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I have an (admittedly old) iBook G4 running OS X Tiger 10.4.11 (never had a compelling reason to update to Leopard).

I have a home wifi network broadcast by the combination modem/wireless router installed by the phone company (it's Verizon Fios if that matters). Our Windows 7 notebook, and various iOS devices, can connect fine.

However, the iBook will only connect if the connection is set to no security, or set to 40 bit WEP. We don't want to do this for obvious reasons.

At some point in the past, it did work with the network set to WPA2.

The local wifi networks show up in the AirPort menu.

The interesting thing, and one that I hope is relevant, is that when I chose my home network from the AirPort menu, it detects as WPA Personal. The router is most definitely set to WPA2 personal (it's hybrid 802.11b and .g). Typing in the password never enables the OK button, which I believe means the password was not accepted (it shouldn't be, since it's not WPA personal).

If I try to connect using "Other..." from the AirPort menu, and force it to WPA2 personal, I get "There was an error joining the AirPort network ".....".

Any further troubleshooting steps? I'm a lot more familiar with Windows.

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1 Answer 1

As I recall, iBook G4's had the AirPort Extreme (802.11g) card, whereas iBook G3s had the original 802.11b AirPort card. So it's good you have a G4 because that card was capable of WPA and WPA2, whereas the older card could barely do original WPA.

Note, however, that the AirPort Extreme card in your iBook G4 was only certified compliant with the original WPA, not WPA2. Apple added WPA2 support later but never got that feature certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance, so it's possible there are incompatibilities. Then again, without knowing the make, model, hardware revision, and firmware version of the 802.11 home gateway you got with your Verizon FiOS service, I can't check whether your 802.11 gateway was certified WPA or WPA2 compliant either. For example, I know that Verizon often gives people ActionTec MI424-WR home gateways when they set you up with FiOS service, and the original revision of that product wasn't certified for WPA2 either. Only "Rev B" and later are certified.

It's interesting that you say you can type your password and it never enables the OK button. The only reason I've ever seen it do this is when your password is not the minimum length of 8 characters that the WPA and WPA2 standards require. Is it possible that your Verizon FiOS 802.11 gateway accidentally let you violate the spec and set a password that's only 7 characters or less? If so, try changing your 802.11 network's WPA2 password to be 8 characters or more and see if that fixes it.

If your 802.11 home gateway is currently configure for WPA2-only (a.k.a. AES only, AES-CCMP only), you might consider configuring it for WPA2 Mixed Mode (a.k.a. "AES and TKIP", "WPA2 + WPA", etc.), or pure WPA mode (TKIP only), to see if that old AirPort Extreme card handles it better.

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