Everyone knows what WLAN / WiFi is, and almost everyone uses it. Sadly the same cannot be said about WPA2. Sure, you know that you have to put in a password to connect to your router, but that’s it.
That’s why you probably didn’t know that WPA2 – the second version of the Wi-Fi Protected Access Standard – is already quite old: 14 years to be precise. Thanks to how much the internet and technology has evolved since then and especially considering the recent “KRACK” security issue, it’s also a standard that feels dated. Luckily its days are numbered because there is a new standard in town and it’s called WPA3.
What can WPA3 do that WPA2 can’t do?
Protection from brute-force attacks: WPA3 will help to protect your password. And yes, of course that should have been done anyways, even with the old standard. But with WPA2 hackers were able to deploy a so-called offline dictionary-based attack: They were able to go through every password combination possible without having to be on the same network – at least when you were lazy enough and your password was short, meaning less than 16 characters.
WPA3 will fix that and nullify this attack method. By the way, even with WPA3 you should make sure that no one can guess your password.
Easy network connection for IoT devices: WPA3 will also bring a new Wi-Fi Easy Connect mode. It should help to securely and easily connect IoT devices to your network, especially those who have no or only a limited display. Right now that is an often time consuming annoying process that most of the time even forces the user to download yet another app on their smartphone, and even then success is not a given. WPA3 will solve this issue by the means of QR codes that can be scanned via your mobile. It sounds promising and definitely a lot less painful.
When you can get it WPA3 devices
Right now you’ll not find a single WPA3 device on the market. WPA3 is basically a hardware certification that device manufacturers have to apply for. Since the new security features for the new standard were only released yesterday, it might take a while for the companies to catch up. The most likely scenario is that you’ll see the first WPA3 devices either by the end of the year or early 2019. But it doesn’t stop there: Once you have a router you’ll also need to make sure that the counterpart, that is your smartphone, laptop, or IoT device, is compatible to the new standard in order to make use all the great new features.
As you can see it might take some time for the WPA3 to really get into everyone’s home – but it will sure be worth it.