III. Wireless LAN

Use of Wireless Encryption

Vigor 2820
Wireless Security

Without wireless encryption, your data can be captured ('sniffed') by a hacker; depending on the nature of that data, that could be harmless or exceptionally harmful. With each new encryption method, security and flexibility increases up to the current WPA2 system.

This table illustrates the differences between the main standards. Please check your specific router's official UK specification (on this web site) to see which methods are supported. As well as encryption, the Vigor supports various other types of wireless security (MAC address, 802.1x etc), detailed elsewhere.

We strongly recommend that you use WPA2 whenever possible. WEP, WPA and other older encryption methods are weaker and with the right equipment/software can be hacked relatively easily (particularly WEP).

Authentication Key Size   64 bits 128 bits
Encryption Key Size 40/104 bits 64 bits 128 bits
Cipher RC4 RC4 AES
Security Protocol WEP TKIP CCMP
Key Management   EAP EAP
Data Integrity CRC-32 Michael CCM
Key Life (Initial Vector) 24 bit 48 bit 48 bit
Packet Key Concatenated Mixed N/A
Header Integrity None Michael CCM
CCM : Counter-Mode/CBC-MAC

In shared/public hotspot environments, encryption is not normally used which means that your data can be intercepted by any other user of the network (with the right software), and your computer/device can also be reached.   You should therefore ensure that you use other encryption methods for any sensitive data (SSL, VPNs, email encryption etc) and use some kind of software firewall on your device if not already suitably equipped. This is general advice; check with your equipment vendor for specific risk awareness.

How do you rate this article?

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1