WEP vs WPA Wireless Security in DD-WRT: A Quick DD-WRT Repeater Mode Setup Tip

If you are trying to setup a Repeater in DD-WRT and having trouble making the connection between your main/gateway router and the repeater itself, the issue may be your wireless security settings.

Many people use the substandard WEP mode for their wireless protection. In our extensive DD-WRT Router and Repeater testing, WEP has been found to be quite buggy when set as the encryption method in Repeater more. FlashRouters recommends using WPA Personal Security with TKIP as the encryption mode. The encryption change must be done on the gateway router and then the settings must be copied onto the repeater router.

If you stumbled upon this while researching a wireless repeater for your home, take a look at our top recommended repeater the Asus AC56U with DD-WRT Installed.

What is the Difference Between WPA and WEP Wireless Security Modes?

OnlineComputerTips.com gives an illuminating explanation on what differentiates WPA from WEP:

WEP is not difficult to crack, and using it reduces (wireless) performance slightly. The WEP concept of using a passphrase is introduced so that you do not have to enter complicated strings for keys manually. The passphrase you enter is converted into hex keys. The static nature of the shared secret keys is its weakness…WPA is able to achieve over 500 trillion possible key combinations and re-keying of global encryption keys is required. The encryption key is changed after every frame using TKIP. This allows key changes to occur on a frame by frame basis and to be automatically synchronized between the access point and the wireless client.

Upgrading to WPA will not only simplify the Repeater set up process but it will simultaneously boost your wireless encryption security.

Instructions on How to Upgrade the Wireless Security Mode in DD-WRT

1) Log into your DD-WRT Router.
2) Click on the Wireless tab then the second level tab Wireless Security.
3) Change the dropdown box under Security Mode to WPA Personal.
4) Change the dropdown box under WPA Algorithms.
5) Type in a WPA Shared Key (at least 12 characters).
6) Click Apply Settings on the bottom.
7) Update the Wireless Key under your computer’s network settings.

To learn more about the advantages of a repeater, head over to our recent post on the DD-WRT VPN Repeater Solution.

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