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How WEP/WPA work

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Please confirm my below understanding :-

1) WPA or WEP is a security protocol install inside Access Point ( WAP ) and not on the    
    wireless laptops

2) Either wireless laptop send data to AP or AP send data to wireless laptop , the data is  
    encrypted by WEP/WPA that reside in AP.

    In the other words , the data is encrypted bi-directionally by WEP/WPA which is  in AP .

Please point out whether (1) and (2) are correct .

   
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Question by:kcn
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Expert Comment

by:nbhu
ID: 36489622
Hi kcn,
Neither is exectly true, they are security protocols that are used on all hardware accessing the network over wireless connection.
WEP is an older, more vulnerable one, WPA or WPA2 is always a better,safer choice.
on simple networks WPA-PSK can be used, you have to set a passphrase on the router/access point, and set it on the connecting clients too.
A security key is generated from the passphrase, and it is used to code/decode data packets sent over the network.
Regards, nbhu
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Author Comment

by:kcn
ID: 36489758
I am not asking comparison between WEP and WPA2 , I know their differences .

I am asking whether WEP/WPA is only reside in AP or also reside in laptop ??

Since ( assuming ) WEP or WPA only reside in AP , when AP send data to client (laptop) , AP will use WEP/WPA2 to encrpyt the data , however when client ( laptop) send data to AP whether the data from laptop is encrypted by WEP/WPA that reside in AP too ??

I am not interested in WEP or WPA /WPA2 comparison.
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Accepted Solution

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nbhu earned 2000 total points
ID: 36489832
Hi,
both directions are encrypted of course. The source(sender: AP or laptop) is encrypting data packets, sends it over the radio link, the receiver(the other device) is decrypting the packet and processing it.
It is symmetrical, every communicating device has the encrypt/decrypt algorithms.
Regards, nbhu
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