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Difference Between WPA and WPA2 (With Table)


After the introduction of WPA , companies were still facing problems in hacking, and it gave a call for a better security algorithm. Therefore, WPA2 came into existence with better features. The difference between WPA and WPA2 is their security algorithm. WPA2 is a better version of security in wireless connections as compared to WPA.

The Internet is a necessity in the modern world, it has vanished the distances among people and made things easily accessible. A day without the internet is unimaginable.

Where the internet has made things easy for its users, its negative impacts cannot be neglected. There are risks of hacking, personal details can be hacked by professionals.Although, there is ethical hacking available , but people use it in an illegal manner.

Wi-Fi is a wireless technology used for devices like laptops, computers, phones, or tablets to access the internet. It was invented in 1997. Its technological and easily accessible features made it famous.

Wi-Fi was convenient, as the network was maintained through wireless technology, but later on, this wireless technology faced the problem of hacking. Unencrypted networks could be hacked easily.

Many firms faced problems and 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 was successful in providing an encrypted network, but as the technology was upgrading, hackers were able to hack through this encrypted network.

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


Comparison Table Between WPA and WPA2 (in Tabular Form)

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 than WEP.Superior than WPA.
Software supportSupports older softwares .Support only new softwares.


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 completely . 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 an 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 the systems.the longer the key makes the more difficult it gets for hackers.

Another 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 key system used by WEP. Although, it was replaced by a more advanced system which was AES(advanced encryption standard).

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Even the process of hacking is difficult in WPA security standards because it cannot be hacked directly, moreover due to use of high bit keys it will take several hours for a hacker to hack a system.

It does not support enterprises. Although, it supports old softwares so , they are considered well for old devices.


What is WPA2?

WPA2 is an abbreviation for Wi-Fi protected access 2, this is a security standard used to provide an encryption to 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 – it protects unauthorised network access by utilizing a set-up by 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 cipher mode with block chaining message authentication code protocol).

This security system is preferred by most of the companies. This is also a default setup in routers nowadays. WPA2 is generally preferred for home routers with WPA Pre- shared keys.

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

  1. There are issues of WPA and WPA2 interfere 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

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



WPA and WPA2 are security standards. WPA2 is a better version of WPA.

They enable the network to work without fear of hacking.

WPA replaced WEP, and WPA2 replaced WPA.Both of them use different algorithms  but both of them attempt to provide encryption to wireless networks.WA2 with AES is preferred for home routers.


Word Cloud for Difference Between WPA and WPA2

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on WPA and WPA2. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

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