Wireless Security: WEP VS. WPA
Wireless routers allow your computer to
connect to the Internet by using radio waves to carry network traffic
back and forth. However, the radio signal is broadcast in all
directions, and anyone within range may be able to use your connection
with their wireless-capable computer.
In order to lock down your wireless
connection and prevent unauthorized use, encryption can be put in
place. By default, all wireless modems sold by TOAST.net have wireless
encryption enabled. Third party wireless routers plugged into TOAST.net
modems may need to have encryption activated in order to be secure.
There are two main kinds of wireless encryption: WEP (Wired Equivalency Protocol), and WPA
(Wi-Fi Protected Access). TOAST.net recommends the use of WPA
encryption whenever possible. The difference between the two is
WEP Encryption- requires
a "key", or wireless password, to be created consisting of hexadecimal
characters (hexadecimal characters are the letters A-F and numbers
0-9). There are two types of WEP keys: a 64 bit key and a 128 bit key.
- A 64-Bit WEP key will have 10 characters
- A 128-Bit WEP key will have 26 characters
WEP encryption is used with older devices
or computers (Windows ME and lower, Apple OS 9.x and lower). While WEP
does offer some protection from unauthorized use, it is not a foolproof
method of securing your network and should not be used in mission
WPA Encryption- Requires a "key", or wireless
password, to be created using letters, numbers, or symbols. WPA keys
must be at least 8 characters in length. There are two types of WPA
- WPA offers a standard level of wireless security.
- WPA2 offers enhanced security.
WPA encryption requires the use of
Windows XP w/ Service Pack 2, Vista, or Mac OSX. Earlier versions of
Windows do not offer WPA support. WPA2 requires compatible hardware, as
well as Windows XP w/ Service Pack 3, or Vista.
There are also several styles of WPA
encryption available. For the greatest compatibility, choose TKIP or
PSK mode. AES mode can also be used and will offer the highest level of
security, but your wireless hardware has to specifically support AES
To configure your TOAST.net Wireless Modem settings, click on the appropriate link below:
Zoom X6 DSL Modem Setup
Netopia Wireless Gateway Setup Guide