WPA2 vs. WPA for Wireless Security

As the name suggests, WPA2 is a second version of Wireless Protected Access (WPA) security and access control technology for Wi-Fi wireless networking. WPA2 is available on all certified Wi-Fi hardware since 2006 and was an optional feature on some products before that. It is designed to improve the security of Wi-Fi connections by requiring use of stronger wireless encryption than what WPA requires.

Specifically, WPA2 does not allow use of an algorithm called TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) that has known security holes (limitations).

Many older wireless routers for home networks support both WPA and WPA2 and administrators must choose which one to run. Obviously, WPA2 is the simpler, safer choice. Some techies point out that using WPA2 requires Wi-Fi hardware to work harder in running the more advanced encryption algorithms, which can theoretically slow down the network's overall performance compared to running WPA. Since its introduction, though, WPA2 technology has proven its value and continues to be recommended for use on wireless home networks.

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