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Difference Between WPA and WPA2

wi0fiWPA vs WPA2

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2 are two of the security measures that can be used to protect wireless networks. WPA uses TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) while WPA2 is capable of using TKIP or the more advanced AES algorithm.

Wi-Fi provided people with a quick and hassle free method of connecting to a network without the need for wires. But there is no such thing as a free lunch, this is true even with wireless networking. The price of not needing wires is the possibility of unauthorized people using the network and accessing data and resources. This is not a problem with wired networks as they would need to physically intrude in your premises to connect to the LAN. WPA was created to replace WEP in securing wireless networks when it was found out that serious flaws made it very easy to gain access. Despite being much harder to crack, it was still possible with the use of more advanced tools.

WPA2 addresses this problem with the introduction of the AES algorithm. Theoretically, passphrases created with the AES algorithm are virtually uncrackable. Most people and businesses who have wireless networks should find WPA2 to be more than adequate for their security needs.

The only disadvantage of WPA2 is in the amount of processing power that it needs in order to protect your network. This translates to a direct need for more powerful hardware or suffer a reduction in network performance for heavily used networks. This is an issue with older access points which were designed and built prior to WPA2 and only implemented WPA2 via a firmware upgrade. Most of the more recent access points have been equipped with more capable hardware to minimize the speed degradation.

You should use WPA2 if you are capable as it provides the maximum protection regardless of whether you fully need that much protection. The only time that using WPA would be sufficient is when your access point is not capable of supporting WPA2. You could also fall back to WPA if your access point routinely experiences high loads and the network speeds suffers from the utilization of WPA2. But for establishments where security is of utmost importance, buying better access points is the only option.

1.WPA2 is the improved version of WPA
2.WPA only supports TKIP encryption while WPA2 supports AES
3.Theoretically, WPA2 is not hackable while WPA is
4.WPA2 requires more processing power than WPA

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  1. Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to know.

  2. Thanks for the information, It helps me to sort out my queries.

  3. Good information. it helps me alot

  4. What is it asks to use WPA2-PSK + WPA-PSK… does it just pick the best one?

  5. Hi,
    I’m just having a problem connecting from a raspi (raspbian-strech-lite) to a Smartphone-Hotspot (OnePlus).
    The key_mgmt in raspi config is WPA-PSK (I also tried WPA2-PSK) and in the hotspot WPA2-PSK.
    (From my win10 notebook it works…)
    Could that be the problem?

  6. “WPA2 is not hackable…”
    LOL, of course it is hackable with the required tools… 😀

  7. If i use a password of my own making with symbols, numbers and leters, am i safe.

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