Nintendo WiFi and my Network- some advice please?

I have a Netgear BroadBand Router DG834 GT, and I use WPA security as opposed to WEP.
I have a number of nintendo DS games which can be used with my router if it is WEP secured but not WPA.
I have been advised not to "downgrade" security on my network by swapping to WEP so I am unsure whether the following options would work any advice would be appreciated:-
1) If I switch to WEP when I want to use the wifi facility on the Nintendo, but turn off my PC and laptop, can they still be hacked?
2) If I bought either a WiFi Max for DS OR a Nintendo DS Wifi USB Connector, and connected it to the laptop, could I use the games? (I'm confused as the Broadband would still be wpa secured, but would the connector transmit that to the Games Consol as wep protected?
as you can see I am very confused!
thanks!

  Danoh 14:11 12 Oct 06

1) no, PCs and laptops not powered up on a network cannot be hacked. When they are being used, you can swap your router back to using WPA with its attendant passphrase again.
2) Don't know how Nintendo's wireless kit works, but would imagine they are intended to talk to a router rather then daisy-chain via your Laptop.

Why not consider assigning your Nintendo kit to the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) via a specific LAN IP on your router? No WEP can be used as its intended as a totally open channel without encrypted data traffic. It will also be separate from the WPA protected part of your PC and Laptop wireless network.

Hi, thanks for your advice, I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by the DMZ part or LAN IP. Could you possibly explain/instruct as if talking to an idiot :) thanks!

  Danoh 17:04 12 Oct 06

Sorry Debe.
On 2nd reading, I realise you probably want to have wireless access. However, just to expand (but not to an idiot :-) ..

Routers often (but not always) offers the option to connect a games console via a wire/cable and bypasses all of the routers standard security of a "firewall", and data traffic encryption (WPA/WEP) as well, I think(!).
This has been given the colourful name of the games console being placed in the De-Militarised Zone (DMZ), which has stuck.

For this to work, it needs to be told of the one specific (IP) address which has been allocated to your games console on your Local Area Network (LAN) so that only data intended to/from the games console, can be routed correctly (by the router) around the firewall.

But for this to avoid the WPA/WEP encryption, this has to be for a wired connection, rather then wireless...
so I think I have lead you up the wrong garden path... Sorry!

From my Belkin routers help;
DMZ
The DMZ feature allows you to specify one computer on your network to be placed outside of the NAT firewall. This may be necessary if the NAT feature is causing problems with an application such as a game or video conferencing application. Use this feature on a temporary basis. The computer in the DMZ is not protected from hacker attacks. To put a computer in the DMZ, enter the last digits of its IP address in the IP field.
If you are using multiple static WAN IP addresses, it is possible to select which WAN IP address the DMZ host will be directed to. Type in the WAN IP address you wish the DMZ host to direct to, enter the last two digits of the IP address of the DMZ host computer.

{P/S WAN = Wide Area Network, i.e. the internet. WAN IP is the real, external internet IP address for your Nintendo games server which you wish to connect to.}

  Danoh 13:21 13 Oct 06

I’ve had a chance to do a google search and yes, it looks like you might be able to use the Nintendo WiFi USB connector within a WPA wireless network;
click here
click here

It appears that a small and separate WiFi network is created by that USB connector. But without contacting Nintendo to verify, I'm not sure if your laptop's Windows XP would decrypt the traffic from WEP first, then encrypt using WPA for the internet connection.

While waiting for someone else with 1st hand experience of doing this posts, I would recommend you contact Nintendo’s support and ask them the same question.

If you don’t mind me saying so, but you don’t sound like a young person.
Apologies if you are, in which case, please do exercise great caution in responding to any direct approaches from any stranger including myself, especially in providing any personal details of any sort.

Thanks for your help. I will check out the links as soon as I get a chance.
The last part of your post certainly made me chuckle! I'm not quite sure what my age has to do with the post- but you were correct when you surmised that I wasn't "Young" (although that is of course relative and I would probably be considered a "Nipper" by an octagenarian!)
As you so rightly say, young people should be very careful of approaches from strangers- something I have drummed very thoroughly into my daughter!
Having declared how "old" I am, I can't wait to start my gaming online ;)

  Danoh 16:54 13 Oct 06

LOL!! My apologies!! Thats the 3rd time this week I've transgressed on a ladies age!

  Danoh 16:56 13 Oct 06

As the Nintendo DS is also marketed agressively at mere nippers, there have been reports of inapproriate approaches via the wireless capability.

Well, it's good to be called, "A lady" LOL!
I'm very appreciative of your help- and I can see how easily there could be problems with the wifi element of the DS. There are actually a few parents at the school gate who have got hooked on to Animal Crossing and we are hoping to hook up of course primarily for our children (not!)
I'm going to contact Nintendo as I don't want to pay out £30 if the connector wont work on a WPA Secured PC/Laptop!
Thanks again for your help and effort!

  Danoh 23:37 13 Oct 06

That’s put me to shame!! I always get so instantly annihilated that I have a phobia! :-)
Pleased if my ramblings have helped a bit and not confused a lot.
Have fun!

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