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How To Configure WPA Support in Microsoft Windows

By Bradley Mitchell, About.com Guide


See More About:
* wi-fi network security
* wpa
* microsoft windows wi-fi settings
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Windows XP SP2 Windows XP to 7 Upgrade Wireless Security Setup WPA Security Wire
less WPA
WPA is Wi-Fi Protected Access, one of several popular standards for wireless net
work security. This WPA is not to be confused with Windows XP Product Activation
, a separate technology that is also included with the Microsoft Windows operati
ng system.
Before being able to use Wi-Fi WPA with Windows XP, you may need to upgrade one
or more components of your network including the XP operating system and network
adapters on some computers as well as the wireless access point.
Follow these instructions to set up WPA on Wi-Fi networks having Windows XP clie
nts.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 30 minutes
Here's How:
1. Verify each Windows computer on the network is running Windows XP Service
Pack 1 (SP1) or greater. WPA cannot be configured on older versions of Windows X
P or older versions of Microsoft Windows.
2. For any Windows XP computer running SP1 or SP2, update the operating syste
m to XP Service Pack 3 or newer for best WPA/WPA2 support.
XP Service Pack 1 computers do not support WPA by default and cannot suppo
rt WPA2. To upgrade an XP SP1 computer to support WPA (but not WPA2), either
* install the Windows XP Support Patch for Wi-Fi Protected Access from
Microsoft, or
* upgrade the computer to XP SP2
XP Service Pack 2 computers by default support WPA but not WPA2. To upgrad
e an XP SP2 computer to also support WPA2, install the Wireless Client Update fo
r Windows XP SP2 from Microsoft.
3. Verify your wireless network router (or other access point) supports WPA.
Because some older wireless access points do not support WPA, you many need to r
eplace yours. If necessary, upgrade the firmware on the access point according t
o the manufacturer's directions to enable WPA on it.
4. Verify each wireless network adapter also supports WPA. Obtain a device dr
iver upgrade from the adapter manufacturer if necessary. Because some wireless n
etwork adapters cannot support WPA, you may need to replace them.
5. On each Windows computer, verify that its network adapter is compatible wi
th the Wireless Zero Configuration (WZC) service. Consult the adapter's product
documentation, manufacturer's Web site, or appropriate customer service departme
nt for details on WZC. Upgrade the network adapter driver and configuration soft
ware to support WZC on clients if necessary.
6. Apply compatible WPA settings on each Wi-Fi device. These settings cover n
etwork encryption and authentication.
The WPA encryption keys (or passphrases) chosen must match exactly between
devices.
For authentication, two versions of Wi-Fi Protected Access exist called WP
A and WPA2. To run both versions on the same network, ensure the access point is
configured for WPA2 mixed mode. Otherwise, you must set all devices to WPA or W
PA2 mode exclusively.
Wi-Fi products use a few different naming conventions to describe types of
WPA authentication. Set all equipment to use either Personal/PSK or Enterprise/
*EAP options.
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ow to Fix Your Internet Network Security
By Elvis De Leon, eHow Member
I want to do this! What's This?
Fix Your Internet Network Security
Fix Your Internet Network Security
How to Fix Your Internet Network Security
User-Submitted Article
If you have a home network, your internet network security should be a high prio
rity to keep hackers from invading your computer. Follow these tips to maximize
your home wireless configuration.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Instructions
1.
1
Fixing your internet network security consists of tweaking a few basic set
tings. Change your default username and password before starting your wireless n
etwork setup. Most manufacturers set up their routers with default credentials,
typically "Admin" or "Administrator' as the username, whereas the password field
is often left bank, or simply uses the same phrase as the username. This is ver
y well known to hackers, and they will always start here as a way to hack into y
our network connection.
2.
2
Get familiar with your router to fully take advantage of its network secur
ity tools and options. One of the most basic settings you should enable is MAC f
iltering. This option allows only incoming connections you own, further providin
g you with safer and more reliable network security solutions. If you have sever
al computers, permit only those PCs to access your network connection by enterin
g each computer's physical/MAC address.
3.
3
Keep your firewall enabled at all times. Routers contain a built-in firewa
ll to further improve your internet network security, so make sure this option i
s turned on by default. Furthermore, use your Windows firewall or any other soft
ware that provides one.
4.
4
Change your SSID, as opposed to leaving the default name from the manufact
urer. While this does not directly affect your computer or network, a hacker may
get the impression of possible carelessness. This is a good start for anyone to
try and see what they can do to alter your overall wireless security level.
5.
5
To maximize your internet network security, disable your SSID from being b
roadcast over the airwaves, as this will hide your availability and therefore re
duce any security threat. This option is useful from a business standpoint, but
a typical home user may not have the need to periodically let their connection b
e known to others.

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