Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

What is an SSID and WEP Key and Where To Find Them

This is mainly for the less computer-savvy folks who know the bare basics (e.g. turning it on and pretty much it):

Intro: Most users of the younger generation use Wifi and thus have a "tower" that allows them to connect. Normally you'd get a box with your cable/internet company along with that yellow cord called Ethernet. Your primary computer would be connected to the box through that cord. Normally that's all you need to surf the web. You're using a direct connection and NOT Wifi. So you go out and buy another box (aka: the "tower" I mentioned). You connect that tower to your primary box (the one the cable guy gave you) using another cord (either black or grey). You do all the commands that little instruction sheet to make sure all the lights light up like they're supposed to and help you should the thing go all jacked up and not work. It's the second box that allows you to connect other devices (through Wifi) to the Internet. So back to the main points: the SSID and WEP.

SSID: That's the name of your box. You can find it on the little sticker with all them annoying barcodes. It'll even say SSID. If it's not on the box itself, then it's on the Instruction Manual you got from the cable guy. It's very important you know it because if you don't, well you're pretty much screwed unless your cable guy can figure it out. You can name the SSID whatever you want. I have somebody in my apt complex with the SSID of "Gummy Bear" (no joke--though it's not the strangest I've seen). You generally want to leave the SSID alone. Write it somewhere on a sticky note tacked to the wall or on your computer with the Sticky Note App or something. Somewhere you /know/ your not going to lose it or get destroyed accidentally.

WEP/WP-AK1 & 2: These are 2 TOTALLY different passcodes. Some devices won't recognize WP-AK but it'll recognize a WEP. So what does WEP stand for? Wireless Encryption Password. It keeps thieves from using up your data and getting your personal info. I forget what WP-AK stands for but it's pretty much the same thing with only minor differences. WEP is usually a string of 8 digit numbers (e.g 12345678) while WP-AK is usually a phrase of 12-16 characters (e.g. jumpstreet112). This is also very important to remember because it can be just as disastrous (if not more so) than losing your SSID. This is also one you must NEVER change. There's no hope for you if you change it then lose the information. So where can you find it? The same place where you found SSID. Most times, it'll even say which type of encryption and what password is.

This is true for both Windows & MAC.

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