Thursday, 16 June 2016

Should I use WPA2, WPA or WEP encryption on my network?

When you set up your router, you will come across a number of choices when setting up the wireless encryption. These terms include WPA. WPA2, WEP, WPA-Personal, and WPA-Enterprise. Choosing the right network security will make a whole lot of difference in keeping your network fast and secure from hackers.

Let us learn which of the following WPA2, WPA, or WEP encryption are best for your network.

Choosing the Right Encryption from WPA2, WPA or WEP

Which is the best encryption type for your network does not have any standard answer. It depends on your router model and the type of security encryption it offers. Let us understand in short the various encryption types to find an answer to this tough question.


The oldest security encryption of them all is the WEP. It stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy and is as good as not having any security for your Wi-Fi. One can crack a password under WEP within 30 minutes. If you are still using an older version router that just supports WEP, it is definitely time for a new upgrade.

WPA and WPA2

WPA is the new security standard in the world of Wi-Fi routers. It stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access. There are two versions of WPA available, the WPA or WPA2. The main reason for designing WPA was to support devices that only had WEP as their security. In order to overcome the flaws of WEP, WPA was added as an upgrade.

WPA is not as secure as WPA2. WPA2 stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access. It is the most secure option that keeps your network secured from prying eyes. However, if your device only supports WPA, you should invest in a new router.

WPA2-Personal or WPA2-PSK

Those who have bought a more advanced version of a router will find the terms WPA2-Personal and WPA2-PSK as their wireless encryption options. Now, the PSK stands for Pre-Shared Key. Now, if you choose WPA2-Personal, the wireless router will encrypt the network with a key. Thus, before you can connect to a network, you need to enter the passphrase into the device. This makes this type of encryption perfect for any home or small office security needs.

WPA2-Enterprise or WPA2-802.1X

WPA2- Enterprise also called as WPA2-801.X is intended for enterprise networks. It means serious business, as such, enterprises require more hardware that is difficult to setup and maintain.

In order to use the WPA2-Enterprise, one requires a RADIUS authentication server. The full form of RADIUS is Remote Authentication Dial In User Service. Once a client is connected to the Wi-Fi network, they will have to log in using a username and password. Thus, each client will receive traffic that is encrypted with a unique encryption key. This makes it easy for the network administrator to monitor who is connecting to the network and block anyone who tries to connect without his or her permission.

Which is the Best Encryption Method?

The best way to secure your network is by choosing WPA2-Enterprise. However, this method is great for large businesses and offices. Home and small shops or enterprises can go in for WPA2-Personal. WPA is an option only if your device cannot support the WPA2. WEP is like inviting a thief to your home by leaving the key hanging on your main door.

Thus, WPA-Personal is the best option for any home network. Use a strong passphrase to keep your network secured and free from hackers.

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