AirPort Equivalent Network Passwords

Entering the network password for an AirPort Base Station isnit a big deal for Mac users. When you see the dialog asking for the network password, you enter it. Windows users, however, have to enter an amazingly long string of characters and numbers to join a wireless network. That means if you want to let a Windows PC-toting friend connect to your AirPort Base Station, youill have to give them a Equivalent Network Password.

Finding that magical long code to connect a PC to your Base Station isnit hard once you know where to look:

  • Launch the AirPort Admin Utility application. Itis hiding Applications/Utilities.
  • Select your Base Station from the list, and then click the Configure button.
  • Odds are your Base Station password is stored in Keychain, so if you get a dialog asking for your user password, go ahead and enter it. The next dialog will ask if you want to grant access to the password always, or just this once. Choose just this once.
  • Now go to the menu bar and select Base Station > Equivalent Network Password
  • A new dialog will open showing the crazy long password. If you copy the password from the dialog and paste it into a text document, you can print it out so you donit have to go through this process again.

Hand off the Equivalent Network Password to your friend and let them deal with entering on their PC. Also, the code you give your friend is generated from the network password you created when you set your Base Station up, so donit worry about someone finding the Equivalent Network Password from a different Base Station and using it to hack into yours.

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