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Backstory:
I'm looking to extend the range of a proprietary wireless system.

From looking at diagnostic data I think it uses a 2.4GHz ZigBee network, propably Mesh configuration. It might not be encrypted, but I'm wondering about the case if it is.

I have not looked at what's going on the waves, nor do I have any ZigBee modules/tools yet either.

Question:
If the ZigBee network is encrypted and I do not have the key, is it possible to add a router without the key to the network.

From digi.com kba on encryption I understand that it is possible for an unencrypted node to join an encrypted network, but it will see "garbled" (encrypted) data.

What I'd like to know is if it is possible for that node to relay the encrypted data to an end device that knows how to handle it?

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It depends which layer is encrypted. If the MAC layer (addresses, packet descriptors etc) is encrypted, a router would be useless. If only the packet payload is encrypted, then a router can fulfill its function.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Does the ZigBee standard have both forms of encryption? From what I understood only the payload is encrypted, so in theory the router should work. However I'm not sure how the protocol handles the situation, from what I read the encrypted and not encrypted nodes might not behave exactly the same... \$\endgroup\$ – varesa Jun 2 '14 at 16:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ The physical layer (802.15.4) can be scrambled, in some proprietary implementations (different phase, different spreading symbols to bits mapping, etc). \$\endgroup\$ – Lior Bilia Jun 3 '14 at 4:50

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