There are four different security types that Wi-Fi connections usually use. A reliable router should be able to integrate with various types of Wi-Fi security designed to prevent illegal access to gadgets in a particular wireless network. However, the security levels across these different Wi-Fi security types differ, so it’s prudent to learn your router’s security type.
You can quickly check your router’s Wi-Fi security type to confirm you have the best pick. You can verify the security type of your router through Mac, Windows 10, or Android.
By using any of these three approaches mentioned above, you’ll be able to determine the security type of your router. Knowing the best security type will help you get the best router for your needs.
- Method #1: Using a Mac PC
- Method #2: Using Windows 10
- Method #3: Using an Android Device
- What Are the Different Wi-Fi Security Types?
Method #1: Using a Mac PC
As a Mac user, you enjoy greater security than standard PCs, thanks to the highly advanced security programs. That said, it’s still prudent to ensure your router’s security type is correct. However, you must first identify your Wi-Fi network’s name; here are the steps to follow.
- Press down the Option key.
- Tap the Wi-Fi icon in the toolbar, and your Wi-Fi network details will appear, including your router’s type of security.
The Mac is the only Apple gadget you can use to determine your router’s security type. This is because you can’t use an iOS gadget such as an iPhone to check the security type of your Wi-Fi router.
Method #2: Using Windows 10
You can also identify the security type of your Wi-Fi router using a PC running on Windows 10 or 11. The steps to follow when doing this are fairly straightforward, and here they are.
- Go to the taskbar, locate the Wi-Fi connection icon, and tap on it.
- Tap on “Properties” below your present Wi-Fi connection.
- Scroll down and search for the Wi-Fi information below “Properties”.
- Below that, search for “Security Type” to see the Wi-Fi protocol of your wireless network.
Method #3: Using an Android Device
It’s also possible to use an Android smartphone to determine your router’s security type, and here are the steps to follow.
- Go to the Settings app.
- Click on the “Wi-Fi” option.
- Choose the connected router and check the details. Your Wi-Fi security type will appear on your Android phone’s screen.
However, it’s important to note that the path of checking the Wi-Fi security type on your Android smartphone may vary depending on your gadget.
What Are the Different Wi-Fi Security Types?
You need to know various types of Wi-Fi security, which come with different security levels. Let’s take a look at each.
Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) Protocol
This Wi-Fi security type was unveiled to the world in 1997, making it the oldest version. Due to its older age, many see WEP as the least secure compared to the newer systems. The goal of WEP was to encrypt data, thereby enhancing the security of wireless networks. This way, the wireless data wouldn’t be recognizable to anyone trying to intercept it.
WEP encrypts its traffic using a 64-or-128-bit key in hexadecimal, a static key that encodes every traffic with a single key irrespective of the gadget. This type of Wi-Fi security network got discontinued in 2004.
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) Protocol
The shortcomings of WEP resulted in the need for a more secure type of security network, which is why the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol was developed. WPA boasted extra features, for instance, Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP), a 128-bit dynamic key that’s much more challenging to break than the WEP static, unaltered key.
WPA protocol also incorporated a Message Integrity Check that scans all the packets cybercriminals send. With that said, WPA still has its drawbacks, such as being dependent on exploitable elements because its core element TKIP, was to be implemented via firmware onto WEP-enabled systems.
Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) Protocol
WPA2 was released in 2006 and is an advancement to WPA, which was the first-generation version. While almost identical to WPA, it comes with a more robust encryption method that replaced TKIP referred to as Advanced Encryption System (AES), the standard encryption the US government uses to safeguard classified information.
For routers manufactured after 2006, WPA2 certification is a must. WPA2 has two operation modes: the Enterprise Mode (WPA2-EAP) and the Pre-shared key or Personal mode (WPA2-PSK).
Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) Protocol
This latest version of the Wi-Fi Protected Access protocol was made in 2019. The WPA3 format delivers improved encryption of public networks to ensure cybercriminals don’t collect information from you without knowing. Some new features include enterprise and personal use, such as the following.
- Simultaneous Authentication of Equals protocols.
- Individualized data encryption.
- Stronger brute force attack protection.
Identifying your Wi-Fi encryption type is crucial to ensure the security of your wireless network. This is more vital today than ever in an age where people are increasingly conscious and wary about hacking, which has become widely prevalent. By identifying your router’s security type, you’ll be one step towards safeguarding yourself from becoming a cyberattack victim.
If you don’t know how to find out the security type of your router, this exhaustive guide has detailed everything. Therefore, you’re better placed to know the best Wi-Fi security type to address any existing Wi-Fi security loopholes.