What's the difference between WPA2 & WPA2-PSK & which is safer?

Which is the best to use for a home network.
leslieinvaAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
WPA2 is the next level of encryption past WPA. WPA is decently secure but WPA2 is better. If your router supports WPA2 and your card supports WPA2 then you should use it for more security. WPA2 might show up as AES (it does on my setup).

WPA has been cracked, although it takes a very long time. I do not think WPA2 has been cracked but I am not certain on the latter.

.... Thinkpads_User
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aadihCommented:
Look here (for details):

http://community.linksys.com/t5/Wireless-Routers/WPA-PSK-vs-WPA2-PSK-security/td-p/301209 >

Bottom Line: "WPA uses TKIP which has weaknesses. WPA2 uses AES (or better CCMP) which is considered secure."
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
As I understand your question there is no difference between WPA2 & WPA2-PSK. WPA2 is type of encryption and PSK stands for Pre-shared Key (there can be also WPA2-Enterprise).
So when you are talking about WPA2-PSK you are still talking about WPA2.
So you can consider between WPA2-PSK and WPA2-Enterprise and because you are asking for home use WPA2-PSK will be the right choice
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Craig BeckCommented:
Technically there is no difference between WPA2-PSK and WPA2-Enterprise.  However, that's only the authentication method.  There is also the encryption method to consider.

With WPA2 you can use AES (preferred) or TKIP (legacy).  It's advisable to use only AES with WPA2 as TKIP doesn't play nice with WPA2.

If you dig a little deeper though, WPA2-Enterprise is far more secure in terms of physically ensuring which devices connect to the network than WPA2-PSK.  With PSK you can literally give the key to anyone and their device can connect to the network with the same level of encryption as everyone else.  With WPA2-Enterprise you can restrict which devices connect to the network by a number of different methods such as digital certificate, logged-in user, etc by using a RADIUS server.

So, to answer your question, WPA2-Enterprise is the top-level and is used for 'enterprise', WPA2-PSK is the next one down and is more appropriate to your needs.

WPA2 hasn't yet been cracked and is ratified for use by the US DoD.  It is estimated that the world's fastest supercomputer would take around 16 billion years to crack WPA2.
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leslieinvaAuthor Commented:
I don't care about WPA or WPA2-Enterprise.

There must be some difference between WPA2 & WPA2-PSK because my router software makes me choose one or the other, can't have both.

I want to know which option is best my home network & why: WPA2 or WPA2-PSK.

Thanks!
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The two things (WPA2 and WPA2-PSK) are pretty much the same in terms of underlying security. Choose WPA2-PSK and that will work assuming your PC card works with it.

.... Thinkpads_User
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aadihCommented:
Choose WPA2-PSK, because it provides the best encryption, thus security (as mentioned before).
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
Hi there,
I would like to ask why if my answer tells basically the same as rewarded one (and 4 days before that answer) I did not get any point.
I am just courious

Thanks
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes, I think the points should be split because most of us gave useful answers.

... Thinkpads_User
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Craig BeckCommented:
I answered the question correctly too, and pointed out clearly the differences between the various flavours of WPA.  However the OP seems to misunderstand what the experts are saying so points have been awarded (or not) incorrectly.

So the OP understands - WPA2 uses RADIUS, WPA2-PSK uses a preshared key.  You can't use a PSK 'and' RADIUS, so therefore you can only choose one.

Simple.
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leslieinvaAuthor Commented:
Unless you know a lot about encryption, helpfinder's post is not that helpful.
Craigbeck told me a lot about PSK-Enterprise that was irrelevant to my question. Again you'd need to know a lot about encryption & now authentication to know what he was talking about.
There was too much to read through on the link Thinkpads_User gave me--I just wanted an answer to which was better & why.
aadih give me the best answer-telling me that encryption was important to better security.
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leslieinvaAuthor Commented:
<just my 2 cents> It's nice to provide additional related info about a question, but only if you first provide a clear answer.  Users don't like trying to dig through tangential info when they have a complicated technical issue & security is definitely a complicated issue.</just my 2 cents>
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aadihCommented:
FWIW, I have seen:

(1) At least one occasion when the user awarded the points -- mistakenly -- to a user, when he didn't provide the correct answer. Another user did. Why did the user not correct the error and return the points, then?

(2) I have had this occur to me, more times than I can count on my fingers. So what?

Especially when it evens out, in the end, any way.

It's not about points, at all.

I request to forgo all points from this question.

It's about helping when help is required!

:-)
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Craig BeckCommented:
It's not about points - it's about providing the correct answers to questions.  The only way that people looking through these questions will be able to decide whether one expert's answers are even remotely trustworthy is to:

1] As a person seeking help, trust the points system.  This will help users decide which information within a particular thread is useful.

2] As an expert, don't just accept the mistakes that people make when awarding points.  There is an object button - USE IT to make your case.

We as experts all have a duty to ensure that only accurate information is available within accepted answers.  If we don't flag it when mistakes happen we won't maintain the integrity of this forum.
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Craig BeckCommented:
...and just to add to the cause:

The OP's reasoning for choosing the best answer was this...
aadih give me the best answer-telling me that encryption was important to better security.
However, that's not what aadih said.  Further to this, aadih's answer is explicitly incorrect.  WPA2-PSK is not and never will be 'more secure' than WPA2-Enterprise.  This is a fact and therefore aadih's answer is completely wrong - thus not the correct answer and will only serve to provide incorrect information to anyone searching for answers in the database.
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