OpenWRT and WPA

For whatever reason last night my OpenWRT access point decided to stop working. My laptop would connect for a second and then disconnect. I tried another wifi card and it did the same thing, which eliminated my laptop as the culprit. I turned off WEP and was able to connect. The weirdest thing was when I would try to turn WEP back on, I got this error (in bold):

[root@alberto ~]# iwconfig wl0
wl0 IEEE 802.11-DS ESSID:""
Mode:Master Frequency:2.437 GHz Access Point: 00:0F:66:4A:DF:08
Tx-Power:19 dBm
RTS thr:2347 B Fragment thr:2346 B
Encryption key:<too big>

I'm not comfortable without encryption (although honestly I would like to run a captive portal alongside my encrypted network), so after a few reboots and unsuccessful attempts to get WEP working I gave WPA a shot. It's really what I should be running anyway but I've had WEP set up for so long I just didn't feel like dealing with it.

But luckily, it worked out quite flawlessly. Following a guide I found here I got it set up quite simply. I did have to reboot to get the changes to take, but not a big deal. The only remaining problem is reliably getting my laptop to use WPA. That's the real reason I've delayed. I've gotten it to work before, but it's sometimes been a pain. All in the name of progress, I suppose.


1 Comment

I'm surprised, tensai, that

I'm surprised, tensai, that of all the people in the world, it took you longest to come around to WPA(2). OpenWRT seems to handle it pretty jiffily. As for your aging laptop, well, I guess mechanics drive old beater cars, not because they're inverted, but because they pick trusty machines and take good care of them, thus extending the lifetime of the vehicle.

It amazes me how allured everyone always is by my (Asus 1005HA) computer. "Spend the $378 yourself, no shipping," I'll say. People like to be lazy and just log away their favorite sensations and then not do anything about them until the moment of need when they're recalled and acted upon. Anyway, I've got the latest ubuntu running on here. We're in a don't-ask-don't-tell relationship when it comes to wireless drivers, but WPA Just Works. I'm always amused that all the liberal arts type of majors here at UU whether they have macs or vistas have to default down to the unencrypted wireless that drops their session every hour or so forcing them to reidentify when I'm humming along happily at a higher level. Although ubuntu has been giving me problems with some packages segfaulting and with maintainers not releasing updates for needful packages. I'm already partway through installing gentoo on the spare partition.

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