Why should you avoid using WEP Encryption?

WiFi has progressed along these years, from reaching 40 Mbps some years ago to easily touching 600-700 Mbps in the recent years. As resourceful as WiFi is, it also more vulnerable to attacks like sniffing or snooping. Hackers are easily able to penetrate networks if they are not properly protected with encryptions. There are many different types of encryption by which you can protect your Access points such as WEP, WPA, WPA2 & WPA2 Enterprise.


What is wrong with WEP Encryption or why you should avoid using WEP Encryption.

WEP a.k.a. Wired Equivalent Privacy was one of the earlier methods of protecting & Encrypting their WiFi Access Point. WEP was a standard up till 1999 but by 2000 it was completely crackable. Any one could penetrate into your WiFi Access point and see what you are doing as easy as a pie. This is where more strict rules started coming into existence and researchers started pushing forward for better encryption standards. Researchers tried to strengthen WEP over some years of time but it wasn’t possible and they retired it by the year 2004. Because of this WPA came into existence.

Even though WEP is easily hackable today, users still use it. All it takes is barely 5-10 minutes of using free tools available on the web. For a professional computer expert, using a WEP protection is same as using no protection at all.


When a hacker searches for weakly protected networks around him and sees a WEP, he doesn’t waste any time to select which Access Point to hack since it is one of the easiest to penetrate into. Once inside your network, he can see what you are doing, what website you are on and every possible thing you can imagine off.


avoid using WEP Encryption

The reason why WEP encryption is so bad is that it uses very short IV Keys (Initialization Vector) which is around 16 million of them. This is not a large number to be scanned and reviewed by a hacker since they use automated tools. And in short, the method of protecting your WiFi Access Point with WEP protection was flawed. The final verdict is that you should avoid using WEP Encryption and move on to a better protection mechanism such as WPA2.


Related: Understanding the Windows Filesystem