Did you know that your Wi-Fi connection uses one of four different security types? Although all are different, not all are equal; Therefore, it is essential to know what kind of security your Wi-Fi is using.
Let's explore the four types of Wi-Fi security and see which ones are the best to use.
What are the 4 types of Wi-Fi security?
Wi-Fi security comes in four different types. Not everyone is equally safe, which is vital to remember when checking your own network protocol.
Wired Equivalent Privacy Protocol (WEP)
WEP is the oldest of the types of security and entered the computer world in 1997. Due to its antiquity, it continues to prevail in the modern era within older systems. Of all the protocols, WEP is considered the least secure.
WPA Protected Access Protocol (Wi-Fi Protected Access)
WPA arrived as a successor to WEP due to failures found within WEP. He has additional features about his older brother, such as the Temporary Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP). This feature was a 128-bit dynamic key that was harder to break than the static and unalterable WEP key.
He also introduced the Message Integrity Check, which looked for altered packets sent by hackers.
Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol 2 (WPA2)
WPA2 is the successor of WPA and brings more features to the mix. He replaced TKIP with the Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP), which did a better job with data encryption.
WPA2 was very successful and has maintained its position as the most important protocol since 2004. In fact, on March 13, 2006, the Wi-Fi Alliance stated that all future Wi-Fi branded devices should use WPA2.
Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol 3 (WPA3)
WPA3 is the new boy on the block, and you can find it on the routers produced in 2019. With this new format, WPA3 offers better encryption on public networks to prevent hackers from getting information from them.
It is also easier to connect to a WPA3 router with a device without a screen, and it has some additional features to protect against brute force attacks.
It is likely to be the new WPA standard in the future, so it is a good idea to find out everything you need to know about WPA3.
Why Wi-Fi security types are important
Knowing your Wi-Fi security protocol is essential for the security of your network. Older protocols are more vulnerable than newer ones and are much more likely to suffer an attempt at hacking. There are two reasons why earlier versions are weaker than new ones:
Older protocols were designed at an earlier time before it was fully understood how hackers attacked routers. The most modern protocols have fixed these exploits, while older versions still lurk within their code.
The longer a protocol has existed, the more time hackers have to decipher security. Due to the presence of WEP for a long time, hackers have found many feats inside, which makes it an insecure protocol in the modern era.
What kind of Wi-Fi security am I using?
Now you understand why it is essential to check the type, as well as what you should use and why the older protocols are not so good. Therefore, we will explore how to check your connection type to make sure you are using the best.
Checking the Wi-Fi security type in Windows 10
In Windows 10, look for the Wi-Fi Connection icon in the taskbar. Click on it and then on Properties under the current Wi-Fi connection. Scroll down and look for Wi-Fi details in Properties. Below that, look for Security Type, which shows your Wi-Fi protocol.
Wi-Fi security type check in macOS
Checking the type of Wi-Fi security in macOS is very easy. Press and hold the Option key and click on the Wi-Fi icon on the toolbar. It will show the details of your network, including the type of security it is in.
Checking the type of Wi-Fi security on Android
To check an Android phone, go to Settings and open the Wi-Fi category. Select the router you are connected to and see its details. It will indicate the type of security of your connection. Please note that the path to this screen may vary depending on the device.
Checking the type of Wi-Fi security on an iPhone
Unfortunately, iOS has no way to check the security of your Wi-Fi. If you want to check the security level of your Wi-Fi, the best thing you can do is use a computer or connect to the router through the phone.
What to do next with your Wi-Fi security
Once you have found your type of Wi-Fi security, how do you use that information to decide what to do next? We will break down your ideal action plan for each protocol.
What to do if your security type is WPA3
If your connection is using WPA3, congratulations. You are using the best of Wi-Fi protocols and, as a result, you do not need to update. You are also very likely to use modern hardware, so an update can wait at least a few more years.
What to do if your security type is WPA2
WPA2 is also a secure protocol, so you don't have to worry about updating your hardware. However, if you are interested in keeping up to date, it is worth taking a look at the current wave of router versions compatible with WPA3. If you liked the sound of the features we listed under the WPA3 protocol, you should consider upgrading to a router that supports it.
What to do if your security type is WEP or WPA
If your network is WEP or WPA (without any number later), you run the risk of having a cyber attack. As a result, you'll want to upgrade to a WPA2 or WPA3 compatible router to make sure.
It is also worth checking if your router has been configured to use a lower security type. Read the manual of your current router and check if you can change the type of security. If you can't, it is worth investing in a new router.
Fortunately, even the cheapest models available today are compatible with WPA2, because the Wi-Fi Alliance dictates that they should do so. In addition, you can ensure a quality product by looking for the best brands when buying a wireless router.
The difference between WPA «Personal» and «Business
If your protocol is WPA, you may have noticed that it was labeled "Personal" or "Enterprise." "Personal" is for home use, and "Enterprise" has some additional security features to make it suitable for delicate commercial use. The personal level is fine for everyday use, so don't worry if your home router doesn't use enterprise-level security.
How to keep your Wi-Fi network safe
If you are concerned that hackers enter your network, it is a good idea to use the best security protocol you can. WPA3 and WPA2 users should not worry, while WPA and WEP users should consider the update.
Maintaining the security of your Wi-Fi network can be daunting. Fortunately, you can make it a little less stressful by doing some simple ways to ensure your router.