change WEP to WPA - must I start from scratch?

  br1anstorm 22:32 20 Dec 07
Locked

I have a Netgear DG834Gv2 modem router. I set it up with my laptop (which runs XP Pro SP2) and it works fine, both wired and wirelessly.

Initially I configured WEP security. On the assumption that my XP Pro SP2 is WPA-enabled, I'd like to tighten my security by changing to WPA. But I don't want to risk messing up my existing connection, which works flawlessly.

Question is - do I have to reset the router and start re-doing the whole thing from scratch? Or can I just go into the router-settings "webpage" and click on WPA (or WPA2?) and follow the instructions?

br1anstorm

  brundle 22:46 20 Dec 07

The latter, you can even use your WEP password, or get something almost impossible to crack here; click here

Change your connecting computer(s) to use the new encryption method and everything will work as it does now.

  Kemistri 23:02 20 Dec 07

Generic instructions that assume the use of Windows' WZC and NOT 3rd party software for the adapter.

[1] Open Notepad and either [a] type out a long mix of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols - circa 20 characters - or [b] use the above link to generate a key. Paste it to the clipboard (for use in a moment) and save the document with an innocuous title.
[2] Turn off any wireless clients. Access the router over an Ethernet connection. Do not access it over a wireless link or leave any wireless links active when making changes to the wireless settings.
[3] Log in to the router's configuration menu from its IP address.
[4] In the Wireless section, choose Security or similar.
[5] Select WPA-PSK or WPA2 or similar.
[6] Paste the key in from the text file.
[7] Save and close. Reboot the router.
-------------
[8] Take your text file to any and all wireless clients via whatever storage method you like.
[9] Browse for your SSID (the name of the router, not the workgroup) and attempt to connect. Paste the key twice, once on each line of the pop-up box that appears. Connect. The key will be stored from then on.

No different to how you configured WEP and connected to your WLAN for the first time.

  br1anstorm 23:03 20 Dec 07

Thanks brundle - this is reassuring. But just to be totally clear: I understand that I change the settings for the router by going on to its settings webpage. That's fine. I'd make the change with my laptop connected to the router by a wired Ethernet link.

But then you also say "Change your connecting computer(s) to use the new encryption method...". Forgive me for seeming dim, but do I have to adjust any settings in the computer? Presumably the wired connection would continue to work as normal and give me access via the router to the internet. Is it just a matter of noting, and using, the (new) WPA password or key when I re-make a wireless connection?

br1anstorm

  Kemistri 23:05 20 Dec 07

^^^

  br1anstorm 23:13 20 Dec 07

I have to immediately add thanks to kemistri too - who posted as I was responding to brundle. Those step by step instructions are very clear, and yes, if I recall correctly I did use WZC when originally setting-up, rather than the Netgear software.

I'm assuming that, in effect, step [9] is the answer to the question I asked brundle - ie that the only thing I have to do after making the change to the router settings is to use the new WPA key when re-connecting my laptop, or any other computer, wirelessly.

br1anstorm

  Kemistri 23:29 20 Dec 07

Yep, that's right. It's the screen of local networks that you get when you click on the icon in the system tray.

I cleverly read your mind just before you posted! ;-)

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