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Password Protection on Two Way Radios.

Are your Two Way Radios password protected?

Password protection is probably already in use on your two way radios. Without your knowledge…

Motorola Password Protection

This isn’t about the radio operator password, which is used to unlock the two way radio before use.
Most radios can now be password protected at programmer access level.
A supplier can lock out all programming functions, so the radio can’t be read or written to, without the correct password.

There are valid reasons to password protect programming.

But, as we see later, it can open a can of worms if a client wants to source radios from another supplier.

Some radio systems use IP networking for various functions and protecting the programming parameters can prevent sensitive data getting into the wrong hands.
RF frequencies, scramble codes, colour codes, ID’s, IP addresses, passwords, etc are all useful for eavesdropping on radio communications. Protecting this information makes radio scanning or eavesdropping very difficult.

Password protection can be used to prevent others simply “cloning” a system.

With some radio systems, it takes significant time to edit multiple parameters and options to tailor a radio system to the requirements of the end user. (It can be challenging and time consuming to engineer a complex system).

Unethical password protection.

A very small number of suppliers (thankfully), use password protection simply to hold customers to ransom. “In the future, you’ll have to buy extra radios from us!”
We have come across this unethical practice, when customers have approached us to supply additional radios for an existing system.
When we try to read a radio to get programming info and it’s password protected, the customer needs to obtain the password from the previous supplier. Very occasionally this hasn’t been very easy. Some suppliers really don’t want to lose a sale!
Making life difficult for a client in this way is very short-sighted. Forget losing the sale of one or two radios… A supplier with this attitude will likely never hear from their customer again! (We’ve gained customers this way.)

Password protection can be used simply to discourage theft.

Call us naive, but we initially ignored password protection… Until equipment started going missing!Hytera Password Protection

We now tend to use password protection as a matter of routine.
But… We wouldn’t risk alienating customers by refusing to disclose passwords.
Being open and helpful in this way has the big benefit of being able to talk to the client and ask some very pertinent,  important questions…
Have we done anything wrong?
Why have you decided to purchase elsewhere?
Is there any way we can help?

What about lost passwords?

Finally, this all begs the question, “What if passwords are lost, or a dealer ceases trading?”
In a disaster situation like this, most radios can be recovered to “factory settings”, either with the programming software or at the very worst, by returning equipment to the manufacturer.

So, if you ever need to obtain a programming password for your Two Way Radios, keep it in a secure location. You never know!

Posted in: Two Way Radio

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