The WPA3 WiFi security standard has been certified, as announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance earlier today. It’s yet another incremental network security protocol upgrade and was necessary after WPA2 was cracked wide open early last year – eleven years after it was officially unveiled. Devices require more enhanced security hardware to utilize it, something which the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 can provide once OEMs roll out support to their devices.
WPA3 offers a number of features that make it more secure than its predecessor. Here’s a summary:
- First, how devices authenticate the access point has been changed, which avoids exploits like KRACK that abused the older system.
- Next, Opportunistic Wireless Encryption (OWE) will allow for a greater level of security on public hotspots using the standard, as even without a password the data between the router and the device will be encrypted. This is different from WPA2 in that when you connect to a public network it cannot be secure, as no data is being encrypted.
- It also offers “Wi-Fi Easy Connect” which makes it even easier to connect devices with no display to your network – all you need is your mobile phone. This will be perfect for the next generation of Internet of Things devices, as it allows you to set up devices with ease.
WPA3 is divided into two categories – WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Enterprise. What’s the difference?
- More resilient password-based authentication even when passwords are considered cryptographically weaker.
- Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) implementation, which means there are stronger protections against password guessing by third-parties.
- Offers an equivalent of 192-bit encryption strength, making it perfect for government and finance work.
While we advise you to consider WPA3 support in your next Android device purchase, you will have to wait for supported routers to first arrive on the market and go down in price before it makes sense to buy one. Public WiFi hotspots may take quite a bit of time to upgrade too. The transition will take some time, but it’s something that we will all have to embrace.
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