Wi-Fi security is to protect your devices and data from unauthorized access on a Wi-Fi network. Without Wi-Fi security, others can connect to and configure your network and equipment, which can be risky for users.
What are the 4 Wi-Fi security types?
Wi-Fi security comes in four types, WEP, WPA, WPA2 and WPA3. They serve the same purpose but differ at the same time, which is something to remember while looking at your own network’s protocol.
1. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
Registered in 1997, WEP was the first wireless security protocol. On account of its age, WEP is no longer as predominant in network security due to the advances made by younger rivals. Out of the 4 protocols, WEP being around for quite a while has allowed time for programmers to track down and hack away at its faults, making it the most insecure.
2. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
WPA was released in 2003, one year before WEP was officially retired. It was aimed to address the increasing vulnerabilities of WEP. The most modern WPA configuration is pre-shared key (PSK), also referred to as WPA Personal. A significant enhancement was seen in WPA over WEP, including Message Integrity Check and the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP).
3. Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
WPA2 is the second generation of the Wi-Fi Protected Access wireless security protocol. The important improvements of WPA2 are the use of Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and the replacement of TKIP with Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP).
WPA2 ensures that data sent or received over your wireless network is encrypted, and only people with your network password have access to it.
4. Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3)
The latest in Wi-Fi Protected Access is WPA3. “WPA3 adds new features to simplify Wi-Fi security, enable more robust authentication, deliver increased cryptographic strength for highly sensitive data markets, and maintain resiliency of mission critical networks.” according to Wi-Fi Alliance.
Though WPA3 is the most secure protocol, it’s not advised to blindly switch to WPA3 as your clients may not support it. There may be compatibility issues, which will cause connection problems.
The following is a list ranking the modern Wi-Fi security methods available on Wi-Fi devices:
- WPA2 + AES
- WPA + AES
- WPA + TKIP/AES (TKIP is there as a fallback method)
- WPA + TKIP
- Open Network (no security at all)
WPA3 is the best. Your network is less secure as the list goes down. Visit how to check what security type my Wi-Fi network is using to find your network security level.
rockspace Wi-Fi devices support WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 encryptions.
WPA3 is supported on the following rockspace devices:
- AX1800 Dual Band Wi-Fi 6 Router
- AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 Range Extender
It’s recommended that you secure your home or business network with WPA2 or WPA3, to provide the most robust, secure and compatible Wi-Fi connections possible.