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Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK)

Definition - What does Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK) mean?

Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK) is a security mechanism used to authenticate and validate users on a wireless LAN (WLAN) or Wi-Fi connection. It is a variation of the WPA security protocol.

WPA-PSK is also known as WPA2-PSK or WPA Personal.

Techopedia explains Wi-Fi Protected Access Pre-Shared Key (WPA-PSK)

WPA-PSK works by configuring a WLAN passphrase or password of eight to 63 characters. Based on the password, access point (router) and connecting node credentials, a 256-character key is generated, shared and used by both devices for network traffic encryption and decryption. A connected user that provides correct credentials receives WLAN access. If implemented with Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), WPA-PSK dynamically generates a 128-bit encryption key for each packet. Additionally, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) may be used instead of TKIP.

WPA-PSK does not require an authentication server and manual user configuration. Thus, it is considered simpler and leaner than WPA Enterprise, a WPA variant.

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