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Hints On USB Wi-Fi?


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#1 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 04:35 AM

Hey, Guys-It looks like I may be parting ways with Comcast. I'm therefore looking to learn how to do wi-fi. That's right, 14 years computer experience and I have yet to make my first wi-fi connection. BTW I own no laptops, it's all desktops here.Here's the deal- I have this USB wi-fi dongle and I want to learn how to do this. I did a little research, tried a few things, and came up empty handed. I'm looking for even a clue or two at this point. I know this is a good wi-fi thingie. I've seen it detected before, but this Dell 8300 is at the moment not seeing it. Where do I start? BTW I looked at the networking setup in Ubuntu 9.04 and could see where you would select "Wireless" but could not come up with any mac numbers or ISP numbers or whatever it's asking for. Where do I begin? :hysterical:

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 14 June 2010 - 05:52 PM.

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#2 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 12:51 PM

Ok to begin with you still need an ISP to use wireless internet unless you are using someone else's network. Also, you need a router to broadcast the wireless signal (ESSID) in order to connect to it. If you do not see any access points(networks) in the networking setup, then you need to install the drivers for the wifi card. Open up a terminal and post the output of the command:
 # lsusb
You may need to be root depending on the distro. Then we can research the model and find out how to load it in the distro you use.
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#3 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:12 PM

You also need to have your dongle contain the same ESSID as in your wireless router or wireless access point, but you can suppress your router's "broadcast" of your wireless ESSID if you are concerned about your wireless security.  You need to create a security key for your dongle.  Mine was created using HEX numbers (128 bit).  This has to match either the wireless router's or the wireless access point's that's plugged into a standard router.Of course you have to have all your network's accessories on the same router address, except for the last three digits, which are unique to each separate item. If you have an ethernet non-wireless printer, and would like to make it wireless, just plug it into a wireless access point.  Naturally, the access point has to also meet the cirteria listed above so it will talk to the system.Unless you have your network items quite a distance from your router (gateway), you won't need a repeater to carry the wreless signal further than normal.Good Luck!
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#4 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 07:37 PM

View Postonederer, on Jun 13 2010, 07:12 PM, said:

Mine was created using HEX numbers (128 bit).  This has to match either the wireless router's or the wireless access point's that's plugged into a standard router.
I hope you are not using WEP since it is extremely simple to crack. Do a search and you will see what I mean. All is takes is about 3 minutes and you are in. I would suggest changing it to WPA2 since it is a lot harder to crack. Although, given enough time any wireless connection can be cracked since all you need to do is capture packets.. Also. make sure to have a strong password on your router since all of the default ones are documented online.
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#5 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:13 PM

In this case I want to use WEP. This is to be a learning experience only, at the outset. I plan to use one of my machines as a sacrificial platform to experiment on. Will install a new OS over it at some point thereafter. Initially, I do not intend to add the complexity of a router. We're talking a USB wi-fi dongle directly connected to one machine only, and sniffing nearby to see if there are any unsecured (open) WEP access points I can connect to.But first things first- I need to figure out how to get the computer to detect the device and configure it as the one and only network access point. So far, it looks like I need to come up with some sort of generic MAC number associated with this model? Or does each dongle have its own unique number? When I tried to 'set up networking' there was a tab for wireless, and it was wanting some sort of numbers.

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 13 June 2010 - 10:25 PM.

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#6 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:26 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on Jun 13 2010, 11:51 AM, said:

Ok to begin with you still need an ISP to use wireless internet unless you are using someone else's network.
There you go... USB wi-fi dongle, parabolic reflector...

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 13 June 2010 - 10:27 PM.

