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Wireless AP overrides adhoc network

By Bentz ·
I support a setup where users setup their laptops in a wireless adhoc environment. They travel to temporary clinics which could be a town hall, church basement etc... They all use Proxim Orinoco wireless cards on win95/98 ibm laptops.

I have setup static ip addresses in the 192.168.0.XXX range. (different ip for each laptop) I use the orinoco software to setup the network name, peer-to-peer type of network, channel, encryption. They all work great and connectivity is perfect.

The problem occurs when they go to a site where another wireless network exists. When this occurs the laptops connect to that network (through an access point) and override my ad hoc settings.

I have contacted Proxim/Orinoco on this problem and we went through changing the channel, the full ip address, changing the gateway, changing the network name. None of the options worked. The only thing that did work was disabling the encryption. At that point I got the networks running but now the encryption is disabled.

Since these are temporary clinics (lasts about 4 -6 hours) and are not in the same place every day and do not have internet access the security risk isn't as high. But the there still is a risk with client data.

I do not know who these other networks belong and am not able to do anything on their side. Just wondering if there is something I missed. It doesn't make sense to me that these access points can override my physical settings. Any ideas? Need more info? Just let me know. Thanks for any help on this

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by deasey In reply to Wireless AP overrides adh ...

A search revealed the following that may help:

1. In http://www.netstumbler.org/archive/index.php/t-12281
"Does windows 2K/XP have any sort of utility to create an ad hoc network? my other wireless card (which doesnt work with NS realtek based) used to have an option to connect to ad hoc or infastructures but since re installing this has gone and ive done everything to get it back?.

Ad Hoc is set via the Client Manager, not through the OS. This too, is downloaded from the Proxim site."

2. http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/networking/expert/bowman_02april08.mspx
This uses an Orinoco card and refers to setting it to adhoc only.

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by Bentz In reply to

This would probably solve the problem. Unfortunately all the laptops are win95/98

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by deasey In reply to Wireless AP overrides adh ...

I guess Win 95/98 give you less control.
But looking at http://www.free2air.org/free2air/cards/lucent/IBSS_and_ADHOC_cards.html
it may be that you could set the parameter to only consider adhoc networks by modifying the registry.
It is not clear from above link but it looks like APMode value may do it.
Searching on APMode Registry gave
http://www.netstumbler.org/archive/index.php/t-5643
In this "The APMode registry keys are the underlying settings for this function. There are loads of threads about turning an Orinoco into an AP by modifying the APMode key and few others.
"
So (and this is confirmed by other links from the search) in fact APMode = 1 turns the Wireless Card into an Access Point. Seems good but not what you wanted I know.
More searching revealed "IBSS" relates to ad hoc networks then searching for "CreateIBSS registry" linked to http://www.netstumbler.org/archive/index.php/t-575
which shows "NetworkType = "0" or "2" (0=infrastructur, 2=ad-hoc)"
Maybe you could try changing this.
I assume you are using the Orinoco Client Manager (for 95 through XP)?

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by Bentz In reply to

I reviewed the first link before on proxim's website(now own the orinoco cards). In the registry those settings are already forcing the card to look for a peer-to-peer network as I have it setup currently. This issue of setting a notebook as an AP is interesting. I can force it to be a base station and have other machines see it. I just have to work out the encryption settings for that particular setup. I'll have to test in the field and find out if this will work.

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by ReWrite In reply to Wireless AP overrides adh ...

Well, then I guess you're back to the card. If the manufacturer can't help I would switch to a different brand. Other brands do not connect to ap's when in adhoc mode. It must be something in the orinoco's hardware/software to give priority to ap's over adhoc connections.

Sorry we couldn't resolve this.

Cheers.

RW

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by Bentz In reply to

Trial and error I guess. I have 55 of these cards in place throughout the state at 10 different offices. Too much investment to throw away now. In the future I will be more sensitive to this issue and make a better choice. When there is no other network in place the cards do work well and are easy to configure! Thanks for your effort in trying to help!

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by mikex In reply to Wireless AP overrides adh ...

Try to setup on the laptop wireless card setup your Wireless network as a PREFFERED One

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by Bentz In reply to

I'm not sure what it means to setup the wireless network as a preferred one? I am using laptops with win95/98 OS. Where is that setting available? Thanks.

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by mikex In reply to Wireless AP overrides adh ...

Under the network settings of the wireless card or within the wireless card setup which is staying in your win95/98 systray you must have the options that control your wireless network login - example:

Access Point
Ad-Hock

Under the access point network you must have some additional options to choose the WAP (wireless access point) either "By Default" or "Preffered"

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by Bentz In reply to

I have the options to create profiles of how I want the card to work. I have one profile setup as peer to peer. I have specified the channel, wireless network name and encryption settings. The setup works fine unless the users setup in a location where another wireless network is setup. In order for the netork to run correctly I have to disable the encryption and the peer to peer works OK. Now the security level isn't as good with the encryption disabled. I have no idea what the other network is or why my laptops even attempt to connect to it.

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