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To connect to a "Closed" network (one that doesn't broadcast its SSID) you select "Other" from the Airport menu.
For use with non-apple WEP systems you'll need to enter the code in hex. When WEP was designed, there was no pass-phrase system in place. So the different manufacturers have different systems which are (for the most part) incompatible.
With the latest release (10.3.7), there are options of
"WEP Password" = Apple Base-station password
With some of the older versions, there was only "WEP Password". The workaround was to start the code with a 0x which would clue the computer in that it is a hex password.
With WPA however, it was included in the technical standard so it "just works".
Previously, there was no support for WPA-AES encryption with OS X, but Apple has released updates for their operating system and wireless access points that bring full compatibility with WPA2 / WPA-AES.
Conveniently, Airport (802.11b) cards do support WPA, which is good because most PC 802.11b cards don't.
You must be running OSx with the latest airport software loaded.
There is no OS9 support at this time.
With some (protected) networks you will get a error message that you can't join (instead of prompting for the password). However, going into other and punching in the Network Name (SSID) and password will let you in anyway. Some brands/models work as expected and others don't.