- The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the official launch of WPA3, the new security standard for Wi-Fi home and business networks.
- WPA3 includes support for Simultaneous Authentication of Equals, which should offer better protection against password guessing.
- WPA3 will slowly replace the 14-year old WPA2, which will still be interoperable with the new standard.
Wi-Fi networks have been notorious in the past for their security holes. Hackers have been able to steal passwords and other data from people who log into public Wi-Fi locations, and home networks are also vulnerable to people who might figure out how to log into those routers to steal your internet access. However, today marks a new era in Wi-Fi security with the official launch of the WPA3 standard.
WPA3 will slowly replace the current WPA2 standard in Wi-Fi hardware and software, which has been around for 14 years. The number of devices that use Wi-Fi networks has greatly expanded since then, both at home and in businesses. It’s well beyond time that a new standard was put in place to deal with that expansion.
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, WPA3-Personal will be the standard used for home Wi-Fi networks. It will include a new device protocol called Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE), which should make your password more secure when logging into a router, even if it is not exactly that complex. For businesses, there’s WPA3-Enterprise, which will offer the equivalent of 192-bit cryptographic strength for those Wi-Fi networks.
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In addition, the Wi-Fi Alliance is launching what it calls Wi-Fi Easy Connect, which should make the process of connecting hardware products to a Wi-Fi network easier. If a device does not have a display interface, such as a smart speaker or an Internet of Things device, Wi-Fi Easy Connect will let you connect them to your home network via your smartphone by scanning a QR code.
The transition from WPA2 to WPA3 will not happen instantly, of course. Devices that use the old WPA2 will still work fine, and will be interoperable with ones that use the new WPA3 standard. Some older Wi-Fi hardware routers and parts will also get software upgrades to add WPA3 support. Eventually, the new WPA3 standard will become a requirement for all new devices that are officially certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.