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#7 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:51 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on Jun 13 2010, 11:51 AM, said:

If you do not see any access points(networks) in the networking setup, then you need to install the drivers for the wifi card. Open up a terminal and post the output of the command:
 # lsusb
You may need to be root depending on the distro. Then we can research the model and find out how to load it in the distro you use.
clutter@clutter-desktop:~$ sudo lsusb[sudo] password for clutter: Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0846:6a00 NetGear, Inc. WG111 WiFi (v2)Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hubBus 005 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hubBus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hubBus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hubBus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
Yes, it shows up here.
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#8 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:52 PM

The dongle has its own MAC address like any other network card. In order to sniff packets you need to place the card into monitor mode. Not all devices support monitor mode so you need to check if your device supports monitor mode. What is the output from lsusb?http://en.wikipedia....ki/Monitor_mode
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#9 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:54 PM

Crosspost, one second.
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#10 OFFLINE   amenditman

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 10:55 PM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Jun 13 2010, 10:13 PM, said:

We're talking a USB wi-fi dongle directly connected to one machine only, and sniffing nearby to see if there are any unsecured (open) WEP access points I can connect to.
Just one warning.In most locales this is considered to be illegal, be careful what you connect to.

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#11 ONLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 13 June 2010 - 11:02 PM

Well it seems your card supports monitor mode but since this is not on the up and up, all I can do is point you in the right direction. Search google for "aircrack monitor mode" without the quotes.
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#12 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:07 AM

Uh...OK. I didn't particularly see this as a cracker enterprise. Mind you, remember that my sum total of wireless experience with computers totals minutes at best, was on other peoples machines, and involved MS Windows. I don't use Windows any more. It's Linux 100 percent here.I thought that since many folks are legitimately connecting at 'open' wireless hot spots such as Starbucks, Borders, McDonalds et al, why couldn't I look around for some open connections in my residential neighborhood using my desktop computer? I do not see myself as trying to 'penetrate someone's network'- I'm looking only for access point(s) accidentally or intentionally left open. You know, some folks are irritated enough with monopolies that they have intentionally done this, so I hear. Anyway...A little background... Clutter is philosophically opposed to gouging, price fixing, graft, under the table money in exchange for obscenely ruthless monopolies, etc. Nonetheless, many local governments have seen fit to sell us out, allow us to be exploited by lupine carnivores with monopoly power.The going rate around here has traditionally been 60 dollars per month for cable internet, despite the fact that in other jurisdictions, broadband providers have been able to deliver the same level of service at about half the price. Indeed, Clutter's price point was 30 dollars, and Clutter was once heard to say that cable would have to deliver at that rate to have a snowball's chance, etc. Failing that, Clutter was going to stay with dialup (ugh!) until the center of the earth freezes over.Lo and behold, Comcast presents an offer too irresistable even for Clutter: 33 dollars a month for a year, no contract, no penalties, etc. Clutter signs up (around summer 2007- and likes cable internet!) Fast forward 1 year- the intro rate expires and Clutter gets raised to 42.95. This is the customary rate for subscribers who have also taken cable TV. Can you say "vast wasteland"? Clutter is not a cable TV subscriber, and won't ever be until either (1.) h3ll freezes over, or (2.) cable gets a conscience and starts offering channels 'a la carte'. Yeah, like that's going to happen. Anyway, Clutter grudgingly ponies up 43 dollars a month and continues taking cable internet.Fast forward to the present. Comcast figures out the error and raises Clutter's rate to 59.95, "... to reflect the 'correct' price of your service..." No billbacks. They would have been in for a heck of a fight had they tried retroactively billing me. BTW this compellingly 'proves' that they actually value their service at that 42.95 level. I value it at about 30-35 dollars.  "In appreciation..." they increase my already blisteringly fast download speed to something even faster that I don't need or want- for free- for 1 year. Then it reverts to present speeds. Whatever.At this point, Clutter is in full rebellion. 60 dollars a month is just too dear. If Clutter had a mortgage, Clutter would probably be a street person by now. Clutter is hanging on by his fingernails, trying to figure out how to pay his unconscionably high property taxes each year so the Sheriff doesn't evict him and sell his home for taxes.So here's the deal. Cable should have a uniform price nationwide. Instead, my market is getting gouged. Cable should bill for bandwidth used, not uniform/ monthly. I'd get a pretty cheap rate. DSL is not an option here. Too far from my telco CO. My neighborhood is not wired for fiber (Verizon FIOS) just yet. So it looks like hanging onto my wired telephone line with Verizon was a good decision. Seems inevitable I'll be a snail on the dialup internet once again, very shortly. I just love downloading all you guys' images- websites that take 3-5 minutes to download, etc. Ugh!Sadly, you will be seeing less of me if I have to fully retreat to the internet cave age. I'll be experimenting with crappy little non- image loading browsers again, I guess. Finally being forced to learn how to make Linux's funky dialup drivers work in various distros. It all makes me very sad.I can still take my boxes to friend's houses to get updates for Ubuntu, download new distros, etc. Inconvenient but doable.I haven't a clue how to do wi-fi. Always considered it insecure, never used it. But I'll learn eventually, whether you guys are able to help me or not. If it helps you, reframe the situation and think of me as an economic 'victim' of the times. I really don't have any of the aptitudes or attitudes to make a good 'thief'. But whatever. Frame it as you so choose.Adios? :thumbsup:

