Windows 8 WEP shared key resolution? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Yesterday I purchased a new laptop with Windows 8 pre-installed.  I have spent many hours trying to set up my new system, including a long telephone call to the PC manufacturers 'phone support to no avail, and could not get past the WiFi setup and consequently could not even register Windows.  Finally, I discovered that there was no shared key option in the properties dialog, even though there is provision for WEP encryption and a field in which to enter a key???  I've waded through the various topics on this issue but have not found a solution, only admonitions not to use WEP.   I understand that WEP is weak encryption compared to WPA, and eventually I will upgrade my other hardware, but that doesn't solve TODAY's problem.  This is NOT a laptop hardware issue as I can connect if I set my access point to "open", but no security is certainly worse than weak security (and unacceptable to me). 

    If there is no solution, I must return my new computer to the store since the new laptop is but one of many devices on my network and a laptop without WiFi is useless to me.  Please help!

    Tuesday, May 21, 2013 8:34 PM


  • WEP can run in two modes: shared and open.  Despite the names, shared is actually less secure than open.  Because of this, our telemetry shows that that only 0.1% (and declining) of Windows 7 users connect to these highly-insecure shared WEP networks.

    In order to simplify Windows, make it easier for people to pick more secure defaults, and to enable us to focus on improving the wireless networking that the other 99.9% of our customers use, we removed shared WEP from Windows 8.

    Windows 8 continues to support open WEP. We recommend that you configure your AP to use open WEP, as it's more secure and more broadly-supported.
    Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:14 PM

All replies

  • WEP can run in two modes: shared and open.  Despite the names, shared is actually less secure than open.  Because of this, our telemetry shows that that only 0.1% (and declining) of Windows 7 users connect to these highly-insecure shared WEP networks.

    In order to simplify Windows, make it easier for people to pick more secure defaults, and to enable us to focus on improving the wireless networking that the other 99.9% of our customers use, we removed shared WEP from Windows 8.

    Windows 8 continues to support open WEP. We recommend that you configure your AP to use open WEP, as it's more secure and more broadly-supported.
    Tuesday, May 21, 2013 9:14 PM
  • Yeah only 0.1% of Windows 7 users.  How many users of other windows versions are still using WEP. Don't say 99.9% of your users when you mean windows 7 users.  That is really an insult to the rest of us.

    Just got my new Windows 8 laptop and tried for several hours to connect it to my WEP secured router, oops I can't do that.

    Very unhappy that now I have to redo my network or take this computer back.  Microsoft really knows how to take care of customers.

    • Proposed as answer by Calabresi W Sunday, July 14, 2013 10:10 PM
    Tuesday, July 9, 2013 1:25 PM
  • This is a warranty problem for the manufacturer, WEP is a standard and compliance is not optional for a retail device. One more reason not to use a windows 8 tablet especially. Can always use a cable for a laptop.

    Needs to be fixed for 8.1 please.....

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:28 AM
  • I have the same issues!!!!

    Just spent 1500.00 on Windows Surface Tablet and accessories and found Android will connect to WEP with 128 encryption at my work but Microsoft will not offer a connection!!! Guess I need to add a Linksys/Cisco wireless USB!!! What a piece of crap!!!!! Eight WAPs here and I CANNOT Connect to any of them!!!!! Had to purchase the Surface Ethernet card!!!!  

    How about offering an UPGRADE/DOWNGRADE/PATCH for the Wireless Connection!!!!! Allow ME to Choose!!!! Been using Windows products since Windows 3.1 and every time you add a "Wizard" things get a little worse!!! That is why I still have 20 PC's running XP here!!!!

    Doy C. Sneckenberger

    Vice President Hagerstown Block Company

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013 1:37 PM
  • Any router less than 5 years old will happily handle WPA, any router less than 7 years old will happily handle 'open' WEP.

    Anybody still using WEP should be ashamed of themselves. It is highly insecure.

    You should be directing your anger either at yourselves for not knowing how to configure your router/for having an especially old router, or at your network admins for not being able to do their jobs properly.

    Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:11 AM
  • As a solfware consultant, that's a fairly ridiculous thing to say.

    We have hundreds of clients that i visit who i now have this problem with and it seems pretty outrageous to get them all to re-configure their Wi-Fi because i now can't connect to it.

    By your recommendation, i should send an email to all of my clients and tell them their IT departments are not doing their jobs. (it's a wonder you still have one)

    Thursday, December 5, 2013 8:22 AM
  • Agreed.  All of these people complaining about no WEP shared support in Win 8 should stop their whining and update their security on their router or have their Network Group investigate multiple WLANs if there is a need to keep WEP for business reasons.

    In fact - if you have an 802.11N or AC router and are using WEP you will not see the N or AC speeds. You'd need to run WPA2 AES to realize true N or AC speeds from the router to the device. Also, you'd need 40MHz wide channels to get 300-450Mb on N or up to 1G on AC.

    It’s pointless to spend over $50 on a router if you're too lazy to upgrade your security beyond WEP.  For those who are super lazy you can even run the CD included with many routers and it will auto-magically setup security for you.

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:33 PM
  • Since you're a solfware consultant I'm sure you know some hardware consultants who'd love to make money on proposing upgrading the networks of your hundreds of clients.

    Its called progression... and job security.

    If you're running WEP at hundreds of clients' sites you might as well tell all of your clients to run with no security and just disable the SSID from being broadcast - then there's no issues.

    Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:36 PM
  • what a load of company speak....

    we have several members who have older laptops and wep is the only available protocol. Do I ask them to all go out and buy new laptops so I can get on the network?

    Bad decision for customer; good decision for MS. Just like most companies decisions.....

    Tom Fleischmann

    Friday, January 3, 2014 7:21 PM
  • Another day, another problem with Microsoft software, another useless technician, another affirmation that customers are stats to Microsoft, another lie that "they did it because of poor utilization".  They actually did it because it's the least secure standard, but not all of us have access to routers, i.e., tenants so Microsoft was reckless in removing support for this; its not like Windows 7 had automatic support for it either, you had to manually create and configure the connection for it to work.  This move from Microsoft to remove it is wanton disregard, Microsoft never fails to make themselves look like scum.
    Saturday, January 25, 2014 1:16 AM
  • And so Microsoft provides consultants, already reluctant to suggest Win 8.x upgrades to their customers due to other stupid design and functionality decisions related to the OS, yet another reason to keep customers in Win 7 (i.e., where they are happy and functional)...

    To top it off, the "Network Troubleshooter" apparently doesn't figure out this problem either... so leaves the user flapping in the "shared" wind of desolation with the rest of the 0.1%...  Maybe the Windows 7 design team has veto authority over Windows 8 design decisions... to help drive adoption of Windows 7?

    Friday, April 11, 2014 12:22 PM
  • Typical Microsoft arrogance: "EAT your dog food and like it, because it's the ONLY dog food you're going to get!"  

    It's bad enough that they unilaterally change or break features, but the least they could do to prevent customers, IT staff and consultants from wasting our time is TELL US in advance!  To all of you Microslop apologists: FU!  YOU are the reason consumers and businesses are seeking alternatives to your once-excellent products.  

    btw: Everyone note the accurate Freudian Slip committed by the programmers of the technet forum -- at the right side of each comment is a blue link:"  "Edicted"  (rather than Edited)!  

    EDICT: an official order given by a person with power or by a government.  

    Must be Democrats.

    Monday, April 21, 2014 3:47 PM
  • The really shameful thing is that a windows 8 user who just brought home a new laptop will not find even a mention of 'shared key' using the local help feature and cannot get online help, and thus will be totally clueless.

      Disregard for your customers is the sign of a company that is on the road to failure.

     I would evaluate this as pathetic concern for the customer.  As noted above arbitrary opinions were expressed that the customer must be forced to buy new equipment if it does not meet 'their' viewpoint.  Laziness on the part of the customer was suggested, and absolutely no remorse by the vendor representatives.

