Adding another computer to my wireless system

I have a Buffalo G54 air station, and it works just fine for my home laptop. I am having problems with I bring another laptop home and try to connect.

The second laptop connects to other wireless stations at work, so it is functional.

Connection gets to the point where it recognizes the local air station, but when I try to connect to it, I am asked to provide a network key. I have no idea what that is or how to find it.

Using Windows XP and Firefox on both laptops.
OS on both is Japanese, and I live in Japan, so the manual is also in Japanese, but my J wife cannot figure it out. A related Buffalo manual in English (downloaded) shows lots of lovely Windows screens and menus, but I don't have those on my model.

What can I do?
Thanks in advance.
14 answers Last reply
More about adding computer wireless system
  1. Each WAP (wireless access point) is typically secured by some key/password (to prevent unauthorized access and encrypt the data). If you didn't provide a key/password when you set it up (not a good idea), then any other desktop/laptop shouldn’t need a key/password either. So I don’t know why it would be prompting you for that information. Are you *sure* you’re accessing your own WAP and not a neighbor’s WAP?
  2. Yes, I'm sure. The SSID matches.

    I have tried entering "password" and just leaving a blank, to no avail.

    I didn't provide a password when I set it up. The AOSS instructions said to leave the username at default ("root") and to leave the password blank.
  3. Glenski said:
    Yes, I'm sure. The SSID matches.

    I have tried entering "password" and just leaving a blank, to no avail.

    I didn't provide a password when I set it up. The AOSS instructions said to leave the username at default ("root") and to leave the password blank.


    Although the SSIDs may match, sometimes (perhaps too often) ppl use the default SSID (as shipped). So let's say that's "Linksys" (I see this all the time when searching for open wifi hotspots). Now suppose your neighbor does the same. Yes, it's *your* SSID, but it's also your neighbor's SSID since neither of you bothered to change it from the default. I just figured if you didn't provide any wireless security when you set the router up, there was a good chance you didn't change the SSID either. :)

    Anyway, if your SSID is indeed unique, and that's the one you're using, then you’re OK there.

    As far as password, I don't mean the username/password used to login to the router's administration pages. I mean "wireless security", as in WEP/WPA/WPA2. This is the key/password that secures the communications link between the wireless client and wireless router. If this isn't specified, then all communications across that link is "in the clear" for anyone to sniff. Plus, anyone can use your wireless system if they're within range. Once you login w/ username/password to your wireless router, there's a security page where you set this stuff up. But as I said before, if you didn't specify wireless security (and if you're only learning about it now, you certainly didn't), then it doesn't make sense that some laptops are NOT prompted for wireless security information while others ARE prompted. Which then led me to wonder if perhaps you were inadvertently accessing some neighbor's wireless router instead (one that DID have wireless security setup).

    Whew!

    P.S. Now I see, you used AOSS, iow, the router allowed you to setup security w/ the push of a button! That basically automates the process I described above, as a convenience. So you DO have wireless security enabled. But the problem is, the other laptop must either support AOSS as well, or else you’ll have to dig out the wireless security information from the router and manually provide it to that other laptop.
  4. If you want/need to know more about AOSS (in case you don’t understand what’s happening here), I found this short PDF. See the “AOSS User Experience” section specifically. Notice it requires compatible AOSS wireless routers and wireless clients. Once you try to add a NON AOSS compatible wireless client to the mix (which is probably the case w/ that other laptop), it’s back to manually setting up wireless security for that wireless client.

    http://www.buffalotech.com/files/AOSS_WP_Final.pdf

    Btw, a good example of how automation can backfire!
  5. eibgrad said:
    If you want/need to know more about AOSS (in case you don’t understand what’s happening here), I found this short PDF. See the “AOSS User Experience” section specifically. Notice it requires compatible AOSS wireless routers and wireless clients. Once you try to add a NON AOSS compatible wireless client to the mix (which is probably the case w/ that other laptop), it’s back to manually setting up wireless security for that wireless client.

    http://www.buffalotech.com/files/AOSS_WP_Final.pdf

    Btw, a good example of how automation can backfire!

    I understood almost nothing of that link. Geez, can't someone explain things so that a novice can get it?

    "Should an additional wireless client adapter be introduced into the network, the original installation process is simply repeated. Simply initiate AOSS on the client device and then press the AOSS button on the AP, and within a minute, encryption and security will be established."
    This quote is from that link. If I understand it correctly, how am I supposed to repeat installation? That is, my second laptop is a netbook with no place to put the Buffalo disk.

    eibgrad wrote:
    "But the problem is, the other laptop must either support AOSS as well, or else you’ll have to dig out the wireless security information from the router and manually provide it to that other laptop. "
    How do I figure out whether my netbook supports AOSS or not? If it doesn't, how do I "dig out the wireless security info"? Guys, I'm very green at this, as if you didn't know!

