WEP, WPA, or WPA2: How to Tell What Security Type Your Wi-Fi Is

MakeUseOf | 6/18/2019 | Simon Batt
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Did you know that your Wi-Fi connection uses one of four different security types? While all of them are different, they’re not all equal; as such, it’s essential to learn what security type your Wi-Fi is using.

Let’s explore the four Wi-Fi security types and see which ones are the best to use.

Security - Types

What Are the 4 Wi-Fi Security Types?

Wi-Fi security comes in four different types. They’re not all equally secure, which this is vital to remember when you’re checking your own network’s protocol.

WEP - Security - Types - World - Age

WEP is the oldest of the security types, entering the computing world in 1997. Because of its age, it’s still prevalent in the modern era within older systems. Out of all the protocols, WEP is considered the least secure.

WPA arrived as WEP’s successor due to the flaws that were found within WEP. It has additional features over its older brother, such as the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP). This feature was a dynamic 128-bit key that was harder to break into than WEP’s static, unchanging key.

Message - Integrity - Check - Packets - Hackers

It also introduced the Message Integrity Check, which scanned for any altered packets sent by hackers.

WPA2 is the successor to WPA and brings more features into the mix. It replaced TKIP with the Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP), which did a better job with encrypting data.

WPA2 - Position - Protocol - Fact - March

WPA2 was very successful and has maintained its position as the top protocol since 2004. In fact, on March 13, 2006, the Wi-Fi Alliance stated that all future devices with the Wi-Fi trademark had to use WPA2.

WPA3 is the new kid on the block, and you can find it in routers produced in 2019. With this new format, WPA3 brings better encryption on public networks to prevent hackers from harvesting information from them.

WPA3 - Router - Device

It’s also easier to connect to a WPA3 router with a device...
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