What is Wireless Security & How Does it Work?

It’s nearly impossible to function these days without access to wireless internet. People utilize Wi-Fi for everything from enjoyment to reaching their goals all across the world. As a result, understanding how to keep our Wi-Fi safe and secure is becoming increasingly important.

Table of Contents

What Is Wireless Security?

In essence, wireless security is the protection of unauthorized users from accessing a wireless network. Furthermore, wireless security, often known as Wi-Fi security, tries to ensure that only the people you permit have access to your data.

How Wireless Security Works?

The Wireless Alliance developed authentication security protocols like Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) to assure wireless security.

What Are The Types Of Wireless Security?

There are four basic types of wireless security protocols, the utility and strength of each of these vary.

  • WEP
  • WPA
  • WPA 2
  • WPA 3

However, below are further details about the 4 wireless security types:

  1. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)

Wired Equivalent Privacy was the first security protocol to be deployed. It was designed in 1997 and is now obsolete, however, it is still used with older devices in present times.

WEP employs a data encryption technique based on a mix of user and system-generated key values. However, hackers have devised strategies for reverse-engineering and cracking the encryption mechanism, making WEP the least secure network type.

  1. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol was created to address the weaknesses revealed in the WEP protocol. WPA includes features like the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), a dynamic 128-bit key that was more difficult to crack than WEP’s static, unchanging key.

It also had encryption features like the Message Integrity Check, which looked for any modified packets sent by hackers, the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), and the Pre- Shared Key (PSK), to name a few.

  1. Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA 2)

WPA2 introduced significant updates and new features to the wireless security gambit in 2004. WPA2 replaced the Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP) for TKIP, which is a significantly superior encryption technology.

Since its creation, WPA2 has been the industry standard; on March 13, 2006, the Wi-Fi Alliance has mandated that any future products bearing the Wi-Fi logo must use WPA2.


To connect to a wireless network, WPA2-PSK (Pre-Shared Key) requires only one password. Using a single password to access Wi-Fi is usually thought to be safe, but only if you trust the people who use it. The potential for damage when login credentials fall into the wrong hands is a big issue. As a result, this protocol is most commonly used for a home or open Wi-Fi network.

Instead of an encryption key, you offer your router a plain-English password between 8 and 63 characters long to encrypt a network with WPA2-PSK. CCMP is used to generate unique encryption keys for each wireless client using that passcode and the network SSID. The encryption keys are also regularly changed. WEP also supports passphrases, but mainly to make it easier to construct static keys, which are often made up of the hex digits 0-9 and A-F.


WPA2-Enterprise requires the usage of a RADIUS server, which is responsible for authenticating network users. The actual authentication method is based on the 802.1X policy and is available in a variety of EAP systems.

Only a few components are required for WPA2-Enterprise to function. In reality, if you already have access points and some server space, you already have all of the hardware you’ll need.

Because the device must be authorized before connecting to the network, it effectively establishes a private, encrypted tunnel between the device and the network. The security benefits of a properly configured WPA2-Enterprise network provide a network that is nearly impregnable. Because of its enhanced security features, this protocol is most commonly employed by corporations and governments.

  1. Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA 3)

The first substantial updates to wireless security in 14 years are coming with WP3. The following are some important security protocol additions:

  • Strong Protocols for Passwords
  • Greater Security Encryption
  • More Secure for Enterprises


Updates to WPA3-PSK offer improved protection by strengthening the authentication process, which improves the effectiveness of PSK.

The method of Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) makes brute-force dictionary attacks much more difficult for a hacker. For those seeking to brute-force their way through the procedure, this protocol needs user participation for each authentication attempt, causing significant delays.


WPA3-Enterprise adds a few features to WPA2-Enterprise, however, there aren’t many differences in terms of security.

The requirement for server certificate validation to ensure the identity of the server to which the device is connecting is a key improvement offered by WPA3-Enterprise. However, due to the lack of significant enhancements, WPA3 is unlikely to be adopted quickly. Even though WPA2 became a standard in 2004, enterprises are still having trouble supporting it on their networks

How Can I Identify What Type Of Security My Wi-Fi Has?

