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Incase you didn't know, Windows XP stores your WPA keys in the registry making them easy for a hacker to recover with a tool.

I'm stuck using Windows XP on a work laptop and when I take it home I connect to my home network. I would prefer to never have my home wireless key stored in an insecure location. Does anybody have some ideas for a more secure alternative without causing too much of an inconvenience.


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  1. Use some other wireless connection manager. For example Intel has their own that can overrides Windows wireless connection manager and it will store the WPA key itself. If it stores the key without asking for a password, then there is someway for an attacker to recover it, but it may be (slightly) more secure than Windows.
  2. Don't use a pre-shared key. There are other authentication modes for WIFI that don't require shared keys. That is usually lumped under EAP and will require support from the access point/router and probably some sort of authentication server.
  3. Don't worry about it, no one wants on your network anyway.
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+1 for the point 3. – Snark Jan 7 '10 at 7:58
  1. No matter where Windows stores the data, if it needs to access it - the user can access the same too. If you have Administrator rights, you own the system.

  2. Why do you think your laptop is "insecure"? Normally the Registry cannot be accessed over network.

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Unless he's concerned about someone with physical access to the machine accessing the registry - e.g. the IT department at work – ChrisF Jan 6 '10 at 10:59
Remote registry is a concern, especially if it is a work laptop that he doesn't have 100% administrative control over. – MDMarra Jan 7 '10 at 3:59

well, i haven't tried this myself but you could run wpa supplicant on windows, and have the config in a text file, or input it in the commands. its a lot more work tho

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