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davidsf
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎08-05-2007

WPA Personal vs. Enterprise?

[ Edited ]
Hi,
A couple of questions...
 
1) what is the difference between WPA/WPA2 Personal vs. WPA/WPA2 Enterprise? When should I use Personal and when should I use Enterprise?
 
2) I have my WRT54G configured to use WPA2 Personal currently. My laptop with Windows XP Pro and wireless-G card doesn't offer WPA2 as an encryption method from the wireless utility. However if I select WPA it works. How is that possible? Are WPA and WPA2 compatibile?
 
thanks,
David
 
 


Message Edited by davidsf on 08-18-2007 04:24 PM
Expert
Expert
Posts: 12,649
Registered: ‎07-16-2006

Re: WPA Personal vs. Enterprise?

Simply try the choices and you'll see what you are able to fill in and what not.

You probably have to use the Personal version as you'll need a radius server for authentication in the Enterprise version. With Personal you have to enter a pre-shared key. With Enterprise wireless clients would have to authenticate with a radius service with their username and password or a certificate or similar.

Make sure you install the WPA2 update for windows. It is not a standard update. You have to download it from the microsoft downloads website and install it. It should add WPA2 to your computers.

WPA2 and WPA are compatible. WPA uses TKIP encryption. WPA2 uses AES but can also use TKIP for backward-compatibility. But everything else it pretty much the same. I guess you have configured WPA2 Personal with AES+TKIP encryption which accepts WPA2 connections with either encryption. If you would configure AES only (which would be kind of a 'pure' WPA2) that it should fail.

Read the wikipedia article on WPA for some background information about all this.
cyberdoc2k3
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎08-07-2007

Re: WPA Personal vs. Enterprise?

WPA Enterprise utilizes 802.1x authentication by means of a RADIUS server.  This provides for user account certificate based authentication, and is the recommended security for businesses, and other large wireless networks.  If you are talking about a home wireless network, and are using WPA or WPA2 with a sufficiently complex and random PSK , that is sufficient protection for most people. 
 
Rob
mkztg
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-11-2008

Re: WPA Personal vs. Enterprise?

I know this is an old thread but.....

 

"2) I have my WRT54G configured to use WPA2 Personal currently. My laptop with Windows XP Pro and wireless-G card doesn't offer WPA2 as an encryption method from the wireless utility. However if I select WPA it works. How is that possible? Are WPA and WPA2 compatibile? "

 

Right off the help page embedded in the router:  "WPA2 Personal:

WPA2 Algorithm: You may choose from AES or TKIP+AES. Choose TKIP+AES if you have both WPA and WPA2 devices on your network."

 

I hope that helps someone.  :smileyhappy:

toomanydonuts
Posts: 6,365
Registered: ‎09-16-2006

Re: WPA Personal vs. Enterprise?

[ Edited ]

Sometimes encryption nomenclature is confusing.

 

WPA   = WPA with TKIP = PSK

WPA2 = WPA with AES  = PSK2

 

When your router is set to "WPA2 with TKIP+AES" it means that network devices that can use WPA2 will connect with WPA2, and network devices that can only use WPA will connect with WPA.  The password for both WPA and WPA2 will be the same.  This option was added to allow users to easily transition from WPA to WPA2.  To set your router to use only WPA2, choose WPA2 with AES (do not use TKIP).

 

Also, it is very unlikely that your wireless g card cannot do WPA2.  It may be listed as "WPA with AES".  If you do not see WPA2 or "WPA with AES" as an option, then download and install the latest driver for your wireless card.  The updated driver should support WPA2.  Also note that in order to do WPA2, you will need to upgrade Windows XP to SP3.

 

Note that if all your wireless devices can do WPA2, you should set your router to do WPA2 with AES  (not with TKIP).  This will improve the security of your network by eliminating the use of WPA encryption.

Message Edited by toomanydonuts on 12-12-2008 12:41 AM