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How to Use WPA-PSK on a Netgear WGR 614 Wireless Router

Wi-Fi Protected Access with Pre-Shared Keys (WPA-PSK) is an improved way to secure your wireless Internet access device. In this article we discuss WPA-PSK on the Netgear WGR 614 Wireless Router.

 


Netgear WGR 614 WPA-PSK ScreenUntil now, the common way to restrict access to your wireless Internet was to use Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP).

However, WEP was discovered to have security flaws, so a new way of securing wireless Internet traffic, WPA-PSK was developed.

Recent versions of Windows XP have a patch, Recommended Update 815485, that enables computers with the patch to use WPA-PSK.

Initially it was difficult to get WPA-PSK to work correctly, but newer wireless routers such as the Netgear WGR 614 make it easy to use WPA-PSK. Note: I have upgraded the firmware of my WGR614v6 router to Firmware Version V1.0.11_1.0.7NA, available from Netgear's Support Website.

Login to the WGR 614's main configuration page and select the Wireless Settings option. In the section marked Security Options, choose the WPA-PSK radio button (as shown in the diagram on this page) and the Security Encryption (WPA-PSK) section will open on your screen.

Type a Passphrase of up to 63 characters that you won't forget.

You can leave the Key Lifetime at the default setting of 60 minutes or set it to a shorter lifetime (more secure) or longer lifetime (less secure). Netgear's online help says: “Shorter periods provide greater security, but adversely affect performance.” My own experiences with my Dell Inspiron 700m laptop are that there was no performance difference when I changed the Key Lifetime from 60 minutes to 10 minutes.

The first time you connect each new laptop to your Wireless Internet, you will be asked to type in this same passphrase. This is a big improvement over WEP, where you had to remember the computer generated key and type that into your laptop, twice, not the easy-to-remember passphrase.

Overall, WPA-PSK offers improvement and ease of use and security as compared with WEP. If WPA-PSK is available on your wireless router and your laptop computers support it, we suggest you use it.


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