|WPA||WPA (WiFi Protected Access) is a wireless standard designed to improve upon the security features of WEP. It is designed to work with existing WiFi products (as a software upgrade to existing WEP-capable hardware).
The two improvements over WEP are:
1. Improved data encryption through TKIP (temporal key integrity protocol), which hashes/scrambles the keys and adds an iintegrity-check, ensuring the keys haven't been tampered with.
2. User authentication through EAP (extensible authentication protocol).
WPA takes two forms; WPA Enterprise Mode and WPA Personal, or PSK (Pre-Shared Key) Mode. WPA PSK is somewhat more vulnerable to attacks: a cracker passively intercepting initial key exchange messages can then possibly crack poorly chosen short passphrases with a robust dictionary attack offline and without access to the network.
WPA-Enterprise is an encryption method that protects unauthorized network access by verifying network users through a server.
WPA-Personal is an encryption method that protects unauthorized network access by utilizing a set-up password.
Note: WPA is an interim standard being replaced with the IEEE's now ratified 802.11i standard, branded WPA2.