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What is WEP?

What is WEP?

As we all know, wireless networks make many business processes very easy but are reliable in terms of security. Therefore, a user must have enough knowledge about wireless networks and how they help make business communications very easy. The wireless network can transmit the data (or information) all over an area. Therefore it can be easily intercepted through wireless data transmissions. In today's world, one of the essential resources of an organization is information (or data). This can be one reason why cybercriminals get increased daily because hackers always try to find new methods and tools to infiltrate your system to get that information. So it is essential to make sure that the devices, networks, and servers used by the organization must be well protected. In this article, we will discuss how you can keep your organization's wireless networks safe with the help of Wired Equivalent Privacy encryption.

What is wired Equivalent Privacy (or wep) encryption?

The term "WEP" stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy and is also known as WEP. It can be referred to as a security algorithm introduced to provide data privacy (or confidently) for wireless networks. WEP (or Wired Equivalent Privacy) was introduced as part of the 802.11 standards. One of the most essential features of Wired Equivalent Privacy is its 10 or 26 hexadecimal digits key, or we can also say 40 or 104 bits. If we take a look in history, these 40 or 104 bits were very popular among the users and considered one of the best choices for configuration the routers. However, the Wired Equivalent Privacy (or WEP) was initially designed to provide a level of security for wireless networks, or we can more specifically say WLANs. Although, the level of security provided by the Wired Equivalent Privacy (or WEP) is similar to the level of security expected from a wired local area network. As specified in its name, it transmits data through radio waves to a specific area that falls within its range. Therefore the primary goal of Wired Equivalent Privacy is to add a layer of security to the wireless networks by providing strong encryption for the data. This way, the data will be unrecognizable to any unwanted or unauthorized users, except the intended receiver.

What are the keys of WEP?

Typically, the primary purpose of Wep is to protect and maintain the integrity of the data. To do so, it uses two shared keys:

  • Unicast session key
  • Multicast key (also known as the global key):

To understand the working of the above-given keys, lets us discuss them in more details:

1. Unicast session key:

It can be referred to as a type of encryption key commonly used to protect unicast traffic between a wireless AP and the client(or user). It is known as the unicast because it can only transmit the information or data between two points: ( A single sender and a single receiver).

2. Multicast Key:

The multicast key is also considered as the global key. As its name suggests, it is used to protect the multicast traffic between a single wireless AP and all of its other wireless clients. The term multicast is used because it can be used to transmit the data between a single sender and multiple receivers or between the multiple senders and the single receiver.


In short, we can say that WEP adds a layer of security to the wireless network by encrypting the data. Yet, if the data is intercepted, it will be unrecognizable to other systems as it is already encrypted. However, systems that are authorized on the network will be able to recognize and decrypt the data. It happens because the devices on the network usually use the same encryption algorithm.

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