Which Wi-Fi Protocol To Use (Explained)


When setting up a new wireless network, you will undoubtedly come across the screen that asks you to select the Wi-Fi protocol you want to use.

With so many options like WEP 64, WEP 128, WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK, to name a few, which one should you use?

Even if you can’t make up your mind, the most important thing to remember is to always select at least one of them. Never think “I’ll set this up later” and leave your wireless network open. This is a huge security threat.

Wi-Fi Protocols Explained

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these options in greater detail.

WEP is an old encryption standard, 64 and 128, indicate the length o the key. So if you can avoid this, always do as they are not very secure.

WPA is slightly more secure but WPA2 is leaps and bounds more secure. And you should always pick the AES encryption over TKIP whenever possible. The latter is known to be notoriously unsecure. The general rule is WPA2 over WPA and AES over its TKIP counterpart.

Most Secure Wi-Fi Protocol To Least

This it the recommended order of selection. The higher in the list it is, the more reliable and undoubtedly better choice it is with better encryption and a more secure protocol.

  1. WPA2-PSK (AES)
  2. WPA-PSK (AES)
  3. WPA2-PSK (TKIP)
  5. WEP 128
  6. WEP 64