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What does secured with WEP mean?

Q: What does secured with WEP mean?

A:
Secured with WEP means that a transmission or Internet access point has been secured with something called wired equivalent privacy. Wired equivalent privacy (WEP) is a security method for wireless networks that was popular several years ago for Internet security. WEP encrypts data streams in order to make Internet access more secure. Standard WEP uses a 40-bit key and a 24-bit initialization vector. WEP users choose between 64-bit security and 128-bit security. Experts think of WEP as a first-generation tool that has gradually been improved upon as wireless systems proliferate and different kinds of LAN network items sell in consumer markets.

WEP is part of a set of standards called IEEE 802.11, which set up different kinds of controls for wireless local area networks. These types of standards seek to provide good security for wireless systems that send previously cabled signals through the air. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) maintains these and other standards for digital infrastructure.

Users of Internet routers and other wireless network devices can choose between WEP and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), which is generally a stronger encryption model. Over time, WPA began to edge out WEP as the default for network security. The basic shortcoming of WEP is that it uses "static" security keys for encryption. Over time, a hacker could actually get the keys and render the encryption ineffective. WPA addressed this issue with several features. One is the use of "hashing," which disguises keys through the use of algorithms. Newer security protocols can also check keys for signs of tampering. A more modern "passkey" security system makes it easier for authorized users to input a security key, while providing a high level of encryption security.

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