     I live beyond the reach of any 'lurker' who might want to use my WiFi.  I have no need for any security at all, but this forces me to add more encryption load to my packets.   I might be forced to buy a new access point or router, and discard perfectly good, working equipment.  In the midst of a bunch of bicycle riding Microsofties that are ' concerned about the environment', they edict that I must buy new, and throw away the old.

     The customer is always right, except when 'we say so'.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014 3:37 PM
  • Hey folks, I know how frustrating it can be when something doesn't work right. I also have a computer, and sometimes the thing is annoying enough that I want to throw it out the window.  But it's tough to hear people conclude that we don't care about you, our customers, because that can't be further from the truth.

    I work hard making Windows better.  I've helped make recent versions of Windows do more things, use less memory, use less battery, crash less often, and cost less to manufacture (a savings that does get passed on to you -- new laptops are less than USD$300 now, a price that would be unheard of when I started working here).

    Usually, we are able to make these improvements, without breaking anything.  That's the best situation for everybody.  For example, I spent several weeks redesigning part of Windows 8.1 to make it more reliable.  When we tested it, we discovered that certain types of applications weren't compatible with the new architecture.  So I spent another 3 weeks working nights and weekends adding some compatibility code to make these applications work correctly -- all because I don't want a single customer to lose functionality.  (And the new architecture is indeed more reliable, by the way.  We see much fewer crashes in that area.)

    But sometimes, there's not any way to improve the product without leaving some functionality behind.  We're forced to make a hard decision.  Believe me, we agonize over these decisions.  We don't make them lightly.

    So, you're not happy that open WEP is no longer available, and I understand that.  But please don't conclude that we don't care about our customers; it's painful to read that invective.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:00 PM
  • The truth is Microsoft made a bad decision on this one.  It reflects badly on the company simply because it prevents usability and sets unnecessary limits on their device causing many users grief (look on the internet to see how many).  The right decision would be to simply provide a warning message regarding this type of connection when selected and that would have been sufficient; then its the user that is making the decision when it is or is not applicable.  Concerning security, the option "No authentication (Open) Open system authentication with no encryption" is a valid option so I'm not sure how WEP Shared Key doesn't pass the valid option list.    The feedback here is not Microsoft haters slamming MS, its practical feedback from Microsoft users who are looking for a good useable product.

    Objects - first class citizens: identity, public interfaces and the authority for their own behaviour and state

    • Edited by ToServe Monday, September 1, 2014 9:43 PM readability
    Monday, September 1, 2014 9:23 PM
  • Hi,

    I am very grateful I found this thread...eventually. I just spent the last several hours trying to configure a newly purchased Dell quad core laptop to connect to the Wifi only to realize that the Shared-WEP option has been removed. 

    Jeffrey I am thankful for all the hard work that you all have done by trying to make Windows better, but completely removing the WEP shared option should have been a no-go decision. I have more than 4 devices connected to a home network using Shared (three Android phones of various versions from old to Kitkat, and several versions of Win7), all of which still have WEP Shared as an option to connect (thankfully!). As others have said here, you all could have just provided a warning prompt or something which states that "Windows" doesn't like that option, but still allow people to use it. I don't plan on changing out my wifi switch for obvious legacy reasons, including the fact that all my other non-Win8 devices work on it. I sincerely hope that some patch or something is released for Windows 8.1 which re-enables connecting to WEP Shared networks. 
    Also, nothing at all in Windows 8.1 prompted me or alerted me to check the settings for the wireless connection or presented me with it, including that fancy troubleshooter. I'd say all the settings are very hidden from any user (just for info, I've been very actively using Windows since 95). Having a Windows 8.1 laptop which can't connect to my wifi network kinda isn't making much sense right now, especially since the laptop was bought as a "first laptop" for some folks to use.

    Please consider re-enabling connection to a WEP "shared" wifi switch.


    • Edited by VKhanai Friday, December 12, 2014 4:09 AM fix type and font size
    Friday, December 12, 2014 4:08 AM