    Thanks so far.
  6. Glenski said:
    I understood almost nothing of that link. Geez, can't someone explain things so that a novice can get it?

    "Should an additional wireless client adapter be introduced into the network, the original installation process is simply repeated. Simply initiate AOSS on the client device and then press the AOSS button on the AP, and within a minute, encryption and security will be established."
    This quote is from that link. If I understand it correctly, how am I supposed to repeat installation? That is, my second laptop is a netbook with no place to put the Buffalo disk.

    eibgrad wrote:
    "But the problem is, the other laptop must either support AOSS as well, or else you’ll have to dig out the wireless security information from the router and manually provide it to that other laptop. "
    How do I figure out whether my netbook supports AOSS or not? If it doesn't, how do I "dig out the wireless security info"? Guys, I'm very green at this, as if you didn't know!

    Thanks so far.


    I appreciate your frustration, but please understand that those trying to help have to make at least SOME assumptions about technical knowledge and skill. If we didn’t, we’d never get through all these questions. So we try to find a middle ground. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. It would also be helpful if ppl provided FULL DETAILS (e.g., make & model). I’m only learning now that your second “laptop” is actually a netbook. Such details can make a big difference. Had I known this was a netbook (make & model even better), I would have assumed it was NOT AOSS compatible.

    A wireless router as shipped comes w/ wireless security DISABLED. We’re not talking about the login (username/password) used to authorize access to the router’s administration interface via your web browser ( http://192.168.11.1 , I believe this is your router’s IP address, but I can’t be 100% sure since you didn’t provide a model #). Wireless security is a completely separate issue.

    Your wireless router, by default, will send data “in the clear” (i.e., unencrypted) and will allow ANYONE within range to use the wireless router by merely finding the wireless signal (via its SSID) and connecting. This is exactly what happens when you use your laptop/netbook at an open wifi location (Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.). It’s convenient but poses a security risk. When using wireless at home, it’s best to ENABLE wireless security. Every wireless router allows you to address the problem of unauthorized access and eavesdropping by supplying a “key” that the wireless router a) requires the user to provide for authorization purposes and b) to encrypt the data that traverses those wireless signals.

    Every wireless router will have some page within its numerous administration pages ( http://192.168.11.1 ) where you configure this information. It should be fairly obvious, esp. if you know the kind of information needed. There are several TYPES of security, including WEP, WPA, and WPA2. The gory details that distinguish one from the other are unimportant right now (fwiw, WPA2 is consider the best choice). You indicate a type, provide a key, and apply the changes (might require rebooting the router, but usually it doesn’t). Once you do, then every wireless user will need to specify that same type and key before the connection will be allowed.

    Now let me touch on AOSS briefly (just so you know why it even became an issue). Because dealing w/ all these security issues is so complex (esp. for customers with little to no experience), manufacturers have devised techniques, various forms of automation, to make it brain dead simple to enable and configure wireless security. One of these is AOSS. Your wireless router happens to support AOSS. It’s just a button on the outside of the unit. When you press it, any AOSS compatible wireless client (desktop, laptop, netbook, whatever) will NEGOTIATE a suitable wireless configuration between them (type and key). It’s all done behind the scenes. It’s like magic. There are other systems similar to AOSS used by other manufacturers, and they all pretty much work the same. But they are often INCOMPATIBLE across manufacturers. All this “magic” is only going to be useful when ALL the devices share the same system (AOSS in this case). Throw in a laptop from work w/ no support for AOSS and you suddenly need to return to using the manual approach.

    So in light of this information, let’s consider your initial posting. You indicated your home laptop worked fine, but when you tried to use the second laptop from work (netbook), it suddenly asked you for a “network key”. That’s the wireless security I was describing above. Since you had no idea what that was, yet your wireless router is prompting for a key (as if security is enabled and configured), and we know your home laptop works, all I could assume is that when you first setup the wireless router and home laptop, you actually had used the AOSS system (even if you didn’t realize it or know what it was at the time). It’s just a button on the router. And if you coincidentally had a compatible AOSS wireless client adapter, security would have been configured automatically.

    So now you bring home this netbook which is probably NOT AOSS compatible and boom, the wireless router wants to know the network key (otherwise you ain’t getting’ in). That’s how you probably got to the current situation. Of course, I can’t be 100% sure, I wasn’t there when you set it up, I only have the information you’ve provided, and common sense to draw some reasonable conclusions.

    So now what you need to do is login to your wireless router ( http://192.168.11.1 ), find the wireless security section, and determine what wireless security TYPE and KEY your router automatically configured, then go back to the netbook and provide that information if/when prompted. If for some reason wireless security is NOT configured on the router (which frankly wouldn’t make sense if it’s prompting for the key, but just in case), then you’ll want to configure wireless security NOW. Most ppl should use WPA2 and a good key (12-14 random alphanumeric chars if fine (A-Z, 0-9) and write it down somewhere). Again, based on the behavior, it’s probably already configured and you just need to RETRIEVE the type and key so you can provide it if/when prompted.
  7. Thanks for your patience. I'm sure you've dealt with people at my poor level of understanding, and I appreciate the simplifications.

