Types of Wi-Fi Connections

Encryption algorithms:

  • RC4
  • AES

Encryption protocols:

  • Temporal Key Integration Protocol (TKIP)
  • Cipher-block Chaining Message authentication Protocol (CCMP)

Wi-Fi security modes:

  • WEP
  • WPA
  • WPA2
  • WPA3

Authentication options supported by WPA, WPA2 and WPA3:

  1. Preshared key (PSK) or personal (PER)
  2. IEEE 802.1X or enterprise (ENT) router connection

PSK is the use of a static fixed password or authentication.

ENT enables the leveraging of and existing AAA (Authentication, Authorization and Accounting) service to be used for authentication.  Some examples of AAA services are RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) or TACACS+.

Most domestic networks (for example, those having a password printed on a label on the router) use PSK authentication option.

Types of security protocols

Some Wi-Fi Security (WPA and WPA2) support different types of security protocols. They are described below.

  • TKIP
  • CCMP

Temporal Key Integration Protocol (TKIP)


Temporal Key Integration Protocol (TKIP) is an older encryption protocol that was considered to substitute the very insecured WEP. TKIP is actually pretty close to WEP, so you should not use it.

TKIP makes use of the RC4 encryption method.

Cipher-block Chaining Message authentication Protocol (CCMP)

Cipher-block Chaining Message authentication Protocol (CCMP) makes use of AES encryption method. Sometimes CCMP security protocol is referred as AES.

AES is one of the most popular symmetric key encryption protocol, and it has come to replace other protocols that have been deprecated.

Type of Wi-Fi Security

Wi-Fi Security:

  • WEP
  • WPA
  • WPA2
  • WPA3

Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP)


It can be hacked easily because of a vulnerability that was detected.

Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

There is:

  • WPA-TKIP: it can be hacked easily. Not recommended.
  • WPA-AES: as WPA2-AES supersedes this option, it is not recommended.

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)

There is:

  • WPA2-TKIP: it can be hacked easily. Not recommended.
  • WPA2-AES: fair secure. Recommended over any other option.
  • WPA2-TKIP/AES: It is the most compatible option, but is still drags the vulnerabilities from TKIP

Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3)

WPA3 modes:

  • WPA3-SAE

Simultaneous authentication of equals (WPA3-SAE) is a WP3 mode improves on WPA2’s PSK mode by allowing for secure authentication between clients and the wireless network without enterprise user accounts.

WPA3 may not be supported by all devices.

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External references

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