Initial NetGear ME-102 Configuration

The aim is to provide a minimally private working access point. Configuration of the ME-102 is done using the ap-atmel program. Depending upon your system, you may be able to find a ready built binary, or you may need to download the tarball and build from source. There's not much code, so building does not take long. It follows the regular GNU 4 step.

Connecting to the Access Point

Before starting the program, the access point needs to be connected to the PC. I installed a second net card, but it should be possible to use an existing card. If using a second card, make sure that ip forwarding is disabled. We are about to connect a wide open access point to the network, so it is a wise precaution to limit the damage available.

For RedHat 7.3 systems the following should be placed in the file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth1 Assuming this is the second interface in the pc, it will be called the eth1 interface. To configure the interface the manual way, place


into the file, then use the command ifup eth1 to start the network on the new card. If you use an existing card, first stop the existing network by using ifdown eth<n> where <n> is the specific interface. Modify the configuration file as shown above, then restart the network.

Once connected, start the command ap-atmel, which is a curses based configuration program. I set the terminal type to vt100, as the default (TERM=xterm) had messed up cursor operations at times. The first time requires that you supply an IP address and community name (aka password). The documentation specifies the default for both of these. Mine used as the IP, and hence the above network settings.

You are now presented with a set of submenus down the left hand side. Use the arrow keys to select Config then press <enter> and you are presented with another set of menus.

Set New Passwords

Cursor down to the Community entry, press <enter> and set all three passwors. This is essential, as this access point can be configured from the wireless side! Having an access point with that property and default passwords leaves it open to all sorts of malicious mischief.

When set, press W to send (write) the data to the access point. Then return to the main menu and select Commands/Upload to have the new values take effect.

Changing ESSID

The second change is to set a new ESSID. This will be a temporary one, just while experimenting in "safe" mode. From the main menu, select Config/Wireless then set a new ESSID Foo waS hEre for this example. As before, write the data out and then select Commands/Upload to make it stick.

Now return to configure the client and try out the link.

Version: $Revision: 1.5 $; Updated at 15:47 EST on Tue Apr 11, 2006
Copyright (C) 2002 - 2006, Lindsay Harris