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Is a shared WEP key for Wireless Access Points any more Secure than Unsecured Wireless?

OneSeventeen
OneSeventeen asked
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I understand that using a WEP key encrypts the data being sent over a network so that only the person with the key can connect to the network and use it.  But if the Key is public, say posted on signs inside and outside the building, then would that defeat the purpose of the security settings?

We have a WiFi network at work that is open to the general public.  (They are allowed, and even encouraged, to walk up and sit outside the building and browse the web.)

If it is possible to make it a little safer for the average Joe to use the wireless without having someone log their usage/usernames/passwords, then I'd like to, but from my understanding a hacker could just use the same WEP key everyone else has to decrypt the signal and view/record network traffic.
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A wireless network with a known shared WEP key is the same thing as an unsecured wireless network, only slower.  Having the WEP key allows anyone to (unlawfully) capture and decrypt traffic, including the capture of logons being used by anyone.

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