Hello again! Today I am going to talk about wireless security and authentication types. You may have seen different security types in regards to wireless. The major types I am speaking of are WPA, WPA2, WEP, and 802.11X. This all may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry. I will give an overview of these types to clear things up. Also, hopefully you have a administrator over your network that knows all about it. (If by chance you do not have a network admin on payroll, Everon’s services may suit you nicely.)
WPA and WPA2
These are fairly new security methods, so keep that in mind if you have older devices on your network. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected access) encrypts the information and utilizes verification checks to make sure that the security key has not been changed or modified. Also, WPA and WPA2 check to make sure that anyone accessing the network has authorization to do so. Being two different types, WPA2 is more secure than WPA, but WPA2 will not work on all devices — especially older ones. WPA can be used across a wider range of devices, however some OLDER devices might not be able to use this authentication method at all.
Diggin’ a little more in depth into WPA and WPA2, you have the ability to set up a pre-shared key (psk) so that ALL users utilize the same key. This is called WPA-Personal and WPA2-Personal. This is as opposed to WPA-Enterprise and WPA2-Enterprise, which hand out unique keys to each user. Utilizing the enterprise levels are obviously going to be more secure. These works alongside an 802.11X server and by handing out unique keys to each user, it makes it that much harder to crack.
Now moving on to WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). When you use WEP, you setup a network security key that everyone uses to connect. That key that gets created encrypts the data that users send to another user on the same network or device to device. WEP has since been deemed “old” and “outdated” and is not recommended for use. It is very easy to crack and anyone with a cell phone and an app is able to crack it in a 20 minute time frame, therefore WPA and WPA2 protocols are recommended.
To enhance the security on the wireless network, 802.11X can be used along side WPA, WPA2, and WEP keys. It is mainly used in workplace environments for users to connect to the company network. As I briefly mentioned above, 802.11X utilizes a server to authenticate the users.
This all may seem like a foreign language to some, but that’s why we are here. Everon techs have a plethora of networking knowledge and would be more than happy to help you in your networking needs. Reach out to us via Facebook, Twitter, www.everon.com, or give us a call at (888)244-1748.