). I installed it using apt-get and it worked. I could connect to my wireless accesspoint using WPA in linux.
Then I changed the settings of the accesspoint to use WPA2 and I could still connect using linux.
After I booted in Windows I noticed I couldn't connect to my wireless network. After searching the microsoft knowledge base, I found out that WPA2 isn't supported on a standard Windows XP + SP2 installation. Fortunately a link to an update was provided, which made WPA2 possible.
After installing and rebooting I changed the settings of my wireless connection to WPA2 and I got connected to my wireless accesspoint.
So now all communication between my laptop and the accesspoint is secured and encrypted using WPA2, the safest protocol for home use available at the moment.

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