As a part of IEEE 802.11, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) has been specified as one of the security protocols and a part of the algorithm to provide the customers with as much data confidentiality as the wired technology, devices, and network. WEP was fully developed in 1999 but was added to the IEEE 802.11b standards way before 1997 indicating that how much hope depended on its’ production. Ever since it was launched, it has been used to deliver a hassle-free Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN). It is an additional measure for security in comparison since the wired is networks can be physically protected but the radio waves are virtual and can only be guarded by protocols and algorithms. Use of the wired protection makes LANs a more secure option but financially it is expensive for the excessive amount of wire it takes for the setup and plus the hassle that comes with installing and maintaining them.
WEP and other protocols are designed to encrypt the data to protect it as encryption of data is one of the most effective methods of protection against the eavesdropper who is in simple words is described as hackers or cybercriminals. Even though today WEP has been replaced by the WPA protocol, it was once the topmost choice among the experts and users both. But it is not advisable to rely solely on WEP since it is a part of a bigger mechanism and not a powerful force that can give you complete protection as it was found out by a team of researchers from the University of California who pointed out a number of weaknesses in WEP. But it is important to note that WEP used to be the best protection against the intruders in the areas that was given for it to cover.
As any of the encryption tools, the WEP first authenticates and then encrypts the data. By doing this it succeeds in restricting unauthorized users from gaining access to the network. For the decryption a certain WEP is necessary. Only if the key belongs to the network will it let you decrypt the data stream and if the key is wrong you wouldn’t gain access. This is how Wired Equivalent Privacy guards your data the same way data is guarded in wired technology. The best version of WEP is the one with 128-bit encryption even though a 256-bit encryption model is available is the market.
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