Windows and AirPort's Equivalent Network Password

A reader saddled with a numeral for a last name is puzzled by his inability to connect his Windows box to an AirPort Extreme Base Station. Jaybe45 writes:

I have an AirPort Extreme Base Station connected to my Windows desktop computer and an Apple laptop. I have no problem with my laptop but I can’t seem to get my Windows computer on the Internet. I’m prompted for a key code to access the base station but the base station’s password doesn’t work. How can I use the base station with my Windows computer?

Your job is to determine exactly what text your Windows machine needs to access the base station. Apple’s AirPort Utility application will show you the way.

Launch AirPort Utility (found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder), select your base station, and click the Manual Setup button. From the Base Station menu choose Equivalent Network Password. True to the command’s promise, a sheet will appear that provides the information you need.

If you configured the base station so that it uses WEP encryption, that sheet will display a hex equivalent password. This is the key code Windows wants. You can highlight this text string, copy, and paste it where you like.

If you instead used a more up-to-date form of encryption—WPA/WPA2 Personal—the sheet will reveal the “real” WPA Password as well as its hex equivalent. As much fun as it may be to enter that reaaaaaallly long string of hex (and yes, you can copy and paste it too) you’ll want to give the real password a go.

Updated to include information about WPA/WPA2 encryption—and because Glenn Fleishman insists on making life easier for Windows users.

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