If you are experimenting with the various security features of your wireless network, you may wonder how you know the security type of your WiFi. The best routers, after all, can integrate with a wide array of security types. What are these common security types and how do you figure out which one you are using? Keep reading to find out.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Routers can include many a different Wi-Fi security type, otherwise known as the encryption type, including WEP, WPA, WPA2, and WPA3.
  • To find out which security type you are using, head to the router’s settings page, admin control panel, or, in some cases, your OS’s sharing center.
  • Once in the settings for your Wi-Fi network, look for advanced settings, security settings, a WiFi tab, or something like “about this device” to find out which type of security you are using.

Common WiFi Security Types

Before you learn how to set up a modem and router, it is helpful to understand the various security types at your disposal. Here are the big ones that most routers use.

Insider Tip

A small number of routers allow you to change up to different security types, though this is becoming more common.

WEP Security

WEP is the oldest security type, dating back to 1997. As such, it is generally considered to be the least secure of the four main security types available to modern routers.

WPA Security

Next came WPA, which was developed as an answer to the many faults found within WEP-based security. WPA offers a dynamic and constantly changing 128-bit key that is much tougher to break into than WEP’s static key.

WPA2 Security

As the name suggests, WPA2 is the follow-up to WPA and includes a multitude of advanced features, including Counter Mode Cipher Block Chaining Message Authentication Code Protocol (CCMP) to encrypt data.

WPA3 Security

WPA3 is the hottest and newest security protocol for routers and is typically found in devices manufactured after 2019. It brings improved encryption to the table, among other perks.

How to Tell What Security Type Your Router Is

There are many ways to go about this depending on your router, just like when you learn how to SSH into a router. In other words, we have kept these guidelines as universal as possible.

STEP 1

Head to your router settings page, which you can find by inputting your router’s public IP address into the address field of a web browser. Have your login credentials handy, including your network name and password.

STEP 2

Once you are in the settings, you should find an advanced settings page for security or something akin to “about this device.” Either should inform you of what router security type you are using.

STEP 3

Once you are satisfied, save any changes you made and exit from the settings page.

F.A.Q.S

How to find your Wi-Fi security type on Android?

Android offers this information about your Wi-Fi network not on the control panel, but rather in a dedicated settings app under the Wi-Fi network.


What to do if your security type is WPA3?

If you find via the control panel that your encryption type is WPA3, you are good to go with your wireless network. WPA3 is the best Wi-Fi security type currently available to a standard Wi-Fi network.


What to do if your security type is WEP or WPA?

If you head to the control panel or sharing center and find you are using WEP or WPA on your Wi-Fi network, that means your security mode or security key is wildly out of date. You may want to get a new wireless router to improve this security mode.



STAT: Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2), and Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3) are the three security and security certification programs developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance to secure wireless computer networks. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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