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Hexadecimal code for PC to Airport Extreme Base
November 17, 2007 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Hexadecimal code for PC to Airport Extreme?

We have a visitor with a PC, trying to connect to our Airport Extreme Base Station. How do we get a hexadecimal code for the Dell laptop? Thanks in advance.
posted by 6:1 to Technology (4 answers total)
 
Are you using WEP or WPA/WPA2 to secure your wireless network?

I ask because you shouldn't have to use hexadecimal with WPA or WPA2 since these security protocols have a uniform method for converting passwords to keys. It's only if you're using the older, obsolete (and vulnerable) WEP security protocol where a password may not work for all computers in a multiplatform environment (and hence the need the need to sometimes enter a hexadecimal key).

In any case, Apple provides a way to learn the hexadecimal key equivalent for your password. On your Mac open the Airport Utility, select your Airport Extreme Base Station from the list, click Manual Setup, and then select Equivalent Network Password from the Base Station menu. Details are at the Apple Support article "AirPort Extreme: Getting an equivalent network password."
posted by RichardP at 7:34 PM on November 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks, we were so close! She's running Vista, apparently it isn't supported.

Thanks again, RichardP!
posted by 6:1 at 7:57 PM on November 17, 2007


If you're using WEP, the hexadecimal code is the ASCII translation of your password. Ie, if your WEP password were ABCD the WEP code would be 41424344. There's probably some tool online to do this conversion for you, but you can do it by hand with any ascii chart.

The fun thing about Apple's broken WEP implementation is you can't go the other way. Ie: if your WEP key contains a 00, there appears to be no way to configure the Airport to do that. Thanks, Apple! Shouldn't bother you in this case.
posted by Nelson at 8:22 PM on November 17, 2007


If you're using WEP, the hexadecimal code is the ASCII translation of your password. Ie, if your WEP password were ABCD the WEP code would be 41424344.

This is only true if the ASCII password is exactly 5 characters long for 40/64-bit WEP or 13 characters long for 104/128-bit WEP. The WEP standard doesn't specify how passwords should be converted to keys, so often manufacturers used slightly different hash routines to convert an odd-length password to the correct bit length. The multiplatform issues arise when the hash results of products from two different manufacturers don't match each other.

The fun thing about Apple's broken WEP implementation is you can't go the other way. Ie: if your WEP key contains a 00, there appears to be no way to configure the Airport to do that.

This isn't true. Apple's software lets you enter a hexadecimal key by using the "$" prefix. For example, you can specify a hexadecimal 0011223344 40-bit WEP key by entering "$0011223344" (without the quotes) as the 40-bit WEP password.
posted by RichardP at 8:45 PM on November 17, 2007


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