As girlfriend may already know, WEP protection can quickly be cracked — which is why it is a great idea to update to WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected accessibility 2).

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WEP security only protects your wireless network from mean users. Also newbie hackers can download cost-free tools and also follow a tutorial come crack your WEP key. This allows them to connect to your Wi-Fi network and possibly access network shares. Add to it offers them the ability to decode real-time website traffic on the network.

In contrast, Wi-Fi Protected access 2 (WPA2), which uses AES/CCMP encryption, is the many secure option accessible to adequately safeguard your wireless network. There space two seasonings of WPA and also WPA2: personal or Pre-shared vital (PSK) for home use and also Enterprise for business use.

The an individual mode is simple to collection up and use. You produce an encryption passphrase (like a password) on the wireless router and/or access points. Then you must enter the passphrase on her computers and devices in bespeak to affix to the Wi-Fi network.

The Enterprise mode is much more complicated and calls for an outside server, referred to as a RADIUS server, to enable the required 802.1X authentication. However, this setting should be supplied by every businesses with employees. You can develop usernames and passwords for individuals to go into when connecting. The yes, really encryption secrets aren’t stored on the computers and also devices, far better protecting your network if they end up being lost or stolen.

When making use of the enterprise mode, accessibility can likewise be easily revoked for employees leaving the organization. If utilizing the an individual mode, you’d have to adjust the encryption passphrase (on every the accessibility points and also all computers) each time a computer or device becomes lost or stolen and when an employee pipeline the organization.

Check existing Security Settings

If girlfriend aren’t confident of i beg your pardon security technique you’re using, you have the right to quickly examine in windows by bringing up the perform of accessible wireless networks.

In windows XP (with at least business Pack 2), networks using some kind of protection will speak “Security-enabled wireless network.” If WPA or WPA2 is gift used, it will certainly be shown in parentheses; otherwise WEP is gift used. In home windows Vista and also Windows 7, float over the network top top the list to see an ext details, consisting of the defense type.

Verify WPA2 Compatibility

Most Wi-Fi products bought in 2005 or after should support WPA2. If you have a wireless router, accessibility points, computers, or other Wi-Fi gadgets that to be purchased in 2005 or before, you could want to double-check the support of WPA2.

To examine a wireless router or accessibility point, enter its IP address into a internet browser, login to the regulate panel, and also check the wireless settings.

Note: If girlfriend don’t know the IP address of your router, carry up the Wireless Network link Status dialog in Windows, click the Details button, and also then describe the Default Gateway. See figure 1.


Note: If you nothing remember the password, describe the product hands-on or find Google for the default password. If you adjusted it native the default, you have the right to reset it earlier to manufacturing facility defaults by stop in the tiny reset button on the back of the wireless router or access point.

If girlfriend don’t view WPA2 in the wireless protection settings of your wireless router or access points, assistance may have actually been added in firmware to update by the manufacturer. ~ above the regulate panel, find the mechanism or condition details to examine the firmware version installed. Then go to the support ar of the manufacturer’s website and check the downloads for your certain model. If a newer firmware relax is available, download it and upload via the firmware page on the control panel.

If friend have any type of computers through Windows XP, ensure you have organization Pack 3 installed, which to add WPA2 support. Click Start, right-click my Computer, and select Properties. If installed, you need to see “Windows XP business Pack 3”. If you don’t watch it, download and install it using Windows Updates.

If you’re making use of an old wireless adapter, it might lack WPA2 support also if home windows supports it. Come double-check its assistance in windows XP, open the Wireless Network connection Properties dialog, select the Wireless Networks tab, and click Add. Climate ensure WPA2 is provided in the drop-down menu for Network Authentication. See number 2.


If girlfriend don’t check out WPA2, support may have been included in driver to update by the manufacturer. Inspect the driver variation that’s installed: open the Wireless Network Connection Properties dialog in Windows, click the Configure button, and also select the Driver tab. Then walk to the support ar of the manufacturer’s website and also check the downloads for your particular model.

If a more recent driver version is available, download it and update the by complying with the manufacturer’s instructions or via the Driver tab.


Using WPA2-Personal (PSK)

To allow WPA2-Personal security, begin by beginning the IP deal with of your wireless router and/or access points right into a net browser, login come the regulate panel, and find the wireless defense settings.

If friend don’t know the IP resolve of her router or nothing remember the password, refer to the note in the vault section.

Once you uncover the wireless protection settings, select WPA2 security and AES encryption. Then go into a Pre-Shared Key or Passphrase that 8 to 63 alphanumeric characters. The longer and more complex the an ext secure. Try to upper and lower instance letters and also numbers. Create this down and keep the safe. Nothing forget to save/apply the changes.

Now friend must enter the exact same passphrase on her Wi-Fi fitted computers and also devices. In Windows, you need to be prompted to get in it once connecting. However, if you were formerly using WEP or WPA, Windows might not attach until you edit the saved defense settings:

In home windows XP, double-click the wireless network symbol in the lower right corner of Windows, click Change the order of wanted networks. Then double-click the network name and adjust the Network Authentication to WPA2-PSK, Data Encryption come AES, and also enter the passphrase twice in the Network Key felids. See figure 4 for an example.


In windows Vista and 7, lug up the list of easily accessible wireless networks, right-click the network, and also select Properties. Then adjust Security type to WPA2-Personal, Encryption kind to AES, and enter the passphrase together the Network defense Key. See number 5 for an example.

Using WPA2-Enterprise

Before you have the right to use WPA2-Enterprise, you need to choose and also setup a RADIUS server. If you have a home windows Server, friend should be able to use the IAS or NPS server. Other RADIUS servers incorporate FreeRADIUS, Elektron, and ClearBox. Save in mind; part business-class access points (such as theZyXEL ZyAIR G-2000 to add v2) include combined RADIUS servers. If you don’t have actually the money or expertise to operation your very own server, you deserve to use a held service, such as AuthenticateMyWiFi.

For more help top top deploying WPA2-Enterprise and also 802.1X, express a previous short article of mine the discusses overcoming the usual roadblocks. I’ve additionally written a collection targeted toward deployment in little businesses.

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Eric Geier is a freelance technology writer and author of plenty of networking and computing books, for brands prefer For Dummies and Cisco Press. He additionally founded NoWiresSecurity, which helps businesses quickly and easily protect their Wi-Fi with enterprise-level security. Additionally, he is a ar Technician because that Fast-Teks, an on-site computer services agency that has actually hundreds the locations across the U.S.