On a Windows PC, click the Wi-Fi network icon (on the right side of the taskbar), then click on Properties under the Wi-Fi network name, then in the Wi-Fi network screen (under Properties) check the details next to Protocol.

On an Android phone, click Settings and then the Wi-Fi category to check. Check the router’s details to which you’re connected. It will tell you what type of security your connection has.

On an iPhone, go to SettingsWiFi, then click on any information icon beside any desired wifi network to see its details.

Which Wi-Fi Network Is Most Secure?

The most Wi-Fi secure solution is WPA2 WPA2-PSK (AES). It uses WPA2, the latest Wi-Fi encryption standard, as well as AES, the most effective encryption method. This is the best security protocol you should select.

What Are The Main Threats To Wi-Fi Network?

The main wifi network threats are:

  1. Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)
  2. Password Decryption and Cracking
  3. Packet Sniffers

[1] – Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM)

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack includes a hacker accessing a private network by mimicking a rogue access point and obtaining login credentials.

The attacker sets up hardware that imitates a trusted network, such as Wi-Fi, to trick naive victims into connecting to it and handing over their credentials. Because devices connect to the network with the strongest signal and connect to any SSID name they recall, MITM attacks can happen everywhere.

[2] – Password Decryption and Cracking

A brute force attack is a very well method for cracking and passwords decryption that has been around for a long time. This strategy comprises using a trial-and-error method in the hopes of making an accurate forecast at some point in the future. Hackers, on the other hand, have a variety of tools at their disposal to accelerate the process.

[3] – Packet Sniffers

Sniffers of Packets Packet sniffers are computer programs that monitor data transmitted via wireless networks. They can also keep track of data packets and send them to the user. They can be used to collect data on traffic in an unobtrusive manner, but in the wrong hands, they can cause problems and bring a network down.

As the internet becomes more accessible via mobile devices and gadgets, data security is becoming a major concern among the general public, as it should be. Data breaches and security weaknesses could cost individuals and corporations tens of thousands of dollars.
It’s critical to understand the most common dangers so that suitable security measures can be put in place.

How To Secure Wi-Fi With Digital Certificates?

Passwords are the cause of many of the security challenges that wireless networks confront. Passwords increase the possibility of human mistakes in your network. Through MITM or brute force attacks, passwords can be stolen, lost, or even hacked.

Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of certificate-based authentication. Passwords are based on the end user’s creation of keywords or phrases. Certificates protect information delivered over the air using public-private key encryption and are authenticated using EAP-TLS, the most secure authentication protocol.

What Is The Best Way To Identify An Unrecognized Device On My Network?

You can identify any unrecognized device on your network in the below steps:

  • Open the Home Network Security app.
  • The Menu option should be selected.
  • Select the device under Devices and check for the MAC ID.
  • Check to see if it matches the MAC addresses of any of your devices.
NOTE: Unknown devices should be removed from your network.

How Do I Protect My Business Wi-Fi?

Below are several ways and tips to secure your Business WiFi from intruders and unauthorized people:

  • Change your WiFi administrative Password once a week
  • Change your WiFi name
  • Turn Off SSID Broadcasting
  • Use WPA2 Encryption
  • Always keep Firewall on
  • Set-up guest WiFi 


Wireless security is in essence, the prevention of unwanted users from accessing a particular wireless network. There are four main types of wireless security protocols – Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), WPA2, and WEP2.

It is recommended that WPA2-PSK be used for private wireless. SecureW2 is a simplified configuration that enables you to easily maintain the most secure network. The company’s software eliminates the confusion for users by prompting them with simple steps designed to be completed by anyone.

Firas Sameer

This is me Firas Sameer the founder of Dealing With Windows, I am a computer and telecommunication engineer with over 14 years of experience, I love helping people and I love spending some of my free time posting useful articles for free about Microsoft windows.

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