Wireless security: WEP versus WPA

mobile hotspot

Wireless internet connectivity (wi-fi or WiFi) has become a standard feature on smartphones. Being able to set your smartphone up as a wireless hotspot is almost also becoming commonplace.

Keeping your hotspot secure is important, so that only authorised persons can use it. There are two broad encryption protocols: WEP and WPA. Both require a password, but are there any differences between the two? Yes; there are.

WEP (wired equivalent privacy) is the older and less secured option. WPA (wi-fi protected access) is newer and more secure. In other words, WPA is better than WEP. WPA2 is built on WPA and is even more secure.

Both protocols are not compatible, so pay attention when getting and connecting your devices.

Setting up a hotspot on BlackBerry OS7 devices is strictly based on WPA2. On Android 4.0 devices, options for WEP, WPA, and WPA2 are there, so you can make a choice. On the Nokia N9, the JoikuSpot-based hotspot supports WEP only.

I am not sure that many people bother about these details, but for those of you who are interested, now you know. Cheers!

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13 comments

  1. Both protocols are not compatible, so pay attention when getting and connecting your devices.

    This may explain my inability to pair some devices in some instances. Never really paid attention!

    All the cryptic acronyms in the ICT and other specialist fields are enough to send one to the nuthouse!

    Deliberate obfuscation, or necessary evil?

    Ha!

  2. Has anybody noticed that Android devices (at least galaxy tab and galaxy Y pro duos) do not recognize hotspots created using JoikuSpot. Or is it just me? When I purchased my galaxy tab (3G and WiFi), I intended using my N8 to create the hotspot so that I can share the internet connection, but to my dismay, the tablet failed to discover the network. Even when I entered the id and pass phrase manually, it still did not work. I tried tweaking the settings on Joikuspot, but nothing worked. Eventually, I had to buy a wireless router.

  3. Most android phones do not recognise ad-hoc networks. But the funny thing is, they connect to ad hoc networks created on android phones

  4. Have been trying to create hotspot with my 9900 after I upgraded from 7.0 to 7.1… I get a msg ” to use this features, contact your service provide and subscribe for a Mobile Hotspot Data Plan” what should I do please?

  5. Thanks 4 ur contribution. I believe I should av internet plan beside my bis bcos I use Glo, so wen eva I recharge dey give me free 10mb n dat has accumulated, so what do u suggest I do pls?

  6. I jst did dat apn tin n its still d same activation required msg I stil get, I even subscribed for glo instatnt surf *127*51# n it cost 100 n yet stil didn’t wrk, so I called glo customer care they jst advice me 2 put the sim in ma modem then I can only use it but not from ma blackberry 9900 as mobile hot spot, dis is really fustrating

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