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I had to go to a wireless network after moving my PC to a new location in the house. Since going wirless I have had problems with internet connectivity, downloading files and playing online games.
After speaking to the manufacturer (Linksys) helpdesk and re-installing all the software I think I have stopped the problems with the internet connectivity (ie it now stays connected for longer than the 10 minutes it used to), but I am still having problems downloading files - anything over 10 MB just hangs - and online games.
The wireless connection always shows as good - excellent (it's only a small house) but I still get these problems. I now have to re-wire my network in order to download important files until I get this sorted (which drives the Mrs mad as the cable runs through the whole house).
Surely this isn't the norm? I was promised a world free from restraints and all I've got so far is more wires and an upset wife!
I believe this would be part of the firmware. So while a particular card, when released, may only support one type of encryption protocol, the manufacturer very well may release a firmware update to modify the hardware to support newer standards.
But if you're going to create your own AP with FreeBSD, why wait for WPA2 support? Just use OpenVPN.
I mean, the average consumer is going to be clueless with all of this. I spent the whole weekend reading installation manuals and help files. I was jazzed that I could actually get everything communicating with one another and functioning without fail. And, I actually did it correctly. (Pats self on back)
There is just way too much information for the average consumer to assimilate. The manufacturers of the wireless products need to take the extra step to make sure protection is in place as a default setting. I had to change a few of my Linksys default settings to follow the advice given in this thread and the online user guide.
NickCoons, ogletree and everyone else, you've been a great source of wireless information, thanks!
<Is it really that bad out there that we as a consumer of wireless products have to go out of our way to secure our wireless networks?>
Consumer level wireless gear doesn't implement security features in a way that makes them reliably secure.. so the answer, in my opinion, would be yes.
<I mean, the average consumer is going to be clueless with all of this.>
The average consumer isn't even qualified to purchase a computer without assistance. Not that this is a bad thing, it's natural with just about every other industry. I'm not a furniture expert, so when I go to purchase some furniture, I'm going to do my research and talk to people who are experts so I can make sure I'm getting exactly what I need. This is the same thing if I'm buying a car.
There are a lot of purchases that the average person can make on their own, like food and lightweight appliances (i.e. toasters). And there are a lot of purchases that most people should not make on their own, because they won't be able to get the best product for their needs since they're not experts on the product. Unfortunately, people have thrown computers and computer equipment into the same category as food. Go to the store, pull something off the shelf, plug it in, and use it.
It doesn't work that way. There are many computer experts out there, and lots of niche shops that can give very specific advice on what to buy. But if one does not do their research, then head to a big-box shop and purchase something.. they should expect that they will not end up with what they want.
<I spent the whole weekend reading installation manuals and help files. I was jazzed that I could actually get everything communicating with one another and functioning without fail.>
That's great.. it's a lot of fun to get something working for the first time.
<There is just way too much information for the average consumer to assimilate.>
Yes, there is. That's one reason there are service companies out there that do this.. quickly, and for a reasonable price. I have no problem with the do-it-yourselfers (I am one with many different projects), but the DIY projects usually require lots of time and research to do them correctly.
<The manufacturers of the wireless products need to take the extra step to make sure protection is in place as a default setting.>
But if it's default, then it's not very protective. The default login and password for a Linksys router is "<blank>" and "admin", and the defalut for a DLink is "admin" and "<blank>". It doesn't really matter if the defaults are simple or complex. The fact that they are defaults makes them public, and no more secure than having no security set. People are just as unlikely to change the default passwords as they are to set them in the first place.
War drivers aren't always looking for information. They are sometimes looking for a free and unaccountable Internet connection for illegal activities... which maybe traced back to your wireless network. Park outside your house, do whatever need to be done and drive away. IANAL but it may be wiser to leave it wide open than semi-secure? Who will the FBI visit?
As for equipment being "fit for consumer use" be careful what you wish for... in the US there is a a long history of protecting consumers from their own ignorance by imposing licensing (ham radios, shortwave, CB, radio-controlled model airplanes).
The only time I'm impressed with wireless is when it's someone else's and I can connect to it for free (e.g., at the local coffee house).
I've had wireless for a year now ... even upgraded it once (from b to g) to try and improve things.
For me, wireless has been a huge disappointment and a huge pain in the rump. After months of trying to get it to work well, I've finally gone back to being wired (which means I have a cable strung across the middle of my living room - and I find this to be far more acceptable than dealing with wireless hassles!).
I keep my wireless up and running so that if friends come over, they can use my bandwidth ... but I don't use it, myself.
We're planning on moving into a new house in the next few months. Once we get settled, I will probably do more troubleshooting to make wireless work. But for now, I have far more fun things to worry about.
If I had known it would have been this much trouble I really wouldn't have bothered.
I too have been having similar problems with my setup. I am using a USR 2410 card with a Netgear MR814v2 router.
It seems any time i want to do a long download or copy anything above 50kb/sec, the entire router locks up and i have to 'rescan' for it.
My EXACT SAME router at home wasn't as picky - so I don't know what's up.
I've tried updating firmware, disabling windows zero wireless config, etc.
One post I read from a guy that had a similar issue claimed he fixed his problem by disabling the IEEE 802.1x authentication box. I guess give that a try? I'm ready to throw this damn wireless setup out the window.
I need to know more in this, so care to share any decent resources on what exactly to do and what the potential holes are?
I have just bought a new system with wireless, this is mine so I actually care :) unlike previous times so I need to have my stuff sorted.