how to know your type of WiFi security

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How to know your type of WiFi security and which is the best? Security has been at the heart of user concerns in recent years, and WiFi is an essential element to take into account in its protection strategy. However, it is not always easy to navigate among all the denominations. We explain everything you need to know on the subject.

Wi-Fi modem
Credit: Unsplash

Have you ever wondered if your WiFi network is secure? It is likely that they will, at a time when cyber attacks are on the increase and protection solutions abound. But if not, or if you simply want to learn more about the subject, it is essential to start by knowing the type of protection of your network.

This is because there is not one type of security that is uniform for all routers and not all are equally equal. The devices have improved over time, but some devices have yet to update for various reasons. Here is why it is important to know your type of WiFi security and what to do in case of poor protection.

On the same subject: This Android application allows you to quickly find all your WiFi passwords

What are the different types of WiFi security

There are a total of 4 WiFi security protocols. A brief overview:

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP): it is the oldest protocol, and therefore the least effective of all. It was deployed in 1997, it is still present on some older devices, but its use is not recommended.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA): WPA is the worthy inherit from WEP. It fills the security holes present in the latter and adds additional protection tools, such as the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP).
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2): Similar to its predecessor, it replaces TKIP with Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP) which more easily encrypts data. Launched in 2004, it is the most popular protocol to date.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3): the most recent of all, WPA3 arrived in our homes in 2018. It is therefore the most effective in terms of protection, in addition to facilitating the connection for any type of device.

As you can see, the older the type of security, the less effective it is. This can be explained by a simple reason: the protocols were developed according to the threats of the time, and therefore find themselves obsolete in the face of new forms of cyberattacks. Additionally, over time, hackers have found various ways to bypass security systems, which newer protocols have not.

How to know my type of WiFi security

As said previously, it is therefore essential to know the protocol installed on your router to assess the level of security of your network. There are different ways to do this depending on the device you are on. Let’s start with Windows 10:

  • In the taskbar, click on the WiFi icon
  • Find the name of your router and click Properties, below the latter
  • Scroll to the section Properties
  • Consult the line Security type
wifi security tutorial

Handling is even easier on macOS. Just click on the WiFi icon by holding the Option key to view connection settings, including security type.

Here is the procedure on Android:

  • See you in the Settings
  • Select category Wireless
  • Click on the name of your router
  • In the window that appears, find the line Encryption type
wifi security tutorial 2

On iOS, things get tough. Right now, there is no way to check your router’s security type on an iPhone or iPad. The best is therefore to use a PC to obtain this information.

If you have WPA3, the good news is that you don’t have to do anything to make your network more secure. You can in theory sleep soundly for a few more years. Same thing if you have WPA2. Although older, the latter remains a very effective device against cyberattacks. However, you can update your router if you wish, in order to be optimally protected.

On the other hand, if you have not updated your protocol from WPA or, less likely, WEP, it is urgent to do so if you do not want to be the victim of an attack. To do this, consult your router’s user manual or contact your ISP for instructions. Nowadays, even the cheapest routers are compatible with WPA2.