A friend of mine read this article and asked me to elaborate on the benefits of WPA as opposed to WEP. As I answered his questions, I thought that other folks reading this article might be interested in learning more about why WPA is better than WEP when using a wireless network.
To begin with, WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access and is actually an interim standard that will eventually be replaced when the folks at IEEE complete the 802.11i standard. WPA offers two major enhancements to the type of security provided by WEP.
First off, WPA's data encryption scheme uses the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), which not only scrambles the keys by using a hashing algorithm, but also adds an integrity-checking feature to ensure that the keys haven?t been tampered with while in transit. WEP's data encryption scheme isn't as secure and can be cracked with such tools as AirSnort.
Secondly, WPA employs user authentication through the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP), which is a secure public-key encryption scheme that ensures that only authorized network users can access the network. WEP simply relies on MAC addresses to authorize access to the wireless network.
For more information, investigate these links:
MS WPA Overview - http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=815485
Wi-Fi Alliance - http://www.wi-fi.org
WI-Fi Planet - http://www.wi-fiplanet.com
AirSnort - http://airsnort.shmoo.com/
Yeah I think this article sucks. How about the fact that after you set up your network you can not share printers or files with this method. You have to run the "setup home or small office network" setup wizard to do that, which will not allow you to save the settings to a USB flash drive, only to a floppy which most computers do not have. So while yes you can access the internet with all of your computers using this network setup, you can not do much else. Microsoft and network setup wizard blow my ass.
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