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How long does your WPA2 PSK key need to be


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Old 31-05-2009, 17:53
stevenoon
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Hi all.

How long does your WPA2 PSK key need to be?

I have a BT Home Hub 2.0 using WPA+WPA2 encryption.

At the moment I have a 63 character alphanumeric key with lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols but I think it might be slight overkill and is a pain in the neck to enter.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Many thanks,

Steve.
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Old 31-05-2009, 17:55
Matt-08
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Oh come on, who's gonna guess that?

When I set up a new Linksys WRT110 on Friday, I kept the key it generated and this was 16 characters long.

What it also did was put a text file on my desktop containing the SSID and password, which I put on a memory stick and copied and pasted into my other machines.
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Old 31-05-2009, 18:00
stevenoon
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I used a key generator a while ago - it's the key that I used on my V1 Home Hub and the same again on my new V2 Home Hub.

I realised that it's pretty strong and possibly overkill - just wondering if I can safely shorten it - if so, by how much.

I've had some issues recently with my iPod Touch and Smartphone where I have needed to keep entering the key which has been a pain.

Steve.
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Old 31-05-2009, 18:06
Cruachan
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Hi all.

How long does your WPA2 PSK key need to be?

...

At the moment I have a 63 character alphanumeric key with lower case, upper case, numbers and symbols but I think it might be slight overkill and is a pain in the neck to enter.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Many thanks,

Steve.
In strictness, what you are describing is not the "key", but the passphrase that you have chosen from which, along with the SSID, the key is generated.

The information on this webpage may aid understanding:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~rjoris/wpapsk.html

The passphrase simply needs to be something that cannot be guessed or derived easily. And you are allowed up to 63 characters to achieve that. Any sensible passphrase will include alphanumerics as well as other characters. As such, a decent length one will usually be hard to remember and a pain to type in. I move my passphrase around on a USB stick, just as Matt describes.

Last edited by Cruachan : 31-05-2009 at 18:15. Reason: Some re-wording
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Old 31-05-2009, 18:18
LION8TIGER
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Mine is exactly a third, 21 in upper case lower case and numbers, so long as it is gobbledegook it won't be guessed.
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Old 31-05-2009, 19:29
Loobster
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How long does your WPA2 PSK key need to be?
14 random characters or more.

14 appears to be the length at which decryption becomes nigh impossible, IIRC.
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