Stronger Wi-Fi encryption protocol now available for routers

Posted 26 June 2018 23:41 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization that develops the Wi-Fi standard, has announced that from now on, routers can make use of a new, more secure security protocol for Wi-Fi connections. The new protocol is called WPA3 and was first announced earlier this year.

Now the WPA3 protocol is ready, router manufacturers can add the technology to their devices. WPA3 is the successor of WPA2, the protocol that is currently used to secure and encrypt Wi-Fi connections. WPA3 should make it harder for attackers to perform so-called brute force attacks, where an attacker tries to guess passwords in an automated way. Devices that make use of WPA3 are also required to continue to support WPA2 for backwards compatibility.

Besides the improved security that WPA3 brings, the Wi-Fi Alliance has also introduced Wi-Fi Easy Connect, where users can appoint one device on their network as point of central configuration. This could be e.g. a tablet, laptop or smartphone. From that device, other users can get access to the Wi-Fi network by either scanning a device-specific QR code or by entering a human readable string.

It will likely take some time before WPA3 will be broadly used. Users will need to purchase a new router that supports the protocol, or install a firmware/software update that adds support for the new protocol. It’s not clear which router manufacturers will release updates that add WPA3.

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