Thursday, May 28, 2009

OS X internet bridging is WEP only

My parents don't have a wireless LAN at the moment, so I turned on Mac OS X 10.5 Internet connection sharing on my mother's Mac Mini. This is a bridging connection; it links my wireless clients with the household wired cable modem connection.
It works pretty well in their house -- I can work with my laptop and iPhone as needed. If you want to do mail, etc though you either have to turn off the firewall on the Mini or mess with ports.
There's one oddity -- unchanged from 10.4. When you set up "connection sharing" (bridging) the only available encryption is WEP (!). This is slightly better than nothing, but not much better; it's now trivial to hack WEP encryption. WEP also a pain to configure on a PC.
So why just WEP? Seems out of place, esp in 10.5.

Update 5/29/09: It's not only old-fashioned, it's also flaky -- like a LOT of things in 10.5. I find I have to periodically toggle it off and on again on the Mac Mini to get it working.

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