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Question
Hi, I have set up a wireless network with access control on my netgear dg824pn router. I have my phone, ipad, laptop and surface tablet all setup and am now trying to set up my mothers ipad. I went into the router settings yesterday and turned off access control added the ipad using its MAC address and then turned the access control back on. Fantastic it connected and was working fine. Now today the ipad wont connect. I cant work out why. I put in the password and the animated symbol comes up to show its trying to connect but it never does. My laptop sometimes has problems joining too. My laptop is running windows 7. My ISP is talktalk and I have 8meg broadband via a bt line. Im not sure if the problem is the router even though it connected to the wifi yesterday or if its something else. Thanks

Answer
Turn off access control and see if it works.  It may be that the dg824pn has a limit to the number of MAC addresses that it can hold in access control.  Incidentally you should know that access control is regarded as completely insecure and a waste of time by wifi security experts.  This is because someone wanting to get on to your router who suspects that you have MAC address filtering turned on can simply use a wireless sniffer program like Cain & Abel to find out the MAC addresses that your devices are using, then spoof one of your MAC addresses.
That program can also be used to determine your SSID if you have SSID broadcasting turned off.  Here is information on how to spoof MAC addresses under Windows 7 along with a software program:

http://lizardsystems.com/wiki/change_mac_address/faq/change_mac_address_in_windo

And that's Windows, if the attacker is using MacOS or Linux they have no limitations on whatever MAC address they want to use and they don't even need to bother with a 3rd party program.

My recommendation is do not waste your time with mac address access control.  Instead, use the Wifi encryption with an AES 256bit key.  MAC address control is a leftover from the early days of wifi when the original encryption scheme used was known to be insecure, they added in access control as a last ditch attempt to try to make a bad situation better.

Broadband (Cable, DSL, Satellite, Fiber Optics)

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Ted Mittelstaedt

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I will answer questions on the following kinds of High Speed Internet connectivity; ISDN, Frame Relay, dedicated T1, higher speeeds such as DS3/OC3, wireless such as 802.11 and DSL. No questions on dialup V90 or Cable access. I can also answer questions on many types of Cisco routers, and a number of other brands of business routers as well.

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I am the technical manager of Internet Partners Inc. an ISP.

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I've written a book titled "The FreeBSD Corporate Networker's Guide" published by Addison Wesley

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