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DI-524 – Airport Express face-off

Posted by hs on November 28, 2005

Actors: D-Link DI-524, Apple Airport Express

Catalyst: WPA2, DI-524 firmware update 3.20 (for rev. C1)

After my Airport Express decided to drop some packets for the n-th time thus rendering the iTunes stream over to my speakers hung again, I decided to look for any updates that might be available for both Airport Express (‘AExp’) and DI-524. AExp was already running the most current version (6.2), and DI-524 was definitely behind times! 3.02 vs. 3.20!! So I go ahead, duly flash, re-enter all settings and expect things to work.

Other than the confusion between WPA, WPA2 and WPA2-Auto (see below for explanation), everything else seemed fine till, AExp tried to connect. No matter what I did, I could not get AExp to connect to DI-524 with v3.20 firmware. A quick Google revealed shared grief. And despite the firmware having been out for 2 months now, there is no word out from D-Link regards any corrective update. Till they come out with a better upgrade, I am back to v3.02 and having access to my AExp over my network.

WPA, WPA2, WPA2-Auto

WPA2 is a stronger version of WPA (‘Second generation of WPA security’), and uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). There are some other differences also (see a good overview here). Suffices to say WPA2 is stronger, more robust version of WPA with many additional options. WPA2-Auto looks like non-standard: basically what it does is checks for WPA2 support in client trying to connect to the AP (Access Point) and degrades the encryption automatically in case WPA2 support is not detected.

Keywords: DI-524, Apple Airport Express, WPA, WPA2, WPA2-Auto, AES, Passphrase, Firmware update, Incompatability

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