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Types of Wireless Security Encryption

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Wireless networks and security in today’s world have become a major necessity for human education, entertainment, and survival.  Authorization and authentication are major factors that need to be ensured to maintain privacy.

Wireless networks have Wireless security encryption to secure the authentication. This security is ensured by establishing a secure connection for authenticated and authorized users by providing the connection with a strong password or security key. Wireless security encryption finds its importance in protecting any malicious activity carried on on information that may result in breaching the privacy of individuals or organizations.

The encryption types are supported based on the specification of networking devices such as routers. The default encryption key may be provided by the router manufacturer and displayed at the bottom of the router. Wireless devices are prevented from unauthorized access by wireless security encryption.

Wireless security encryption plays the role of providing safety, ensuring privacy, and allowing only authorized and authenticated access to networks. The different types of security encryption types of them hold their individual importance depending on their time of creation.

Types of Wireless Security:

Wireless security encryption is mainly divided into four main types:

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy Protocol (WEP)
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol (WPA) 
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 Protocol (WPA2) 
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 Protocol (WPA3)

1. WEP Protocol : Wired Equivalent Privacy Protocol abbreviated as WEP, was initially originated in the 1999 and is considered the standard for wireless security encryption. It is less found in today’s modern world because of the risk of security it is associated with directly/ indirectly. WEP is not considered stable and Wi-Fi discontinued its use in 2004 because it is easy to exploit this level of security.

Example: Security added in the LAN connections to protect from unauthenticated users trying to breach privacy.

2. WPA Protocol: WEP was succeeded by Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol abbreviated as WAP which offers more security and safety. WPA has a 128-bit dynamic key called Temporary Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) that’s hard to break and makes it unique. One noticeable disadvantage of WPA was that since it was made for WEP-enabled devices, so the core components were majorly the same for WPA and WEP.

3. WPA 2 Protocol : Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 Protocol abbreviated as WPA2 came next and was better than the previous encryption types. Here, Temporary Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) was replaced by Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message (CCMP).  It is one of the most used security encryption types.  In 2006, WPA2 was declared to be used in all wi-fi devices for wireless security encryption. WPA2 offers Advanced Encryption Standards (AES).  However, the major disadvantage of WPA2 is that if the security key reached the hands of the hacker then the entire network is vulnerable to attack.

4. WPA3 Protocol: WPA3 or Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) Protocol is the newest security encryption that’s gaining popularity. WPA3 offers high protection and prevents unauthorized access. Unauthenticated and unauthorized individuals can’t breach this level of security. WPA3 is the most desired for public networks as it performs automatic encryption.  

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Last Updated : 26 Jun, 2022
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