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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > is upgrading to WPA2 critical?

is upgrading to WPA2 critical?
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Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
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Jun 2, 2010, 10:33 PM
like the title asks, is it imperative that I upgrade to WPA2?

currently I have two wireless routers that act as access points with identical SSIDs/passwords/security (DHCP is turned off on both of them and DHCP is handled by a main wired 8port router), one on the first floor and one in the detached garage that provide signal to the 1st & 2nd floors and to the garage/porch area. There is signal in the basement but it's somewhat weak and I want to add another router/access point in the basement. unfortunately, the one netgear access point only handles WPA while the linksys one supports WPA2.

is it super necessary to upgrade it to WPA2?
( Last edited by abbaZaba; Jun 2, 2010 at 11:13 PM. )
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Washington + Colorado
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Jun 2, 2010, 11:02 PM
Well, at least your setup is better than WEP. For a home network it's not a huge issue, unless you're running a business out of your home. I think you'll be fine.
Cold Warrior
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Polwaristan
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Jun 2, 2010, 11:49 PM
Not super necessary. As long as you are using a strong passphrase, your WPA is likely to be fine. There are some obscure weaknesses in WPA with TKIP, but the real problem is your passphrase being subjected to a dictionary attack, so make sure it's solid and you'll be fine.
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Jun 3, 2010, 07:40 AM
Use a VERY long, VERY complex password. Mine are 63 characters (the maximum for ASCII passwords) and generated randomly. I use this tool to generate them, and I typically make up a dozen or so at a time. Just copy/paste the results to a Text Edit document and you're done. Entering such long, complex passwords is error-prone, so I store them on a little USB drive (there IS a use for those 256K thumb drives!) and copy/paste as needed.

The exploits against WPA key in on short passwords-though the first one was based on stupid, lazy users. It used brute force to throw dictionary words at the algorithm, then looks for readable text in the output. The more troubling exploit still requires poor setup and usage of WPA, so using a very long and complex password protects you (albeit not perfectly) from both.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
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