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 14 June 2010 - 02:29 AM.

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#13 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:26 AM

Clutter,What is the [3G] "mobile broadband" situation in Clutterville?Anyway... what says this?
$ dmesg | grep rtl8:

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#14 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 02:34 AM

View PostUrmas, on Jun 14 2010, 01:26 AM, said:

Clutter,What is the [3G] "mobile broadband" situation in Clutterville?
Darned good question. I'm starting at ground zero, don't know the answer. But an educated guess: I live in a very large, extended metro area and 3G ought to be pretty darned good around here.

Quote

Anyway... what says this?
$ dmesg | grep rtl8:
Returns nothing, Urmas.Duh... it was rtL8...Returns:
clutter@clutter-desktop:~$ dmesg | grep rtl8[25467.406036] phy0: hwaddr 00:0f:b5:b7:34:fa, RTL8187vB (default) V1 + rtl8225[25467.406067] usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8187clutter@clutter-desktop:~$
Plugging back in the USB thingie, we have:
clutter@clutter-desktop:~$ dmesg | grep rtl8[25467.406036] phy0: hwaddr 00:0f:b5:b7:34:fa, RTL8187vB (default) V1 + rtl8225[25467.406067] usbcore: registered new interface driver rtl8187[39271.087306] phy1: hwaddr 00:0f:b5:b7:34:fa, RTL8187vB (default) V1 + rtl8225clutter@clutter-desktop:~$

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 14 June 2010 - 02:42 AM.

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#15 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:25 AM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Jun 14 2010, 09:07 AM, said:

Adios? :(
Hardly... it's just that there are issues with this issue. What is "legal" (and where), what is... ahem... "right". The opposites being "illegal" and "wrong".Case Finland: As things stand, it is punishable to use an unencrypted wireless connection without owner's permission. In theory. Over the years, there has been one [1] conviction. And the law is under revision; because encrypting is a trivial enough procedure, open connections will be... open. No threat of punishment.But. Riddle me this: what if the only open connection happens to be owned by the darling little lady next door? The one that bakes you cookies?What? I'm profiling?   :thumbsup:  Sure. But would you rather "piggyback" that connection than inform her that it might be wise to encrypt her connection?Right. Enough of that. Regarding mobile broadband, I would do some research here, the prices are low [15 or less per month, "best" speed & unlimited "mileage".] Check the availability, coverage, prices & stuff. Report back. Worthy of a thread of its own.Finally, back to that wireless dongle of yours. When you click on the Network Manager panel icon, what does it say in there? Under the "wired net entry", is there an item called "Wireless Connections"? And if there is, are there any "available connections" or is it empty?

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#16 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:40 AM

View PostUrmas, on Jun 14 2010, 02:25 AM, said:

Regarding mobile broadband, I would do some research here, the prices are low [15 or less per month, "best" speed & unlimited "mileage".] Check the availability, coverage, prices & stuff. Report back. Worthy of a thread of its own.
Yes, I'm going to check. But my view of cell phone suppliers is dismal, to say the least. My strong impression is that they gouge even worse than cable. Clutter has never owned a cell phone. The main issue is price. There are also safety issues for long term users, however.

