• Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 713
  • Last Modified:

WEP-only device on a WPA network?

My home network uses WPA - this works fine, except that I recently bought a WEP-only wireless MP3 player that won't connect now. I don't care much about the security of the traffic to this player, but I do care about the rest of the network so downgrading from WPA is not an option.

Some context: I still have another wireless router that I'm not using much, so it's possible for me to setup a secondary network that's on WEP. I also have a wireless card in my computer that I'm not using, so maybe that can be configured as a bridge... ?

So my question is: what's the best configuration to solve this problem?
4 Solutions
by adding the second router with WEP you will still be compromising your network to WEP security.

Not much of an option other than dont use your mp3 player, or get one with wpa,  or downgrade to wep.

piximetryAuthor Commented:
Please only post real solutions.

As I understand, the only compromise is that someone could connect to the WPA-enabled network by breaking into the WEP-enabled network. The risk of scanning/exploiting our internal network can be mitigated somewhat by placing restrictions on traffic from the nodes on the WEP-enabled network.
Please excuse me for stating the obvious solutions. if you can share your mp3 player like a drive - you can use your wireless card

Free Tool: Path Explorer

An intuitive utility to help find the CSS path to UI elements on a webpage. These paths are used frequently in a variety of front-end development and QA automation tasks.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

I am not sure what make/model the 2nd wireless router is.  You could restrict connections to the WEP network by limiting connections to the Acess point by MAC address.  Most routers have this functionality.  This way, you can limit the devices that are allowed to connect to the network.  Obviously, I would also shut off the brodcast of the SSID.  Between those two and the WEP security, I would think you would be ok for a home network.

Good Luck

Couple of ways to do this, if the player supports adhoc then all you need is the wireless card and the player setting to adhoc with security setup, this http://www.tech24.arce.co.uk/proxy2.htm covers setting up an adhoc network (you can ignore the bit about a proxy server).

If the player doesn't support adhoc then just setup your second router on a different channel to your existing network, assign WEP settings. Change the IP range of the second router to be in a different subnet to your existing network (If you are lucky it will already be different). Don't physically connect the router to anything else just use your spare wireless card to connect.

If you are worried about hacking on this wireless network then to be doubly safe use a software firewall on your PC and set it to only trust the IP address/MAC address of the player. When not using the player shutdown the router so that no one can sneak in using the players IP.
I assume you only want to connect the MP3 player to your PC, with the spare wirless card, right?
In that case why don't you connect the MP3 player over this interface? it. You can still protect it with WEP, no ESSID broadcasting and MAC filtering, but the main protection is to just disable the wireless card when you do not use it.
Assuming both your WEP and WPA access points are both true routers, just plug your WEP router in as the main router to the Internet and the WPA router's WAN port into the LAN side of the WEP router.  This will provide some protection from WEP users snooping on your WPA network directly.  


WPA enabled PC - - - - - - - - [WPA ROUTER]-WAN PORT------------LAN-[WEP ROUTER]-WAN--------INTERNET
                                                                                                                [MP3 Player]

Of course, you may have trouble with the MP3 player anyway because if it is trying to connect to the PC on WPA network it will not be able to.  This will essentially give your MP3 player Internet access but nothing else.  
piximetryAuthor Commented:
I've seen a number of nice solutions, so I'll split the points.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

Join & Write a Comment

Featured Post

Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now