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Thread: Wireless Guru needed

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002

    Wireless Guru needed

    People, due to the fact the Telco giant here will not supply DSL to my house but does to my sisters 300m away, we have decided to explore the world of wireless and share her DSL connection.

    Anyway, having finally got a couple D-Link 520+ wireless cards (and who said they wouldn't work in Linux ) talking to each other across the house and I want to ensure the traffic between the two is secure before widening the connection across the neighbourhood -courtesy of a couple of old satellite dishes. (Probably overkill for 300m but hey, we got them so why not use them - still need to mod them but thats for another day - getting these machines secured is the current priority)

    Mandrake (so does all nix I believe) uses a tool called iwconfig to configure the cards but for some reason this tool will not let me configure the encryption on the traffic (set keys) for these cards. It has only allowed me to get the card to basically "see" other.

    I am very, very new to this so if anyone can point me in the right direction, web links, tips, advice, whatever - it would be greatly appreciated. I have done the Google thing - but I just need coaxing in the right direction so I really know what it is I am looking for.

    Nothing really confidential will be flying across the airwaves but I dont want little "Wayne the Wardriver" dropping by a stealing bandwidth that we have to pay for if this is at all possible.

    Thanks in advance,


  2. #2
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    Cisco cards come with a utility (on linux) called ACU (aironet configuration utility). This utility lets you specify WEP keys, SSIDS, card mode, etc. In other words, this GUI utility does everything that IWCONFIG does. Go to the D-Link site and see if they have a similar GUI tool.

    I have used IWCONFIG to set up wireless cards from the CLI. Are you typing the syntax properly?

    From the MAN page for IWCONFIG:

    To set the current encryption key, just enter the key in hex digits as XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX or XXXXXXXX. To set a key other than the current key, append [index] to the key itself. You can also enter the key as an ASCII string by using the s: prefix.
    To change which key is the current active key, just enter [index] (without entering any key value).
    off and on disable and reenable encryption, open set the system in open mode (accept non-encrypted packets) and restricted discard non-encrypted packets.
    Examples :
    iwconfig eth0 key 0123-4567-89
    iwconfig eth0 key s: password [2] * if you type this take the spaces out after the ":". If I did that here you'd see a smiley face instead of the syntax.
    iwconfig eth0 key [2] open
    iwconfig eth0 key off

    What happens when you try this?
    Our scars have the power to remind us that our past was real. -- Hannibal Lecter.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Hi ,

    It might be this sites help you out http://www.air.net.au/

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    Not an image or image does not exist!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Thanks people

    thehorse13: when I use the iwconfig key option it tells me that this function is not supported - suppose the drawback on this type of card ... unfortunately they are not fully supported by nix yet and security is my biggest concern - have everything else ticking along sweet here.

    Thanks sweet angel will check out that site.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2003
    if you also want to get a bigger antenna, check out pasadena.net, they have some pretty cool yagi sticks to expand your range. also, if you're really curious about what's going across the wlan:

    wellenreiter? i can't remember this one's name... sorry.


  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Thanks wOrm3y, I will be sure to check them out ... I have sorted out 256 bit WEP encryption and had a look at FreeS/Wan but unfortunately my kernel doesn't support the one supplied by Mandrake .... strange, I have tried re-compliling with the correct compiler but still running into all sorts of errors and I am a little wary about rebuilding the kernel as past exercises in that have ended in tears and a hosed system.

    As for the antenna we have two 70cm satellite dishes (ex-pay TV jobs) that will be modified so I think we will probably be frying seagulls in between the links , but thanks for the suggestion.

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