Is Wifi security encryption WEP separate from TKIP encryption? Or do they both have to exist in order to work?

WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is a protocol or encryption?

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WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) in an encryption standard which was created in the older version of 802.11 standard for privacy and security. When it was found out that WEP is inadequate in terms of both, privacy and security (papers can be found as old as 2002-2003), TKIP was added to WPA protocol suite (in 2004 ratified 802.11i amendment) for backward compatibility. So, devices which used WEP could also use TKIP by upgrading the firmware as a place holder until devices which used WPA2 were built. [WPA2 uses AES-CCMP encryption suite but it is not backward compatible with WEP since a software upgrade to a WEP compatible device will not make it AES-CCMP compatible].

WPA/WPA2 is a suite of protocols to be used for securing wireless communication in 802.11. There are 3 main parts to this:

  1. Encryption - Encrypting data so that no one can decrypt.
  2. Authentication - Authenticating the user connected to the WiFi network.
  3. Key Exchange - Securely exchanging the keys for encryption.

For each component there are multiple cryptographic options and devices may choose in varied combinations of those mentioned in the standard for securely connecting to the WiFi.


Is Wifi security encryption WEP separate from TKIP encryption?

TKIP is actually an older encryption protocol introduced with WPA to replace the very-insecure WEP encryption at the time. TKIP is actually quite similar to WEP encryption. TKIP is no longer considered secure, and is now deprecated. In other words, you shouldn’t be using it.

  1. WEP 64 (risky): The old WEP protocol standard is vulnerable and you really shouldn’t use it.
  2. WEP 128 (risky): This is WEP, but with a larger encryption key size. It isn’t really any less vulnerable than WEP 64.
  3. WPA-PSK (TKIP): This uses the original version of the WPA protocol (essentially WPA1). It has been superseded by WPA2 and isn’t secure.
  4. WPA2-PSK (TKIP): This uses the modern WPA2 standard with older TKIP encryption. This isn’t secure, and is only a good idea if you have older devices that can’t connect to a WPA2-PSK (AES) network.
  5. WPAWPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES): Some devices offer—and even recommend—this mixed-mode option. This option enables both WPA and WPA2, with both TKIP and AES. This provides maximum compatibility with any ancient devices you might have, but also allows an attacker to breach your network by cracking the more vulnerable WPA and TKIP protocols.

here are a couple sites that might help you understand more about this:

  1. https://www.howtogeek.com/167783/htg-explains-the-difference-between-wep-wpa-and-wpa2-wireless-encryption-and-why-it-matters/

  2. http://lifehacker.com/the-difference-between-wi-fi-security-protocols-wpa2-a-1672256222

  3. https://www.howtogeek.com/204697/wi-fi-security-should-you-use-wpa2-aes-wpa2-tkip-or-both/


Is Wifi security encryption WEP separate from TKIP encryption? Or do they both have to exist in order to work?

WEP and TKIP are two separate encryption methods. TKIP is based on WEP with some additional extensions to it's encryption that provide solutions to several of the broken aspects of WEP.

However, TKIP functions independently of WEP. WEP should never be used anymore and some devices will no longer allow you to configure it. If you have WEP enabled, disable it.

TKIP should also be disabled. TKIP was a band-aid solution to the broken WEP protocol. Basically WEP was so broken that it needed a replacement immediately and could not wait to go through a normal standardization process. One of the major network vendors had already enhanced WEP with proprietary extensions to make it more secure and offered those to the community at large. TKIP was that solution until AES was standardized.

TKIP was also needed so that legacy devices (that could not do AES) could still implement better security. Starting in 802.11n, if TKIP is used then the HT data rates are supposed to be disabled (i.e. making your 802.11n/802.11ac devices perform like 802.11g/802.11a devices).

For wireless encryption, the only real option to be using today is AES unless you have legacy devices that need TKIP available.

WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is a protocol or encryption?

WPA and WPA2 are protocols to exchange encryption keys between two endpoints. Neither one provides encryption themselves. They are present to negotiate the encryption method and setup for TKIP and/or AES.

TKIP needed a method to negotiate encryption and it used WPA, which as again introduced to the community as part of that band-aid solution. However in this case the standardized version (i.e. WPA2) is nearly identical to the point that both are feasible to use and can be used by all devices that can do TKIP.


From what i understand TKIP came after WEP since it was easily by-passable. TKIP is an encryption protocol that was designed for WPA and its generally good except if used with WPS. TKIP is only a good idea if you have older devices that can't connect to a WPA2-PSK (AES) network.

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