It is the interval in which the client and access points rotate their keys to increase security. It is part of the WPA protocol thus it is automatically. It does not influence your security settings. Which do you mean, anyway?
Every few weeks or so I would have to go into the set up program and re enter either the psss key that i made up or re enter the type of secutiry I wanted (WEP>>>WPA) etc and the other settings....none of my laptops could connect because there had been eliminated.....I just upgraded the firmware a few days ago....I did not know what the renewal was.
I am also confused regards this same subject. I have just installed a WRT54G and want to set up wireless security to WPA Personal, but do not understand what is meant by Group Key Renewal, or how it functions.
If the renewal period is set to 3600, does this mean that I have to enter a new key manually every hour? Or does the firmware automatically generate a new subkey based on the key that I originally entered?
Do the wireless LAN clients (laptops) lose their connection every hour while the router renews the subkey?
Do the wireless clients have to wait for the LAN to re-establish each time the subkey is renewed?
You do not have to deal with the key renewal. It happens automatically. The clients don't loose connectivity, just the key for the connection changes. You won't notice. The shorter the interval the more secure the link (in theory) because an attacker who wants to crack the encryption key has less time and less data to work on...
But again: it does not affect wireless clients connected. It is all happening automatically just as it happens when the connection is established in the first place.
If you find that you get disconnected after an hour you can try to change the interval to a different time to see if this is the cause. Some implementations of the protocol may have faults. It should not happen but it may. I happen to have one device that looses its connection when the renewal happens. But you cannot really do anything about it (except hope that a firmware update will fix the bug). You cannot prevent the renewal. The renewal is part of WPA. If you wanted to turn it off you could as well choose WEP which is not very secure, though.
What about laptops that are disconnected from the network for significant periods and then want to reconnect (e.g., kids returning from college, machines that are powered down for a day or two, etc.). Do I have to re-establish the entire network to re-connect them? Does that mean re-establishing the initial key on every wireless device currently on the network? Does that force me to use WEP even though its security is easily broken? Is there a better choice?
Hi vfrick, welcome to the Linksys Forum, glad to meet another Newbie, one who I believe that I can actually help...
I took GV's advice and ignored (forgot about?) the key change. Haven't had problem-one since I installed the WRT-54G (V6) back six months ago with the WPA security protocol. The only times that I have had to recycle router power have been the result of my ISP and their modem responding to lightning transients and transmittting unnatural packets from the LAN side of the modem.
Regards laptops, etc. that return to the LAN after long absences, I've seen no problem. The router maintains the IP address in memory, and if the client has not changed its identity, the connection should be re-enabled almost immediately. If not, merely go into My Networks and re-enable or re-establish that specific wireless (or wired) connection. After a few moments of mutual hand-shaking the connection should be enabled.
NOTE.....you may have to go into your, and the client's, firewall and add the new IP address to the Trusted Sites......?