WEP Open Or Shared, Which Wireless Authentication to Use?

WEP open or shared? At first glance, the logical answer to this question would be shared WEP. It may surprise you that open WEP is a better choice. Go through this article and find out why.

WEP open or shared

WEP open or shared

Use WPA and WPA2 instead of WEP

It is a surprising fact that some of you are still asking WEP open or shared. Using WEP for the wireless internet security has been outdated for many years. WPA and WPA2 are on the market for 10 years and they are much better than WEP.

WEP – Wired Equivalent Privacy was never a big obstacle for experienced hackers. It is really easy to crack it. On the WEP vs WPA you can read about why is WPA much better than WEP.

If you are using a very old wireless router or wireless access point, which doesn’t support WPA, try to upgrade it to the new firmware. With simple firmware upgrade you could have almost perfect security on the old wireless router. Maybe for some reason you can’t perform the upgrade and you are stuck with WEP. So let’s explore the WEP authentication.

WEP authentication

WEP has two kinds of authentication:

  • Open Authentication
  • Shared Key Authentication

Wireless authentication is like a one way street. Clients have to authenticate to the access point, but the access point has no obligation to authenticate to the station.

Open Authentication

With the open WEP authentication, WiFi client can connect to the access point with the wrong WEP key, but it can communicate on the network.

Shared Key Authentication

In shared-key authentication, WEP keys on the client and access point needs to match for successful authentication. The problem is that during authentication process, WEP key is exposed.

More about WEP authentication you can read on Wireless authentication.

WEP Open or Shared?

At first glance, it might seem that shared WEP is the better choice, but in authentication process  shared key  is exposed. An intruder can get the key and crack the WEP in less than a minute.

The conclusion is that you do not use WEP, use WPA2 instead. If you don’t have other choice than WEP, use the open WEP authentication.