    I'm sorry for not providing enough information, but I simply don't know what is needed. I was going to tell you I am trying to set up a netbook AND a regular laptop from work to use at home, but I'm scrapping the laptop from work soon.

    Tell me the details you need, and I'll certainly provide them.

    The laptop at home is an NEC Lavie, and the netbook is a Lenovo. The NEC has a Buffalo card inserted in it to make the wireless connection.

    Looking at the Buffalo software installed on the laptop, I see it says "security" is WEP-128bit (is this my wireless security TYPE?) and the IP address is not http://192.168.11.1. On the page with that info, I also see the MAC address but nothing to indicate a KEY. On the profile page, it only shows a bunch of characters, hyphen, and then AOSS.

    When I type my IP address (can I show it here or is that not safe?) into the Firefox address bar like the one you showed (http:// preceding it), I get an error message saying the connection was reset, so the page won't load. What do I do now?
  8. Glenski said:
    Thanks for your patience. I'm sure you've dealt with people at my poor level of understanding, and I appreciate the simplifications.

    I'm sorry for not providing enough information, but I simply don't know what is needed. I was going to tell you I am trying to set up a netbook AND a regular laptop from work to use at home, but I'm scrapping the laptop from work soon.

    Tell me the details you need, and I'll certainly provide them.

    The laptop at home is an NEC Lavie, and the netbook is a Lenovo. The NEC has a Buffalo card inserted in it to make the wireless connection.

    Looking at the Buffalo software installed on the laptop, I see it says "security" is WEP-128bit (is this my wireless security TYPE?) and the IP address is not http://192.168.11.1. On the page with that info, I also see the MAC address but nothing to indicate a KEY. On the profile page, it only shows a bunch of characters, hyphen, and then AOSS.

    When I type my IP address (can I show it here or is that not safe?) into the Firefox address bar like the one you showed (http:// preceding it), I get an error message saying the connection was reset, so the page won't load. What do I do now?


    If the Buffalo software installed on the laptop say "WEP-128bit", then yes, that's your security TYPE.

    Let me tell ya what. If you want, you can contact me using instant messenger and we’ll go though it LIVE. I can see this is going to be next to impossible using this technique. It would just save a whole lot of time and effort if we did it interactively.
  9. ok, what kind of IM do you want to use? Skype? Yahoo Messenger? I have both. Please send me a PM or email so we can set up to do this. I suspect we may also have some issues with time difference. I don't know where you are, but I'm in Japan.
  10. Glenski said:
    ok, what kind of IM do you want to use? Skype? Yahoo Messenger? I have both. Please send me a PM or email so we can set up to do this. I suspect we may also have some issues with time difference. I don't know where you are, but I'm in Japan.


    Already PM'd you.
  11. Thanks for the help last night. Sad to say, even though this morning I had wireless on the netbook, I did NOT on the laptop.
  12. Glenski said:
    Thanks for the help last night. Sad to say, even though this morning I had wireless on the netbook, I did NOT on the laptop.


    You mean the laptop stopped working? If it did, I bet I know why, esp. if this happened after rebooting the laptop.

    You may recall (maybe not) we turned WZC (Wireless Zero Configuration) ON, which allowed us to use Windows’ own wireless utility to make the wireless connection. In effect, we bypassed the Buffalo client application (ClientManager2). It was proving too difficult to use, esp. since it was in Japanese and I couldn’t see the screen. So we switched over to WZC by enabling the service.

    All well and good, but what I was hoping (and apparently my hopes were dashed) is that WZC would remain enabled after a reboot. But I suspect when ClientManager2 was restarted after the reboot, it turned WZC OFF again! And so now you can’t connect.

    We can fix it tomorrow. For now, you just need repeat what we did this morning.

    1) Go to Start->Run, type “services.msc”(no quotes), and hit enter. It should bring up the services dialog.
    2) Find Windows Zero Configuration. Double-click it and make sure the service is set to Automatic (the first option in the drop down box at the middle of the dialog box) and hit Ok (to exit the dialog box).
    3) Double-click Windows Zero Configuration again and hit the Start button, hit Ok, and close the services window.

    You should have wireless access again.

    Unfortunately a bit of a hassle, but we can fix it permanently next time.
  13. Yes, after I started the laptop this morning, there was no wireless connection, nor would it read any local signals. Got that same error message again.

    I suspected something along those lines, too. I can't check until I go home tonight, but that's what I'll do.
  14. Just wanted to say thanks for all your hard work again last night and to confirm that I need to reinstall the airstation ASAP (will do it tonight). Wanted to confirm only because this morning I had no wireless again on the laptop and didn't know if this was what you expected. Many thanks.
Ask a new question

Read More

Configuration Laptops Wireless Connection Wireless Networking