Best WiFi Encryption for Speed 2021.
WiFi is actually a collection of different technologies working together to wirelessly transfer bits of data from one device to another. When it comes to customizing the various elements that make up these wireless connections, you have several options.
One of these options is which encryption standard to use, some of which are faster than others. So what is the best WiFi encryption standard for speed and why is it faster?
Here Are Your WiFi Encryption Options
At the time of this writing, there are only three options when it comes to WiFi security standards: WEP, WPA, and WPA2.
WEP or Wireless Equivalent Privacy is the oldest and least secure WiFi encryption standard. It uses TKIP (Temporary Key Integrity Protocol) for encryption. WEP is the slowest standard and was officially dropped in 2004. Hackers are well aware of its security flaws and it is easy to hack.
WPA or Wi-Fi Protected Access was a temporary security update to WEP, providing better security. It still uses TKIP and is relatively easily hacked today. There is a new, much more secure encryption standard known as AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which can also be paired with WPA. This is preferable and currently, AES is still considered the gold standard.
WPA 2 is the newest standard currently available and uses AES exclusively. This is by far the safest standard, but cracks are starting to show. So it won’t last forever. For now, however, we strongly recommend using WPA 2 in any situation.
For more information on WEP, WPA, WP2, AES, and TKIP, you can read What is the Difference Between WPA2, WPA, WEP, AES, and TKIP?
WPA 2 Is the Fastest Option
WPA 2 with AES encryption is without a doubt the fastest option currently available. The only exceptions to this rule are older routers that were designed for WPA but later gained WPA 2 capabilities. They may be slower when using this standard because the built-in hardware is not designed for this.
If your router ships with WPA 2 as standard from the factory, then this is the only option you should consider. If you don’t have a device on your network that can’t access WPA 2 networks. Even so, it’s better to upgrade that device than compromise the security of the old standards.
WiFi Isn’t That Secure
At the same time, even WPA 2 starts to become a hindrance. Various exploits have been detected, for example, KRACK. Fortunately, these exploits are not suitable for mass attacks, but in some cases, they can be used against certain local networks.
The biggest security issue with WPA 2 has to do with public Wi-Fi hotspots. Since the WiFi password is also the encryption key, anyone who has access to the same WiFi network can see each other’s network traffic. This is why HTTPS and a private VPN (a virtual private network) are essential whenever you use public Wi-Fi.
WPA 3 Is Coming
In July 2020, WPA 3, the latest WiFi security standard, became mandatory for all new devices to pass WiFi certification. WPA 3 uses more advanced custom encryption methods. By closing the door to major vulnerabilities found in WPA 2, dramatically improves the security of public Wi-Fi hotspots.
On paper, WPA 3 should be more secure and perform better than WPA 2. However, despite its release, it will be years before WPA 3 networks that do not have WPA 2 devices become the norm.
There is a long transition period ahead, especially with people buying smart devices like TVs and IP cameras that don’t get replaced as often as smartphones or laptops. Since WPA 3 requires newer hardware in many cases, these devices will use WPA 2 until they are replaced.
Newer routers may be ready for a WPA 3 update, so check with the manufacturer if this is possible for you.
WiFi Signal and Bandwidth Is Much More Important for Speed
While it might seem like simple encryption or lack thereof, can speed things up in terms of WiFi performance, the impact of AES encryption on Wi-Fi speed is not worth considering. It is much more important to use the correct Wi-Fi range and optimize network conditions for better performance.
So instead of worrying that your WiFi encryption standard might slow you down, you better check the following factors:
- Do you have enough signal strength?
- Are you using the fastest band with good signal strength?
- Are there sources of interference or many other Wi-Fi networks?
If you want to improve your Wi-Fi performance, see How to Boost Your Android Wi-Fi Signal for Faster Internet. These tips will have more impact on your Wi-Fi performance than changing encryption types!
One final note: remember that there is a difference in the speed of the Wi-Fi connection to your device and the speed of the Internet connection from your service provider. If you run an internet speed test. The result will be the same as the speed of your internet service.
If you want to test the speed of your local Wi-Fi network. You will need a different type of tool, such as a LAN speed test. you want if more tips on how to improve your LAN data transfer rate, go to Why is my network transfer rate so slow?
If You Want Real Speed – Use Ethernet
If performance matters to you, consider ditching WiFi altogether and switching to a wired Ethernet connection. Wired connections are not affected by factors that cause fluctuations in WiFi performance and can give you all the benefits of a fast connection. It is assumed that your Ethernet card, cable, and router support the specified speed.
Strongly Consider Using a VPN
As we said above, WPA 2 is the fastest and most secure WiFi encryption standard available to everyone. At least until WPA 3 becomes more widespread. However, WPA 2 is too insecure for use on public access points and in some cases does not provide adequate security even on private home networks.
So using a good commercial VPN is a great idea. In fact, a VPN may have a slight negative impact on your Internet performance, but the additional features, benefits, and security of a VPN are worth the small tradeoff.
VPN means that even if your WiFi security is compromised, your data will still be protected by a different level of encryption. You also have the advantage of privacy from your own ISP, as your data is encrypted even when you leave your network and log on to the Internet. If you’re thinking of building a VPN, check out our comparison of the best VPNs.
With all this, you can stop worrying about which type of WiFi encryption is best for speed. Install WPA 2 and forget about it until WPA 3 is available.
Best WiFi Encryption for Speed 2021
Best WiFi Encryption for Speed 2021.
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