1 Reply Latest reply: Feb 10, 2009 5:09 AM by J D McIninch
i_neska Level 1 (0 points)

Im a total Mac virgin, having only switched from the suicide inducing windows 2 days ago... what a change!

anyway, im trying to connect my new HP Photosmart C4580 to my new iMac, wireless... its asking for my network name and my WEP key.. i have no idea what these are or where to find them!

help please?


20" iMac 2.66 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.4), intel core 2 duo
  • J D McIninch Level 5 (4,060 points)
    First, do you have a wireless network in place? If so, forget about the computer, the name of the network is set on your wireless access point (router) -- use whatever that's set to. If your Mac is connected to it, this is what the Mac reports as the "network name" in the network configuration preference pane when "Airport" is selected. The WEP key is the wireless password for the router -- except that there is no key if you haven't set one, and even if you did, one would hope that you use WPA2 (or at least WPA) instead of WEP.

    Now, if you don't otherwise have a wireless network and you've got no wireless access points/routers installed in your home, you can setup your Mac to act as one. In that case, go to the Network preference pane, click on Airport on the left, and 'Show Airport status in menu bar' on the bottom. Then, press the "Turn AirPort On" button at the top, and select "Create Network..." from the Network Name drop-down. Provide a Name (this is the name you'll use with the printer), and check 'Require Password'. There's a drop-down that says 'Security', change that to 128-bit WEP, and then provide a password. This is also the password that the printer needs.

    Here's a caveat - WEP is not all that secure. 128-bit more so than 40-bit, but still not terribly secure. If you have a wireless router that supports WPA2, that's best. WPA, not as good, but passable. Your Mac supports connecting to wireless access points securely, but if it acts as the access point, you can only get WEP security (not good). If you don't have one, you might want to plunk down a little money for an inexpensive wireless router/access point.

    One more thing, wireless printing is convenient, but it comes at the cost that it's noticeably slower than a USB2 connection.