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I have a wireless printer (Brother DCP-585CW). The wireless setup instruction says I should enter the WPA key to the printer. The key is entered using up and down buttons on the printer.

So, I am supposed to enter 64 characters using up and down buttons. To enter 1 character, it takes on average (24+10)/2 = 17 times pressing the button (digits start after 24 letters). So 17*64 = 1088 times.

Is there a quicker way to setup a wireless printer? Maybe there is a Windows program that discovers printers connected to computer through USB or Ethernet (my printer has both sockets) and allows to pre-configure it for wireless usage (enter the long WPA key)?

Update There is BRAdmin program and it allows to set up almost all wireless settings... almost - all except WPA :(

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3 Answers 3

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A WPA2-PSK should be no more than 63 ASCII characters in length. If you are being asked to enter it in Hexadecimal, then 64 hexadecimal characters is 32 ASCII characters.

On your model printer, there may be no easy way to enter this at the printer itself (some models apparently have touchscreens etc)

However your printer does support automated setup such as

does your router/WAP support any of these?

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I think not because it's old. It's U.S. Robotics 802.11g. It looks like there is no workaround. I already made it working, by choosing a bit easier to type WPA password, but still impossible to guess. Good point bout those 63 characters, I initially tried to enter 64 (and typing only hex) like on other devices, but apparently the printer expects 63 ASCII and not 64 HEX. –  camcam Nov 2 '12 at 12:10

I would suggest you just use the WEP key instead as this is much easier and your printer supports it.

http://www.manualowl.com/m/Brother%20International/DCP-585CW/Manual/5029 (page 19)

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I had WEP key before but 1) it is written everywhere that WEP is easily cracked and 2) I bought a tablet that I wasn't able to configure with WEP, only with WPA, so I left the router with WPA and all is fine except the printer. And I found the BRAdmin program (from Brother) but it doesn't allow to set WPA key. –  camcam Nov 2 '12 at 9:25
    
OK - WEP is NOT easily cracked; yes it can be and some could argue it is easier than others but this does not make it easy; furthermore it's relevant on what your wep key is! If your wep key is 1 character long then yes, if you've made it a 12 character non read word, using lower case, upper case, non-alpha numeric characters etc then IMO it is fine! I would not be able to guess why your tablet could not connect to the router. –  Dave Nov 2 '12 at 9:31
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I was only talking about 128 bit :S Thanks for this link, I'll be honest it's not an easy read but it is interesting. It's also nice to know that you have this to hand and therefore you are probably a bit dodgy (joke) :) +1 –  Dave Nov 2 '12 at 9:44
    
With the intertubes, everything is to hand. Another good read (and more digestible) is Tutorial: How to Crack WPA/WPA2 but the do say " if you want to have an unbreakable wireless network at home, use WPA/WPA2 and a 63 character password composed of random characters including special symbols." –  RedGrittyBrick Nov 2 '12 at 9:56

Connect it temporarily with an Ethernet cable. Then either use the instructions on the manual, section "Configure the wireless settings", or connect to the printer's web interface using a browser and enter the settings from there. For this last option you will need to know its address, either in IP form or WINS address.

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I found "Configuring your machine for a wireless network" on page 28 step 17 (page numbering as in printed book) and the procedure says to enter the WPA manually using up and down buttons. That's what I described in the question. As for the web interface, when I type the printer ip into the web browser, it says "404 Page not found", but in different font than for a non-existing ip. So maybe the browser finds something, but receives 404 anyway. In a command console, pinging the printer ip receives a normal reply, so it means it replies to pings but not to browser request. –  camcam Nov 2 '12 at 11:17

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