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Category: Misc Security
Type: Question
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Can you explain why my Netgear router will only allow me to connect to a my WiFi with a hexadecimal password? There is no option to use ASCII characters.

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# Comment Id: 31368

Some router devices are allowed to use ASCII character however it has restrictions which limits characters up to 5 ASCII code only. This will be translated into eight bits by the use of character's byte value of ASCII.

This gives small fraction of byte value that reduce possible use of space and characters. By the use of this format, it breaks interception or packets which vulnerable to attack that cause network traffic. 

This ASCII codes gives more security for your wireless connections. You'll need to create and think of alpha-numeric characters in the right format and come-up with a better password or security key. Compatibility also is an issue why some uses ASCII codes as encryption. But there are remedy to this if it's not compatible. You'll need to use other type of encryption, either WPA or WEP.

Regards
Sharath Reddy

# Comment Id: 34627

Netgear doesn't use ASCII keys. It only uses hexadecimal keys which you can put it manually, or you can set the Passphrase yourself with what you prefer and the router will generate or calculate the equivalent HEX WEP Key for that given passphrase. Please take note that when you connect your device and the network asks for the network key, the passphrase may not be what it is asking for but the network key itself that it generated. Usually Key 1 is used by the network. You can verify this by going into your Netgear's graphic user interface and check the passphrase and the corresponding keys under it. If it's WEP, the router is very much asking for the key selected. The passphrase is just used to generate the key.