WPA vs WPA2: Difference and Comparison

After the introduction of WPA, companies were still facing hacking problems, and it called for a better security algorithm. Therefore, WPA2 came into existence with better features.


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Many firms faced problems, even the local people, as personal details could be easily hacked. So, to eliminate this problem, a security algorithm was introduced to maintain security in the wireless network, which was WEP (Wired equivalent privacy).

WEP successfully provided an encrypted network, but as the technology was upgrading, hackers could hack through this encrypted network.

Key Takeaways

  1. WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is a security protocol designed to protect wireless networks, using Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) for encryption.
  2. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access II) is an updated version of the WPA security protocol, featuring stronger encryption through Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and other security improvements.
  3. WPA and WPA2 are wireless network security protocols, but WPA2 provides more robust protection and encryption than its predecessor, WPA.


WPA is a security protocol created to protect wireless networks from unauthorized access. It is used in Wi-Fi networks to prevent unauthorized access and data interception. WPA2 is a security protocol that is used to secure wireless networks. It offers stronger encryption and authentication methods.

WPA vs WPA2 1

In 2003 WEP was formally replaced by a better version of the security algorithm, WPA (Wi-Fi-protected access). This system provided more robust security as compared to WEP.


Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWPAWPA2
Security algorithmTKIP(temporal key integrity protocol)AES(advanced encryption standard)
Year of launchLaunched in 2003Launched in 2006
LimitationsNew techniques introduced for hacking by hackers.It takes a lot of time to process.
SuperiorSuperior to WEP.Superior to WPA.
Software supportSupports older software.Support only new software.


What is WPA?

Wi-Fi-protected access or WPA is a security standard introduced for users of computing devices equipped with wireless internet connections.

This security system provided more enhanced encryption. WPA replaced WEP security standards in 2003 entirely. All Wi-Fi connections made in the last decade support the WPA system.

With an unencrypted network, it is possible using a packet sniffer to see data coming across the network. So the WPA was introduced to curb this problem.

With the use of WPA, encryption was provided to a network which made information private by scrambling text so that it would make no sense to the hacker.

Also, WPA used 256-bit keys whereas, as the earlier network WEP used 64-bit -128 bit keys. This was a massive change in both systems.

The longer the key makes, the more difficult it gets for hackers.

Other major distinctive features are:-

  1. It included message integrity.
  2. Use of TKIP ( temporal key integrity protocol).

As per TKIP, every network was provided with a per-pocket key system which is more secure than the fixed vital system used by WEP. Although, it was replaced by a more advanced AES(advanced encryption standard).

Even hacking is difficult in WPA security standards because it cannot be hacked directly; moreover, it will take several hours for a hacker to hack a system due to the use of high-bit keys. It does not support enterprises. Although it supports old software, they are considered well for old devices.

wpa 1

What is WPA2?

WPA2 is an abbreviation for Wi-Fi protected access 2, a security standard used to encrypt a wireless internet connection.

It can be seen as a better version of WPA. WPA2 officially came into use in 2006. Till that time, WPA was still in use, probably because WPA2 was more costly than WPA.

WPA2 has two versions, those are:-

  1. WPA2 Personal protects unauthorised network access by utilizing a set-up by a password.
  2. WPA2 Enterprise – it verifies network users through a server.

The most distinctive feature of WPA2 is that it has replaced TKIP with AES( advanced encryption standards) algorithm and CCMP (counter cypher mode with block chaining message authentication code protocol).

Most companies prefer this security system. This is also a default setup in routers nowadays. WPA2 has generally preferred for home routers with WPA Pre-shared keys.

With a more robust network, WPA2 has some limitations as well. Those are:-

  1. There are issues of WPA and WPA2 interfering with each other; this creates problems in the network by connection failure.
  2. WPA2 needs extra processing, which somewhere decreases the performance of the network.

WPA2 has a distinctive feature of providing personal and enterprise encryption differently. Although, it may slow down the old device as it takes a lot of processing energy


Main Differences Between WPA and WPA2

  1. WPA2 provides a stronger security system than that WPA.
  2. WPA uses TKIP, whereas WPA2 uses AES.
  3. WPA2 is more difficult or unable to hack, whereas WPA is comparatively easy.
  4. WPA was launched in 2003, whereas WPA2 was launched in 2006.
  5. WPA2 needs more processing than WPA.

Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 08T121830.069
  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/5234856/
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