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.

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.

Also Read:  Wi-Fi vs Ethernet: Difference and Comparison

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.
Also Read:  UMTS vs HSDPA: Difference and Comparison

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 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/

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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20 thoughts on “WPA vs WPA2: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The comprehensive overview of WPA and WPA2 provides valuable insights into the evolution of wireless network security. The transition from WEP to the more robust WPA2 reflects the commitment to enhancing data protection.

  2. The transition from WEP to WPA and WPA2 marks a pivotal development in wireless network security. The use of advanced encryption and more robust protection in WPA2 reflects a proactive approach to mitigating cybersecurity risks.

    • Absolutely, the implementation of AES in WPA2 is a significant advancement in network security, ensuring greater resilience against cyber threats.

  3. The detailed comparison between WPA and WPA2 provides valuable insights into the evolution of wireless network security. The progression from WEP to the more advanced WPA2 underscores the continuous efforts to strengthen data privacy and protection.

    • Indeed, the shift to WPA2 with AES encryption offers a heightened level of security, paving the way for more resilient wireless network defenses.

  4. WPA2 appears to be the better security protocol between the two, WPA and WPA2. The features provided by WPA2 makes it more reliable and secure for home and enterprise networks.

  5. The implementation of WPA and WPA2 certainly raised the bar for wireless network security. It’s evident that the need for stronger encryption and protection from unauthorized access was effectively addressed through these protocols.

    • Indeed, the progression from WEP to WPA and eventually WPA2 has significantly improved the security standards for wireless networks.

  6. The review of WPA and WPA2 highlights the evolution of wireless network security, with WPA2 emerging as the more robust protocol. The incorporation of AES and other security enhancements in WPA2 signifies a proactive stance against cyber threats.

    • Absolutely, WPA2’s advancements in encryption and authentication present a compelling case for its superiority in safeguarding wireless networks.

    • The transition to WPA2 with stronger encryption and other security improvements exemplifies the commitment to fortifying wireless network defenses against modern cyber threats.

  7. The detailed comparison between WPA and WPA2 showcases the advancements in security algorithms for wireless networks. The limitations of WEP were effectively overcome by the introduction of WPA and its subsequent upgrade to WPA2.

    • Absolutely, the progression in security protocols is essential to keep up with the evolving methods of hacking. WPA2’s implementation of AES is a significant step forward in network encryption.

  8. WEP might have been a start, but the transition to WPA and WPA2 was truly a step in the right direction. The enhanced encryption and more secure features are definitely commendable.

    • The shift from WEP to WPA and then WPA2 reflects the ever-evolving nature of technology. The improvements in encryption and security are crucial for protecting sensitive information.

    • Absolutely, the transition to WPA and WPA2 was necessary to address the security vulnerabilities found in WEP. It’s great to see the advancements in network security over the years.

  9. The introduction of WPA and the subsequent upgrade to WPA2 signify significant milestones in wireless network security. The emphasis on stronger encryption and enhanced security measures demonstrates the commitment to safeguarding sensitive data.

  10. The detailed comparison between WPA and WPA2 offers a clear understanding of the progression in wireless network security. The shift towards WPA2’s advanced encryption and improved protection highlights the adaptability to technological advancements.


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