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If you plan to have a wireless network, you should set it up so that only people you choose can access it. Here are a few options for wireless network security.

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Wi‑Fi Protected Access (WPA and WPA2)

Wi‑Fi Protected Access encrypts information and makes sure that the network security key has not been modified. Wi‑Fi Protected Access also authenticates users to help ensure that only authorized people can access the network.

There are two types of WPA authentication: WPA and WPA2. WPA is designed to work with all wireless network adapters, but it might not work with older routers or access points. WPA2 is more secure than WPA, but it will not work with some older network adapters. WPA is designed to be used with an 802.1X authentication server, which distributes different keys to each user. This is referred to as WPA-Enterprise or WPA2-Enterprise. It can also be used in a pre-shared key (PSK) mode, where every user is given the same passphrase. This is referred to as WPA-Personal or WPA2-Personal.

Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

WEP is an older network security method that's still available to support older devices, but it's no longer recommended. When you enable WEP, you set up a network security key. This key encrypts the information that one computer sends to another computer across your network. However, WEP security is relatively easy to crack.

Warning

  • We recommend using WPA2, if possible. We don't recommend using WEP. WPA or WPA2 are more secure. If you try WPA or WPA2 and they don't work, we recommend that you upgrade your network adapter to one that works with WPA or WPA2.

802.1X authentication

802.1X authentication can help enhance security for 802.11 wireless networks and wired Ethernet networks. 802.1X uses an authentication server to validate users and provide network access. On wireless networks, 802.1X can work with WPA, WPA2, or WEP keys. This type of authentication is typically used when connecting to a workplace network.