Difference Between Static (WEP) and Dynamic (WPA) Wireless Encryption

Wireless LAN reduces the physical work needed to connect each device in an office using Ethernet cables. All devices with WiFi feature can directly connect to the Wireless router or Access Point. WLAN is easy to set up and maintain compared to traditional LAN. However, with the introduction of WLAN, need of higher security arise. This article explains two important types of Wireless encryption; static and dynamic. WiFi works on the second layer of the OSI reference model. So wireless encryption is also done at the data link layer. Wireless data transfer is in the form of frames and both static and dynamic WiFi security works data link layer. Here we are not going in the details of data frames but we discuss the differences between both static and dynamic technologies by comparing WEP and WAP. WEP is an example of static encryption but WPA uses dynamic encryption.

Static WiFi Encryption

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy ) is a static Wireless Encryption to protect WiFi from intruders. Here we set encryption key on Access Point and share the network with computers who know the same key. The key remains constant and that is why this kind of wireless encryption is known as Static Wireless Encryption. Right now WEP is not secure because many weaknesses make it vulnerable.

Dynamic WiFi Encryption

Dynamic Wireless encryption works in a different concept where the master key is changed during time. Master key the key which is needed to communicate between Access Point and the clients. Even if a hacker captures the key, he will not be able to receive signal contentiously from Access Point since the master key will change with time. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) and WPA2 are examples of this technology.


Now let us check the differences between these two technologies. Static technology uses the same wireless key to connect and communicate where Dynamic technologies use a different set of keys. Now let us compare the working of Wi-Fi Protected Access and Wired Equivalent Privacy. WPA uses the pre-shared key to establish a connection between Access Point and the client. After establishing connection, WPA uses a master key generated by TKIP(Temporal Key Integrity Protocol) to communicate further and the key is constantly changed. WEP uses the same key all the time. So Dynamic Wireless Encryption is more secure than Static Wireless Encryption.

Different Types of WEP Standards and Risks

WEP protocol uses different standards. WEP 128 and WEP 64 were very popular once. WEP 64 bit standard uses 10 digit hexadecimal key (0 to 9 and A to F) and WEP128 bit encryption uses a stronger key. Right now these two protocols are obsolete and most of the users opt for dynamic security standards. There are so many hacking software products claim, they breached WEP protection within minutes. Right now using WEP encryption to protect a WiFi connection is not secure at all.

WPA Standards

WPA and WPA2 are two important dynamic security protocols. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access ) is better than Wired Equivalent Privacy. Tow different modes of WPA protocol are WPA-Personal (WPA-PSK ), WPA-Enterprise. Both standards of WPA protocol support these two modes. WPA is strong enough to protect a WiFi network from intruders unless you use Wi-Fi Protected Setup.

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