What Is WPA, WPA2 & WPA3? Security Protocols You Can Use

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In our increasingly connected world, Wi-Fi has become an integral part of our daily lives. We use it for work, leisure, and communication. However, with this convenience comes the responsibility of ensuring that the networks we connect to are secure and safe. If you’ve been receiving alerts that your network may not be secure, now is the time to take action.


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Using a VPN like RAV VPN is a substantial answer to network security - but which VPN, and by definition which type of Wi-Fi security to use, is a discussion worth having. In this blog, we'll delve into the world of Wi-Fi security, examining its history, discussing essential network security settings, and comparing three prominent security protocols - WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 - as well as answering important questions surrounding WPA2 PSK, AES vs. TKIP, and how to secure your network.

History of Wi-Fi security protocols

Before we dive into Wi-Fi security in detail, it's essential to understand the evolution of Wi-Fi network security protocols. Over the years, we've seen several generations of protocols aimed at securing wireless networks:

  • WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy): WEP was one of the earliest encryption protocols for Wi-Fi, introduced in the late 1990s. However, it had severe security flaws and is now considered highly vulnerable.

  • WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access): To address the shortcomings of WEP, WPA was introduced in 2003. It used stronger encryption methods and improved security, making it a significant step forward in Wi-Fi security.

  • WPA2: Building upon WPA, WPA2 was introduced in 2004 and remains one of the most widely used Wi-Fi security protocols. It employs the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and provides robust protection against most common Wi-Fi attacks.

  • WPA3: The latest evolution in Wi-Fi security, WPA3, was introduced in 2018. It offers stronger encryption, protection against offline dictionary attacks, and improved security for IoT (Internet of Things) devices.

Comparing WPA vs. WPA2

By examining network security settings, you can make informed decisions about which networks are safe to use. Let's explore the essential differences between WPA and the newer WPA2:  

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WPA2 vs. WPA3

WPA3 represents an even more advanced and secure iteration compared to WPA2. Here are the key differences between the two:  

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Which protocol replaced TKIP for WPA2?

While WPA2 initially offered both TKIP and AES as encryption options, AES is considered the more secure and robust choice and therefore has replaced TKIP for WPA2. TKIP was originally introduced as an improvement over the vulnerable WEP encryption protocol. However, TKIP also had security weaknesses, and as a result, AES was introduced as a stronger encryption method. AES is a widely recognized encryption standard known for its security and efficiency. It uses a symmetric key encryption algorithm that is considerably more resistant to attacks than TKIP. As a result, WPA2 networks are typically configured to use AES encryption, providing a higher level of security for Wi-Fi communications.


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Securing your network security - 3 essential tips

The strength of network security also relies on the user taking smart action. Follow our 3 essential tips for securing your network security - as seen below:  

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Wi-Fi “WAPA” - In Summary

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) has played a crucial role in enhancing the security of wireless networks and is an essential component of modern Wi-Fi technology. Users and organizations are encouraged to use the latest WPA3 security standards to benefit from the highest level of Wi-Fi security.

WPA3 offers several important security improvements over WPA2, including stronger encryption, protection against offline attacks, enhanced security for public Wi-Fi networks, and better support for IoT devices. As technology evolves, it's advisable to upgrade to WPA3-enabled hardware and networks, as doing so will provide users with the most secure Wi-Fi networks - which is why RAV VPN is so strongly recommended. For more information on securing your devices with RAV VPN and the risks of public Wi-Fi networks, visit https://reasonlabs.com/platform/products/vpn.


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