Are you worried about your wireless network security? Want to change the security protocol?
WPA 2 is the most widely used security protocol for routers nowadays. It’s not the latest protocol, but most devices support it.
It uses an advanced encryption system (AES) better than the Temporary Key Integrity Protocol previously used (TKIP) for WPA.
There are newer protocols available, but all devices do not support it, so WPA 2 will be the best option for most users. We can easily configure it with a few options in the router settings. Check out the instructions below.
Configuring Router to Use WPA2
You might see multiple security protocol options during this procedure. Consider these protocols as a timetable of security protocol development.
The order is WEP, WPA, WPA2, and WPA 3. The newer the protocol, the better the wireless security.
Three things are of critical importance for changing the security protocols.
- You will have to access the settings page of the router.
- The router must support WPA2.
- You can use either ethernet or access it wirelessly.
The configuration procedure is straightforward. You must open the router settings page and change the security protocol in the network settings section. Follow the instructions below:
Find Out What Protocol Router Currently Uses
If the security type is anything but WPA 2, go to the next alternatives to change the security protocol. The only exception is if it already has WPA 2 listed under security type or if it has WPA 3.
Here is how you check your wireless connection’s security type:
On Windows 11
- Press the start icon on the taskbar and search/select Wi-Fi settings.
- Click on Wi-Fi Name Properties
- Check Security type
On Windows 10
- Press the start button and search/select network & internet.
- Choose Wi-Fi
- Click on the Wi-Fi ‘s Properties
- Check Security type
- Go to settings
- Select Wi-Fi
- Find your Wi-Fi and click on it to open details.
On iPhone / Mac
There is no specific section that shows security protocol in iPhones and Mac.
- On iPhone, if the protocol is old, the device will show it as a message in the WIFI section of the device.
- In Mac devices, press the option key + Wi-Fi icon to get details about the Wi-Fi. If it’s an older weak protocol, the device will show a message.
Access Router Settings
Every router has a specific way to access its settings page. There is no one universal way to access router settings.
In most instances, users will be able to access the router’s default login page with the following methods.
- Using default login settings written at the bottom/ back of the router. The info consists of the default gateway, username, and password.
- Using the QR code on the router to get redirected to the default login page (not available on all brands)
- Using a mobile app created and specified by the brand to access router settings. (Not available on all brands)
Remember, the default credentials will only work if the router is reset or the username & password wasn’t changed in the past. If you do not remember the credentials, you will have to reset the router for the default username and password to work.
We have a specific article written on how to access the router’s settings page. We recommend checking it out to get clear instructions on accessing router settings.
If the specific brand of router is not listed there, we recommend googling how to access router settings for that specific brand.
Change Network Settings
Once the router’s settings page has been accessed, you will need to get to wireless settings> Wireless security. Some routers have this option as network settings. Try to find yours.
The exact name and place of the settings might differ according to the router installed, but an option will be there.
You should see a security setting page where many options will show like SSID, Pre-Shared Key, etc. Take an example of the picture listed below. You will see an option similar to this.
What you need to find is encryption or security mode. On these settings, choose WPA2. Some routers have it listed as WPA 2, WPA 2 (AES), WPA 2 personal, etc.
You do not need to use WPA 2 (enterprises). As the name suggests, that settings are for enterprises.
Remember, the device must support this security protocol. If you do not see this option and only see options like WEP, and WPA, then WPA2 might not be supported. Check the box and owner’s manual to see if the device supports this encryption.
However, most routers currently sold do come with the WPA 2 option, if not higher like WPA3.
Why Do I See Multiple Mixed Encryption Options?
You might see mixed options like the combinations stated below or something to the same effect.
- WPA-PSK (TKIP) + WPA2-PSK (AES)
- WPA/WPA2 etc.
The modes stated above are made for compatibility purposes. As all devices do not support WPA2, they cannot access an unsupported security protocol router.
When we enable this mixed option, the devices that support the older protocol will use that protocol, and the newer ones will use the WPA2 protocols.
There is also another huge problem with these mixed options.
E.g., If an older device supports, let’s say, WPA (TKIP) and you have enabled WPA-PSK (TKIP) + WPA2-PSK (AES), the older device will get the encryption protection of TKIP, which is weaker than AES leaving the connection more vulnerable to attacks.
If you see an option stating WPA 2 (TKIP), understand that it’s an individual option; it’s made for backward compatibility with older devices.
We recommend checking your devices at home to see if they utilize the WPA 2 protocol. The WPA 2 uses an AES encryption, so try to find one that has this listed. Go for individual protocol options like WPA 2 personal, WPA 2 (AES), or just WPA 2.
Only enable mixed options if devices do not support this; else, use the WPA2 or higher security protocols.