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I upgraded my uncle's computer, and he is now back at his house.

He can't connect to his wireless router, because I don't remember his passcode, however, I do have the key that I generated from his wireless router. Ubuntu's interface offers no way for me to connect by key instead of passcode as far as I can tell.

Is there a way you know of that you can connect to a wireless network by long key (generated by the wireless router) instead of the passcode that was set long ago?

I'm located remotely to his network, and he is very slow to work through on this. If anyone can answer this, it would save me time.

The key I have looks like this: AD076778D3918C1BE2F27B9945

Ubuntu is expecting some passcode like: uncleswireless

How can I authenticate by the first method?

I'm not sure about the proper terminology for what I'm asking, I think this is wireless network keys versus wireless network passphrases.

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It should accept either. The passcode algorithm is only used if the input is not a valid key. –  David Schwartz Jul 15 '12 at 3:56

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have exactly 64 hexadecimal digits, you have a WPA or WPA2 Pairwise Master Key, and properly-coded UIs should allow you to enter it as is, as long as you've selected the correct choice of either WPA-PSK or WPA2-PSK as your security cipher.

If you have 26 hexadecimal digits, you have a 104 bit (sometimes called 128 bit because of the 24-bit Initialization Vector or "IV") WEP key. Again, most UIs should let you enter it as-is if you've selected 104 (128) bit WEP. I note that in your example, you gave a 26-hex-digit key, so maybe this is what you have.

Also note that if you have a 26-hex-digit WEP key, but originally entered it as ASCII, then the hex number you've got ought to be able to be converted back into ASCII if that's more convenient. As a double-check to see if it's hex-encoded ASCII, see if the value of each byte (each pair of hex digits) is between 0x20 and 0x80. In your example, 8 of the 13 bytes are outside of that range, which suggests it's not hex-encoded ASCII.

If you have 10 hex digits, you have a 40 bit (64 bit with IV) WEP key. Again, you may be able to convert this back in to 5 ASCII characters, if the value for each byte is between 0x20 and 0x80.

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Thanks for the information. –  LonnieBest Jul 15 '12 at 5:03

I was eventually able to connect with the key (without a passphrase) by pasting it here:

1) Edit connections

2) "wireless" tab

3) select the connection

4) click "edit" button

5) Wireless Security tab.

Others are saying that I should have been able to connect both ways using the automatic prompt that Ubuntu pops up. That was not my experience. I failed 5 times (with the key) that way, but it worked the first time at the Wireless Security tab (mentioned above) and we were using the same "paste" (from a copy and paste) that was used prior with the auto-prompt.

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Welcome to SuperUser. You can accept your own answer (unfortunately you need to wait a bit). –  soandos Jul 15 '12 at 5:11

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