Wi- Fi is a technology which allows many users or devices to exchange data or connect to internet wirelessly through RW (Radio Waves). Another name of this technology is Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). These types of technology is basically used in Personal Computers, Smartphones, mobiles phones, tablets and other electronic gadgets to access network such as internet access via a wireless network access point.
Need of encryption protocols in Wi-Fi
So here one question arise that why we are using different types of encryption standards in Wi-Fi? So don’t worry about it here I am with simple solution for it. When we are accessing internet through Wi-Fi, is less secured as compared to the wired connection such as Cable Modem. The main problem with it is that an intruder doesn’t need any kind of physical connection, that’s why it uses so many encryption protocols technologies for the security purposes. The main encryption protocols used are:
WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocols)
WPA (Wireless Protected Access)
WPA2 (advance Wireless protected Access 2)
Now we are discussing these encryption protocols in details, mainly features and types of it.
WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocols) :
Wireless Encryption protocol was the first encryption technology used in the Wi-Fi or we can say it is primary security mechanism used in the earlier days. Initially it is available in 64 bit configuration but later available in 128 and 125bit configuration. This encryption technology is not too much secure; those know little much hacking can crack it easily.
The main disadvantage of it was, due to short key size it can be easily cracked and hacker can easily access WEP so it is replaced by WPA (Wireless Protected Access).
WPA (Wireless Protected Access) :
Wireless Protected Access encryption protocol was introduced in the 1999 to overcome the disadvantage of previous version WEP. Its main advantages are that it is much secured than WEP. In this security is much complex so that hacker can’t cracked it for access. It also uses TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) encryption capabilities.
How Security is enhanced in WPA
Wireless routers are used for connecting LAN with internet. Router allows encryption of data as it travel in and out of your network. So here router encryption makes too much difficult so that hacker can’t cracked it or can’t steal information.
WPA 2 (Wireless Protected Access) :
It is an advance version of the WPA which was launched in the 2004 and is the latest version which is mostly used in all Wi-Fi servers. It is more secure than WPA. It comes in two types such as: WPA2-PSK (Pre-Share Key) and WPA2-ENT (enterprise). WPA2 uses AES (Advance Encryption Standard) which provides stronger encryption capabilities than TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) used by WPA that’s why it is more secured than WPA. In fact AES is uncrackable by most skilled hacker.
WPA2-PSK (Pre-Share Key)-
WPA2-PSK is one of the types of WPA2 which is basically intended for the small office network. In this each wireless device is authenticated by the same 256 bit key. Every user enters encryption passphrase when connected to the network. Passphrase is stored on each computer. The entire user share a locally store passphrase which can be copied by anyone that makes WPA2-PSK is less secured.
WPA2-ENT (Enterprise) -
WPA2-ENT is made for enterprise network which provide more security than WPA2-PSK. Basically the main difference is that here separate user from the router’s passphrase to the network by which all user don’t share passphrase. It creates new encryption key each time user log on to the network. It requires RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dialling user Service) authentication server. Small organisation can use IAS ( Internet Authentication Service) or National Proxy Server (NPS).