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What Is A Wpa Passphrase?


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I know what WPA is, but when, in setting up WPA security, does one choose a pass phrase? As far as I know, the only "pass phrase" is the encryption key. I've read some stuff about WPA cracking, and people are talking about using a bruteforce with a dictionary file to discover the networks pass phrase in order to get access to the network. I've never had to choose any pass phrase when I've set up WPA on my networks. If other people have this pass phrase, how come I don't have one? Can someone explain this to me?

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It's not just the encryption key, but that is all the user needs to know in order to use the network.

OK, so the information I was reading was just unclear in its terminology. So can I just use my routers configuration to change the encryption key to whatever I want it to be, as in a 63 character random sequence?

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WPA-PSK encryption requires a passphrase to be entered to get access to the network. some software also allows the key to be entered directly in the form of 64 hexadecimal digits. It is therefore occasionally useful to be able to calculate the 64-digit hexadecimal key that correspons to a given passphrase.

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