Wireless network consists of a set of devices which enables personal computers in your location to use the broadband Internet connection. Wireless network uses radio waves known as Wi-Fi, which allows you to access your networked computers anywhere in office or home. But wireless networks can be hacked easily compared to wired network, if it is not secured. Your Critical information can be transferred over networks. Even your hard drive can be affected because of viruses. So, wireless security is very important, you need to set the router and the computers to use the highest security settings possible. While setting up your wireless security you can choose from different number of protocols depends upon wireless access point and clients support. Let us see first different available security modes.
WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is supported by almost all the wireless devices and if any network doesn’t support the newer WAP standard then WEP is the best choice. Devices like PDA only supports WEP level of encryption. The main aim is to provide the security which is commonly found on wired networks.
But WEP provides weak security protection, so it is recommended that do not use this security mode for networks which holds confidential information.
WPA (Wi-Fi Protocol Access) uses TKIP encryption for security and it is the most secure security mode available. It is designed because the WEP is not much secure over the wireless networks. WPA works with all the wireless cards, and it has many modes to be used. With the personal mode you can manually configure encryption key on all the devices on network. Extensible Authentication Protocol can be pooled with TLS (Transport Layer Security) and TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) as a procedure which regenerates encryption keys for more security.
WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) – AES is advanced version of WPA and the main difference between WPA and WPA2 is that WPA2 provides support for AES (Advanced Encryption Standard Algorithm) encryption, that’s why WPA2 provides better security then WPA.
WPA2 – Mixed will allow you to choose either WPA or WPA2 and if your router supports only one security mode from them then no need to re-configure, router will automatically pick up the supported mode.
WPA – Enterprise is used in co-ordination with RADIOUS server for client application. It uses both authentication and encryption.
Now, let us see the steps for choosing the correct wireless security mode.
First set your wireless security settings into your router. You can use different access methods through web browser on the network, because every manufacturer uses different methods. From the web browser access information specific to your router, for that you can refer router’s owner manual for getting all these security settings details. Then go to router’s wireless security settings tab and find dropdown menu which offers above mentioned different options and for older model only WEP and WPA available. Set the most secure option or update the firmware on your router or buy a new router with WPA2-AES.
Use very secure pass-phrases for your security keys, with any matter or algorithm. The longer your security key it will be difficult to hack your network and it will take much time.