WPA - Wi-Fi Protected Access

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Definition: WPA is a security technology for Wi-Fi wireless computer networks. WPA improves on the authentication and encryption features of WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). In fact, WPA was developed by the networking industry in response to the weaknesses of WEP.

WPA provides stronger encryption than WEP through use of either of two standard technologies: Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

WPA also includes built-in authentication support that WEP does not offer. Overall, WPA provides comparable security to VPN tunneling with WEP, with the benefit of easier administration and use.

A variation of WPA designed for use on home networks is called WPA Pre Shared Key or WPA-PSK for short. WPA-PSK is a simplified but still powerful form of WPA. To use WPA-PSK, a person sets a static key or passphrase as with WEP. But, using TKIP, WPA-PSK automatically changes the keys at a preset time interval, making it much more difficult for hackers to find and exploit them. Another variation of WPA called WPA contains other technical enhancements.

Also Known As: Wi-Fi Protected Access