Give me internet, or give me death.
September 7, 2011 8:18 AM   Subscribe

What is wrong with my Airport Base Station and why won't it let anyone with Windows connect to the internet?

I've got one of these suckers and for whatever reason the way I've set it up only allows Mac users to come to my apartment and use the internet. Windows folk are SOL, which means I can't log into my Windows Bootcamp partition and patch anything right now. Wifi is the only means of connecting to the internet in this place; all the Ethernet jacks in the rest of the apartment are apparently broken (yeah, don't ask).

Here's the skinny:

Windows users can see my Wifi network. They can successfully enter my WEP 128b network password. However, after a few minutes of "acquiring a network address", all the bars on the Wifi symbol in ourtask bar will go green, but we'll have a message that says "limited to no connectivity". No internet as a result.

What's wrong here? Is it my basestation set up? I set IPV4 to DHCP based. All my Mac devices (iPad, iPhone, computer, etc) connect with no issue. I run Windows XP in Bootcamp.
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Best answer: I've had issues in the past with WEP password length. My problem was that my Apple equipment (AirPort and Macbook) didn't care about password length, but anything running windows apparently did. How many characters are in your password? For WEP 128 you should be using a 13-character password.
posted by aganders3 at 8:24 AM on September 7, 2011

Response by poster: Ooh, I'm only using a 10 character password. Why does Windows accept my existing password though?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:34 AM on September 7, 2011

Can you set up WPA or WPA2? You'll probably be more successful (and more secure) with a newer mode.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:48 AM on September 7, 2011

No idea why windows is doing what it does... Here is more information on the password length stuff:, it looks like the conversion to HEX may be going wonky in Windows, generating a different key.

Please note that your wifi 'security' is as effective as a moat vs. an F-22, and you may want to update your wifi hardware to something which can use WPA.
posted by defcom1 at 8:52 AM on September 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

This happened to a friend of mine, I had a Windows laptop and got the same deal... after months of tinkering with it by 4 different people it was something simple like the LAN cable was plugged into the wrong port on the airport. We all felt really silly, but sounds like something you might want to check?
posted by danapiper at 8:59 AM on September 7, 2011

Try putting a dollar sign before the password on the Windows machines. I remember that worked for me once - tells it to use a different mode or... something.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:04 AM on September 7, 2011

Response by poster: 13 characters and switching to WPA2 was the fix. Thanks!
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 5:20 PM on September 7, 2011

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