WEP Vs WPA | 5 Differences between WEP and WPA

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WEP Vs WPA | 5 Differences between WEP and WPA

WEP Vs WPA | 5 Differences between WEP and WPAWireless networks are known for transmitting data frequently. Anyone within that range can easily gather those informations. Today even a sophisticated network can be easily cracked within a fraction of minutes. To prevent these kinds of attacks different encryption schemes are introduced by the networks. Out of them Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wireless Protected Access (WPA) are the 2 most widely used encryption tools which was created solely for securing your wireless network. 

These encryption methods are supported universally by almost all the routers and devices. Either of these encryption tool is a must for every wireless connection. Without them your network will be easily vulnerable to snoopers and the hackers. Despite of this their efficiency is totally different. For an average user these terms will be confusing. Knowing the differences will help you to decide which will be better for your Wifi network.

In this article, I will be concentrating on WEP Vs WPA | 5 Differences between WEP and WPA. Finally from this article, you will know which is the better security protocol.

Let's get started,

1. Description

Introduced in the year 1999, WEP is a security protocol that aims to provide security comparable to a Wired connection. It is the most widely used security protocol with the standard 802.11i.

Introduced in the year 2003, WPA is a security protocol founded by the Wifi alliance. It was developed to replace WEP protocol which has been securing the Wireless networks for decades.

2. Security

For encrypting the network, WEP uses RC4 stream ciphers. These types of ciphers are inherently considered insecure. Besides this WEP sends out passwords in the form of plain texts. When travelling across the network, these texts can be easily cracked using the network packet sniffers.

WPA too uses RC4 stream ciphers. But since they use TKIP type encryption their security level is far more superior than the WEP. These TKIP encryption ensures that whatever password traveling through the network is encrypted.

3. Authentication

For the part of authentication, WEP security protocol uses PSK (Pre-shared key) with 64 digits hexadecimals. These keys are usually combined with 24 bit initialization vector (iv).

WPA too uses PSK (Pre-shared key) for the encryption. However they take extra steps in authentication by combining it with other encryption methods. Some of them are WPA-PSK and EAP-PSK. In addition to that they make it more secure by using the 256 bit encryption.

4. Speed

Despite simple authentications and security, the speed and performance offered by a WEP is actually slower ; theoretically it should be faster. But since more bandwidths are transferred across the wireless access point and devices, the WPA is faster than a WEP protocol. Even with the fact that it uses more security and encryption.

5. Purposes

The purpose of both WEP and WPA is simple. They are intended to provide security to the wireless network from any unauthorized access. A router with a proper security protocol is vulnerable to bandwidth hijacking, online eavesdropping and even there can be illegal activities done through your network.

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