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Mac won't connect to my Linksys Wireless Router (WRTP54G) if WEP is enabled

Posted on 2006-06-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have a Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 running Mac OS 10.3.9 with a newly installed Airport Extreme Card. I am trying to get it to connect to my Linksys Wireless Router (WRTP54G). I can only connect to the wifi if I leave it unsecured. I know I’m using the correct WEP key and my Sony laptop can sit right next to the Mac and connect will fill signal strength. Are there some settings I need to have configured to get this to work?
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Question by:bugsbey
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by:strung
ID: 17020703
Are you sure you are using a wep key and not a passphrase?
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Author Comment

by:bugsbey
ID: 17032991
Yes, I'm using a WEP Key. I think it has to be something with that router model. Before I got Vonage I had a Linksys WRT54g and worked fine.
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by:walsellers
ID: 17198776
Did you change the SSID from the standard "Linksys" to something unique?  If not, you could be connecting to the wrong Linksys.  

To enter the hex key in the airport password box, type an 'x' or an '0x' (leading zero) before the WEP key.
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by:strung
ID: 17200348
actually, I think you need to put a $ sign in front of the WEP key to signify hex.
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by:bugsbey
ID: 17237193
I tried $, x and x0 but still can not connect with the WEP turned on. I called Linksys and they informed me that they do not support Mac. What’s up with that?? Has anyone been able to get this to work?
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Author Comment

by:bugsbey
ID: 17237204
Sorry, let me try that again... I wish you could edit the comments after posting.

I tried $, x and 0x but still can not connect with the WEP turned on. I called Linksys and they informed me that they do not support Mac. What’s up with that?? Has anyone been able to get this to work?
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Assisted Solution

by:strung
strung earned 100 total points
ID: 17237770
Are you sure you are using the LinkSys WEP key and not the passphrase? It should be a 10 character hex number. Put a $ sign in front of it.
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by:walsellers
ID: 17284765
did you try just 'x' before the WEP key?
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walsellers earned 400 total points
ID: 17539906
Did you change the SSID of the box?  If you are using the default name of "Linksys", you could be connecting to the wrong access point and never know it.  Apple's selection menu will not show you separate WiFi hubs with the same SSID.  It will assume they are both part of the same distributed network.
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Author Comment

by:bugsbey
ID: 17562539
My SSID is not named Linksys or any other default name. I called Linksys and they told me that there products are not guaranteed to work on Mac and they do not support Macs. I used to like Linksys products until I heard that.
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Author Comment

by:bugsbey
ID: 17562541
Yes, I tried $, x and x0 but still can not connect with the WEP turned on. I called Linksys and they informed me that they do not support Mac. What’s up with that?? Has anyone been able to get this to work?
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by:walsellers
ID: 17666008
Just a thought, can you check the antenna connection to be sure its really secure?  Mine looked like a good connection, but it wasn't.

Its kind of grasping at straws, but its worth a shot.
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Author Comment

by:bugsbey
ID: 17916300
I got a free D-link after rebate. My Mac's are all able to connect fine now. Thanks for your suggestions!
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Expert Comment

by:jeff_nathan
ID: 21838987
As the author already explained that they aren't using the default SSID, the suggestion for the author to check to ensure he's logging into the correct router is clearly not the correct answer.

Having had the same problem, I opted to use WPA instead of WEP and my Mac (OS X 10.5.3) is able to associate.
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by:mikerigel
ID: 21852754
I have a Linksys Router w/Vonage and got a new MacBook.  I also use all Linksys routers on my work network.  My MacBook would not connect when WEP was enable unless I added a $ to the beginning of the WEP key.  I am connected fine now.
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Expert Comment

by:Martin Campbell
ID: 24235917
The above story solved my very similar problem. I added the $ to the beginning of the WEP key on the MacBook.and this allowed it to connect to the Zyxel router my ISP provided when their previous router died. There was no problem for 2 other laptops running Vista. I expected the same problem with an iPhone and iPod Touch as I had with the MacBook but there was no problem connecting them to the Zyxel WITHOUT adding the $ to the beginning of the WEP key.
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