What's the best wifi encryption protocol for home networks?
Which wifi protocol is best for your home network? We evaluate speed, security and performance to help you make the best decision.
Types of wifi encryption protocols
Think of wifi encryption protocols like a foreign language that only you and those on your network can understand. Anything that you do online gets translated to this language, making it virtually unreadable by outsiders. There are three types of wifi encryption protocols: Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), and Wi-Fi Protected Access Version 2 (WPA2). These encryptions have one thing in common — protecting the data on your network — but the main difference lies in how well they do so. Think of these as ‘good, better, and best’.
How to set up WPA2 on your network
Before setting up WPA2 on your network, make sure that all connected devices can support this security protocol. You should also check with your internet service provider to see if WPA2 is already elected for your network. To manually set up this encryption:
1. Connect the device to an ethernet cable.
2. Open your preferred browser and type your router’s IP address into the address bar. Start by trying the two most popular addresses: 192.168.1.0 or 192.168.1.1. If neither of these work, you can locate your IP address in one of two ways:
3. The IP address should take you to a page hosted by your internet service provider. When prompted for login credentials, enter “admin" for the username and password. Alternatively, the password may be “password" or there may be no password.
4. From there, steps can vary depending on the device manufacturer. Locate a section titled “wifi” and look for a specific field where you can elect your router security settings. You will likely see an option for WEP, WPA, and WPA2. Be sure to choose WPA2.
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