Quote

Finally, back to that wireless dongle of yours. When you click on the Network Manager panel icon, what does it say in there? Under the "wired net entry", is there an item called "Wireless Connections"? And if there is, are there any "available connections" or is it empty?
This is weird. My Network Manager panel icon has mysteriously gone missing. And it's not a menu item on 'Add to panel', either.

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 14 June 2010 - 04:09 AM.

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#17 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:44 AM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Jun 14 2010, 10:40 AM, said:

This is weird. My Network Manager panel icon has mysteriously gone missing. And it's not a menu item on 'Add to panel', either.
Try rebooting. NM-applet resides in Notification Area; it is not "an add-to-panel applet".

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#18 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 03:57 AM

It makes a big difference whether or not the USB dongle is plugged in. With it connected, I have the added choice of Wireless Network, but it's grayed out. It also offers Connect to Hidden Wireless Network and Create New Wireless Network. I suspect I'd have to create one. And for that I need an SSID and/or BSSID and/or MAC number for the dongle. Three boxes to fill, and I'd have to figure out how to get all three numbers.

Edited by Cluttermagnet, 14 June 2010 - 04:04 AM.

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"Hey, Fred- isn't that your kid driving that bulldozer?"

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#19 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:05 AM

View PostUrmas, on Jun 14 2010, 02:44 AM, said:

Try rebooting. NM-applet resides in Notification Area; it is not "an add-to-panel applet".
My repeated plugging/ unplugging of the USB device got the OS confused. Reboot fixes that.
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"It takes only one bulldozer to raze an entire village..."
"Hey, Fred- isn't that your kid driving that bulldozer?"

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his love of Linux, and thereby made the world a better place...

#20 OFFLINE   striker

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:14 AM

http://www.troublesh...0612/200612.htmThis link will set you in the right direction Clutter.It's all about Wifi in linux.
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#21 OFFLINE   Cluttermagnet

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:22 AM

View Poststriker, on Jun 14 2010, 03:14 AM, said:

http://www.troublesh...0612/200612.htmThis link will set you in the right direction Clutter.It's all about Wifi in linux.
Great writing, striker. I'll have to spend a lot more time reading and absorbing all this. The guy makes a lot of sense, and I like his attitude and his writing style. He pulls no punches about how badly MS has spoiled the wi-fi situation with big interoperability issues. :thumbsup:
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"Hey, Fred- isn't that your kid driving that bulldozer?"

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#22 OFFLINE   Urmas

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 04:56 AM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Jun 14 2010, 10:57 AM, said:

With it connected, I have the added choice of Wireless Network, but it's grayed out. It also offers Connect to Hidden Wireless Network and Create New Wireless Network. I suspect I'd have to create one. And for that I need an SSID and/or BSSID and/or MAC number for the dongle. Three boxes to fill, and I'd have to figure out how to get all three numbers.
Erm... nope. See, the fact that you get the [empty] list of available wireless networks tells you that your wireless dongle is working (OK, it's not a "100% proof" that it works WELL, but...).The fact that the list is empty assuming that the dongle works OK tells you that there are no visible wireless networks available (that are strong/close enough to be picked up by that dongle of yours).So... fiddling with "create a new connection" is likely to be a futile exercise; it's not the DONGLE info that you need, it's the info for the wireless router you wish to connect to you need.Just for the heck of it, what does this say?
$ iwconfig

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#23 OFFLINE   onederer

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 07:34 AM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Jun 14 2010, 03:40 AM, said:

