WEP, WPA, And WPA2 Are Wi-Fi Security Protocols That Secure Wireless Connections. They Keep Your Data Hidden and Protect Your Communications, While Blocking Hackers from Your Network.
Wi-Fi security protocols use encryption technology to secure networks and protect the data of their clients. Wireless networks are often less secure than wired ones, so wireless security protocols are crucial for keeping you safe online. The most common Wi-Fi security protocols today are WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
What is WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)?
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is the oldest and most common Wi-Fi security protocol. It was the privacy component established in the IEEE 802.11, a set of technical standards that aimed to provide a wireless local area network (WLAN) with a comparable level of security to a wired local area network (LAN).
The Wi-Fi Alliance ratified WEP as a security standard in 1999. Once touted to offer the same security benefits as a wired connection, WEP has been plagued over the years by many security flaws. And as computing power has increased, these vulnerabilities have worsened. Despite efforts to improve WEP, it’s still vulnerable to security breaches.
What is WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)?
WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a wireless security protocol released in 2003 to address the growing vulnerabilities of its predecessor, WEP. The WPA Wi-Fi protocol is more secure than WEP, because it uses a 256-bit key for encryption, which is a major upgrade from the 64-bit and 128-bit keys used by the WEP system.
What is WPA2?
WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) is the second generation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access wireless security protocol. Like its predecessor, WPA2 was designed to secure and protect Wi-Fi networks. WPA2 ensures that data sent or received over your wireless network is encrypted, and only people with your network password have access to it.
A benefit of the WPA2 system was that it introduced the Advanced Encryption System (AES) to replace the more vulnerable TKIP system used in the original WPA protocol. Used by the US government to protect classified data, AES provides strong encryption.
Advantages and disadvantages
- Better than no security protocol — though not by much
- Riddled with security vulnerabilities.
- Only 64-bit and 128-bit keys for encryption
- Fixed-key encryption.
- Hard to configure.
- Addresses security vulnerabilities of the original wireless security standard, WEP
- TKIP encryption method is better than the fixed-key encryption used by WEP
- 256-bit key for encryption
- When rolled out onto WEP devices, TKIP can be exploited?
- Similar security vulnerabilities to WEP
- Addresses many security flaws of its predecessors.
- Uses the strongest encryption method: AES.
- Required by the Wi-Fi Alliance for use on all Wi-Fi certified products.
- 256-bit key for encryption
- Still contains some security vulnerabilities.
- Requires the most processing power.
Wireless connections are protected by the Wi-Fi security protocols WEP, WPA, and WPA2. They safeguard your conversations, hide your data, and deter hackers from accessing your network. WPA2 is generally the best option, despite the fact that it uses more processing power to secure your network. Study the Wi-Fi security choices and encryption techniques available.