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WPA, otherwise known as WiFi Protected Access, is the current standard for data integrity protection and secure encryption as adopted by the WiFi Alliance—or, at least, the WPA2 is the one being followed at present. Basically, the IEEE 802.11i standard was established to replace the tragically flawed WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) policy and any other security measures based on its predecessor, the original IEEE 802.11 standard. As a subset of the 802.11i specification, the WPA and WPA2 support the preshared key (PSK) protocol known as WPA Personal, the 802.1X authentication (also known as WPA Enterprise), an integrity algorithm known as Michael, and a recent encryption algorithm innovation called TKIP (also known as Temporal Key Integrity Protocol).
Moreover, WPA2 is also a WiFi Alliance product certification assuring consumers that the wireless equipment that they've purchased supports the 802.11i gold standard of system protection, data integrity, and encrypted transmissions. The main objective of the WPA2 certification is to support and promote the added compulsory security measures of the 802.11i standard that aren't presently included for other WPA-enabled products. Like its earlier iteration, WPA2 offers Personal and Enterprise modes of operation plus a few supplementary features that improve upon the weaknesses that the WPA policy had when it was first introduced into mainstream use.
The differences between the WPA2 Personal and the WPA2 Enterprise go like this: The WPA2 Personal utilizes a PSK in order to optimize its effectiveness within environments without a RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) infrastructure such as SOHO (small office/home office) networks (that is, medium-sized, non-enterprise-level setups).Meanwhile, like its name suggests, the WPA2 Enterprise caters specifically to big businesses and multinational-level networks with its open system authentication as its first phase and the EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) method and the 802.1X protocol as its second phase.
Just like WPA, WPA2 necessitates the resolution of a shared pairwise master key (PMK) modeled after the PSK or EAP authentication processes as well as the calculation of pairwise transient keys via a 4-way handshake. Obviously, the sheer complexity by which the WPA2 operates assures users that it's no easy task to crack or hack through this latest network protocol. It is an advanced encryption standard that presently has no equal.