What Is the Difference Between WPA and WPA2 Wi-Fi

The amount of security on your Wi-Fi network is crucial in determining how vulnerable your wireless network is, that is why its imperative to know and determine the difference between the different Wi-Fi security standards available on your Wi-Fi router. When it comes to Amcrest Wi-Fi cameras, we support WPA and WPA2 Wi-Fi standards, which WPA2 is the most commonly used Wi-Fi standard. 

Note: Other standards, such as WPA3 are not currently supported by Amcrest wireless devices. For more information on Wi-Fi best practices, click here.

WPA, or Wi-Fi protected access, was made to improve upon the first Wi-Fi security protocol, WEP, or Wired Equivalent Privacy. WPA was a protocol that was created in 2003 and provided a temporary enhancement to WEP however still has relatively poor security, but is much easier to configure. WPA uses Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) which provided more security encryption than WEP. 

As this transition was being made to a more advanced protocol, they had to still maintain some of the same elements as WEP so that older Wi-Fi devices would still be compatible. Unfortunately, that means certain vulnerabilities and security risks, such as hacking, may be more prevalent when using the WPA protocol. 

This is why a new security standard was implemented called, WPA2, or Wi-Fi Protected Access 2. WPA2 has stronger security and is easier to configure than previous options and as mentioned previously, is the most commonly used Wi-Fi protocol to date. The main difference with WPA2 is that it uses an Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) instead of TKIP.

AES is strong enough to secure top-secret government information and is a good recommendation to use when selecting a Wi-Fi security standard. Amcrest Wi-Fi cameras support this wireless protocol as well. The only notable vulnerability of WPA2 is that if someone were to gain access to the network, they can attack other devices connected on that network, such as an IP camera, which can affect the integrity of the network overall. This is why it is imperative to always safeguard Wi-Fi access details when using this protocol. 

Note: When comparing WPA and WPA2, WPA2 is going to be the best option to use. For more information on how these protocols are different please refer to the table below. 

Year Released 2003 2004
Encryption Method Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
Security Strength  Stronger than WEP, offers basic security Stronger than WPA, offers increased security 
Device Support Supports older software Only compatible with newer software
Password Length Shorter Wi-Fi network password required Longer Wi-Fi network password required for added security 
Business usage No enterprise solutions Enterprise solutions available
Processing power Minimal needed Significant amount needed
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