Best security type for your Wi-Fi

Best security type for your Wi-Fi


What is the best security type for your Wi-Fi?

Choosing the best security protocol for a wireless network like Wi-Fi is critical to prevent untrustworthy connections. The right type of security method keeps freeloaders and hackers away from your Wi-Fi network and private data. Although you may be unaware of the Wi-Fi encryption you are using, you need to protect your digital information from malicious attacks. Here we help you to understand different wireless security protocols and choose the best one for your network.

Different type of Wi-Fi security protocols

Among different types of Wi-Fi security protocols, these are the four most used:

  • WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) Protocol
  • WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) Protocol
  • WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) Protocol
  • WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) Protocol

Wired Equivalent Privacy Protocol

WEP is one of the oldest security protocols. It does not offer strong security and hence is highly vulnerable to attacks. Most of the modern Wi-Fi users do not use this option anymore as it has series of disadvantages such as:

  • Can be hacked/breached easily
  • No regular updates as in WPA2
  • Highly insecure encryption keys

Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol

WPA protocol was introduced after the insecurities were discovered in WEP. It’s considered to be way better than WEP as it offers a better encryption method called temporary key integrity protocol (TKIP).

This protocol introduced the message integrity check which detected the altered packets. However, even this protocol is not considered secured to use with the improved protocol such as WPA2 was introduced.

Wi-Fi Protected Access Protocol 2

Introduced in 2004 as a successor to WPA, WPA2 uses a security protocol based on Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) over TKIP. WPA2 is more secured and easier to configure than most of the other options. It uses 128/192/256-bit encryption keys which means it’s less vulnerable to malicious attacks. Older routers asked whether to use AES or TKIP encryption, however, modern routers choose AES as a default.

This method may be vulnerable to high-level enterprise networks but is the safest for home and business networks.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup

WPS is a wireless security standard that makes it easier for devices to join a secure wireless network. It’s not an independent security protocol however it only works for networks that are secured with WPA or WPA2 security types. With this method, a user can add new devices to their network by simply pressing a button called the WPS Push button on the router.

What Wi-Fi security am I using?

After you understand the types of Wi-Fi security methods, you can see and choose the best security option on your devices.

On desktop:

  • Right click on Wi-Fi icon on taskbar; choose Open Network and Internet Settings option.
  • Advance network settings section: click on network and sharing centre.
  • Click on your Wi-Fi connection name.
  • Click on wireless properties.
  • Click on security tab to view security type and encryption method. WPA2-personal is default method for home network.

On mobile devices

  • Open your settings and click on Wi-Fi
  • To view the security type of your Wi-Fi: click on the connected Wi-Fi network and you can view IP addresses and security.
  • To add security type on new network: click on add network option from Wi-Fi settings
  • Then you’re provided options to name your SSID and security type.

What’s the most secure wireless internet security method to use?

  • WPA2 Enterprise: Most secured for enterprise level networks
  • WPA2 Personal: Most secured for home network and businesses
  • Use it with a strong and passphrase
  • WEP: Recommended not to use as it is very insecure
  • WPA: Don’t use unless legacy devices on your network require
  • WPS: Recommended not to use