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WPA Full Form

What Is The Full Form Of WPA?

The full form of WPA is Wi-Fi Protected Access

WPA is one of the types of security protocols for accessing wi-fi, and it was developed for securing wireless networks of computers. It supports two modes of authentication- personal and enterprise. The Wi-Fi Alliance developed WPA as a security scheme in response to the shortcomings of WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). The WPA renders built-in authentication and gives security along with easier use and better administration. 

WPA brings major changes in the security of network connections that are wireless in a particular area. 

History Of WPA 

  • It was introduced in 2003 with the wireless standard named 802.11i. 
  • A new version- WPA2 was released in 2004. It was more advanced and secure as compared to its previous version. 
  • The Wi-Fi Alliance, in Jan 2018, announced a replacement to WAP2. It was named WAP3, and its certification commenced in June 2018. 

Characteristics Of WPA 

  • WPA is the new standard of security. It is much better in providing security when compared to WEP. 
  • It stops malicious users/ hackers from gaining access to private info or stealing bandwidth from the network you use. 
  • It comes with built-in authentication support. 
  • Its encryption is much better than that of WEP. 

WPA Versions 

WPA – The WEP used a 128-bit or 64-bit encryption key. One must enter it manually on devices and wireless access points, and they do not change. WPA prevents attackers from altering/resending data packets. 

WPA2 – Approved in 2004, this version replaced WPA. It implements the obligatory elements of IEEE 802.11i. WPA2 certification commenced in September 2004, and eventually, all new devices needed to certify for bearing the Wi-Fi trademark. 

WPA3 – This new standard of WPA brings a more secure initial exchange of keys in personal mode. It also mitigates security issues generated by weak passwords. 

WPA Targeted Users 

WPA-Personal – It is specifically designed for small offices and home networks. An authentication server isn’t a prerequisite here. It is available on all 3 WPA versions. 

WPA-Enterprise – It is primarily designed for enterprise networks, and they require authentication of the RADIUS server. The setup is more complicated, but security is additional. 

WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) – It is an alternative method of authentication key distribution. It simplifies the process but may create a major security loop via WPS PIN recovery. 

Benefits Of WPA 

  • The WPA provides commendable support for RADIUS servers or authentication servers. 
  • Built-in authentication support is available. 
  • WPA uses much better and stronger algorithms than WEP, its predecessor. 
  • The WPA3 uses the latest security methods and doesn’t allow outdated legacy protocols. 
  • WPA3 also allows users to choose their passwords so that it gets easy to remember. 
  • Data traffic stays protected even if the password gets compromised after the transmission of data. 

Limitations Of WPA 

  • It lacks forward security. 
  • The biggest issue with WPA is its incompatibility with the legacy hardware and other OS systems. 
  • It has a much larger performance overhead. 
  • WPA increases the size of the data packet and leads to longer transmission. 

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