Yes, I'm going to check. But my view of cell phone suppliers is dismal, to say the least. My strong impression is that they gouge even worse than cable. Clutter has never owned a cell phone. The main issue is price. There are also safety issues for long term users, however.This is weird. My Network Manager panel icon has mysteriously gone missing. And it's not a menu item on 'Add to panel', either.
You are right, the standard cell phone suppliers are price gouging their 'victims'.  High monthly rates, use em or lose em monthly minutes, per-call high access charges, incoming calls charges, expensive early contract termination fee and a few other irritating small print stabbers.  I started to use a cell phone.  I've avoided those high monthly rates.  The only thing is that I've also forsaken some of those fancy features of those fancy cell phones. But to me and my wife, we consider the cell phone to be a utility item to make voice phone calls, and occasional typed SMS messages.  The rest is all fluff.To get away from the large carrier charges, and traps, we prepay for our service.  We can easily budget on how much can and will be spent for our communication costs. We have no monthly fees to contend with, and we only pay for what air time we use.  The company's personal service stinks,  But their equipment reliability has been more than pretty good overall so far.  We just deal with the company when we have to buy more air time. The company's name is TracFone.  We dropped our house phone, and now rely heavily on cell phone communications, along with Skype, and MagicJack for at home usage.  Considering that with the house phone, we were paying a high monthly fee for the privilege  of having a telephone hanging on the wall, whether we used it or not .  And everything around us was "long distance".  At least with what we use now, no matter how far we call, no long distance fees exist.  Skype and Cell phone is pay-as-you-go, and MagicJack is a one-time flat-rate yearly fee of $20.00 USD.    If the power goes out, we loose home telephone access (no computer running), but that's where the cell phone comes in. With the cell, we can make calls to the power company to report that our electric power is down.  Overall, it all works out fine.Cheers!
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#24 OFFLINE   lewmur

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 08:41 AM

View PostCluttermagnet, on Jun 14 2010, 02:57 AM, said:

It makes a big difference whether or not the USB dongle is plugged in. With it connected, I have the added choice of Wireless Network, but it's grayed out. It also offers Connect to Hidden Wireless Network and Create New Wireless Network. I suspect I'd have to create one. And for that I need an SSID and/or BSSID and/or MAC number for the dongle. Three boxes to fill, and I'd have to figure out how to get all three numbers.
Clutter;In all this, I've failed to hear you mention your wireless router.  Do you have your own or are you trying to connect to someone else's network?  If you are trying to connect to someone else's, do you have their SSID and network key?  Or are you even trying to connect to a Wifi network?  Have you, perhaps, purchased a USB dongle for a cell phone carrier like Sprint or AT&T?  That is a horse of an entirely different color!  It is impossible to help you without first knowing the answers to these questions.

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 09:12 AM

View PostUrmas, on Jun 14 2010, 03:56 AM, said:

Erm... nope. See, the fact that you get the [empty] list of available wireless networks tells you that your wireless dongle is working (OK, it's not a "100% proof" that it works WELL, but...).The fact that the list is empty assuming that the dongle works OK tells you that there are no visible wireless networks available (that are strong/close enough to be picked up by that dongle of yours).So... fiddling with "create a new connection" is likely to be a futile exercise; it's not the DONGLE info that you need, it's the info for the wireless router you wish to connect to you need.Just for the heck of it, what does this say?
$ iwconfig
clutter@clutter-desktop:~$ iwconfiglo		no wireless extensions.eth0	  no wireless extensions.pan0	  no wireless extensions.wmaster0  no wireless extensions.wlan0	 IEEE 802.11bg  ESSID:""  		  Mode:Managed  Frequency:2.412 GHz  Access Point: Not-Associated   		  Tx-Power=20 dBm   		  Retry min limit:7   RTS thr:off   Fragment thr=2352 B   		  Power Management:off		  Link Quality:0  Signal level:0  Noise level:0		  Rx invalid nwid:0  Rx invalid crypt:0  Rx invalid frag:0		  Tx excessive retries:0  Invalid misc:0   Missed beacon:0clutter@clutter-desktop:~$
Yes, looks like it works. BTW my neighborhood should be dense with wireless signals. But my parabolic antenna is directional. I'll compare with/without reflector.
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