Filed Under: Comparisons

Full AES vs. TKIP Comparison for Wireless Connection


Written by Jack Lin

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Wireless encryption is a security program that protects a computer’s network. The term ‘encryption’ signifies turning things into codes.

Most IT companies employ wireless encryption for encoding messages that they send between a wireless router and a system’s wireless adapter. Here is the full AES vs. TKIP comparison for you.

When you have encrypted a message, no one can find out what information your computer has transmitted. There are two kinds of encryption when it comes to wireless networks.

The first one is known as TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol), and the other one is called AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). In this AES vs. TKIP blog, we will explore each kind and find out whether you require one or need both.

When you set up a router at work or home, you will come across several options for selecting the Wi-Fi connection’s security standard. These options include AES, TKIP, WEP, CCMP, WPA2, WPA, EMP, and so on. It is great to have so many options.

However, it becomes difficult for beginners to select one among all, especially if they do not know how one option differs from the other one.

Well, people without an idea should go with the WPA2 protocol because this is the standard Wi-Fi security protocol that all follow.

However, WPA2 follows two kinds of encryption: TKIP and AES. Here, find the difference between AES vs. TKIP and choose the most appropriate one.

AES vs. TKIP: What Does TKIP Mean?

Temporary Key Integrity Protocol or TKIP came in the early years of the millennium as the stopgap security measure for replacing the inherently unsafe and older Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption standard.

This WEP standard was popularly employed on older Wi-Fi equipment launched in the early 2000s and late 1990s. At the same time, the TKIP protocol remained more secure than WEP.

This standard was deprecated in 2012 with the Wi-Fi 802.11 revision due to some conspicuous security loopholes, which hackers exploited without much struggle.

That’s because the TKIP standard employs a similar underlying mechanism as the WEP one. Hence, both of these protocols are vulnerable to threats.

However, the TKIP standard implemented some new security characteristics, such as per-packet key hashing, sequence counter, broadcast key rotation, etc.

Hence, it is capable of eliminating several WEP weaknesses, such as the ill-famed key recovery outbreaks that the previous standard was vulnerable to, although it comes with its own significant vulnerabilities.

What does TKIP mean

TKIP is Designed for Taking Wireless Security Up the Edge

TKIP was developed to provide more security as compared to WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). The WEP standard was the original protocol for WLAN (Wireless Local Area Networks). It used to be a weak security protocol.

That’s the reason WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) emerged as a new security protocol, while TKIP remained the encryption method. This kind of encryption refers to a set of algorithms.

TKIP wraps about WEP, where it adds unique, extra codes both at the start and end of every data packet. This protocol even encrypts every data packet through a unique key. Now, these keys are stronger as compared to WEP alone.

This is because the TKIP standard wraps about WEP, and hence, organizations and people using legacy equipment could upgrade to TKIP with no costly replacements. Now, you know what TKIP refers to in AES vs. TKIP standards.

PS: click here to learn more about the function of firewalls.

AES vs. TKIP: What Does AES Mean?

AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard, which is a collection of ciphers available in 128-bit block sizes and key lengths around 256, 192, or 128 bits based on the hardware.

The AES standard comes with a more secure protocol, which supersedes the legacy brought by the Data Encryption Standard (DES) protocol published in the 1970s.

Contrary to its predecessor, the AES protocol does not employ the Feistel network but uses a design principle called the substitution-permutation network.

The protocol employs its principal as the background for the block cipher algorithm, which is the encryption level used by the U.S. federal government.

Also, it is the single publicly accessible cipher that was approved by the National Security Agency of the United States.

However, several cryptographers have shown evidence of the AES’ supposed vulnerabilities, which have been presented to be ineffective or impractical against AES-128 execution.

AES Took Security a Step Further

Although the TKIP standard is an amazing option for people who employ legacy equipment. Plus, users who do not like or cannot upgrade. However, it comes with its own weaknesses.

Also, it is more likely that this protocol would not be able to secure sensitive data. With the 802.11i protocol that emerged in 2004, the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) needed fresh encryption protocols for Wi-Fi networks.

Thus, the IEEE came up with a standard that was more secure and robust compared to the previous standard. This new standard needed both AES and TKIP. Here, AES refers to a symmetric block cipher.

This block cipher employs a cryptographic key to the data block immediately instead of encrypting data bit-wise. Furthermore, the US government employs AES to safeguard classified information. Hopefully, this cleared out what AES means through this AES vs. TKIP comparison.

AES Designed for US Government

The AES encryption came into being in 1997. It was the time when the United States NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) took a decision to substitute the DES (Data Encryption Standard) protocol, which had turned prone to cyberattacks.

The goal of NIST was to design a protocol that would secure sensitive government data while, at the same time, it should be simple to implement in software, hardware, and other restricted areas like smart cards.

After carrying out tests for years, most cryptographers came up with an effective AES algorithm. In 2002, the AES protocol turned out to be the encryption standard of the U. S. federal government. After a year, the government made a statement that the AES protocol could secure classified information.

Shortly after, AES emerged very popular in the private sector. This standard is really effective when it comes to securing data as it employs a very strong algorithm and allows faster encryption as compared to DES.

AES vs. TKIP: Which One is Perfect for Businesses?

Which kind of wireless encryption is perfect for protecting business information, AES vs. TKIP? When it comes to choosing one, AES is definitely the strongest Wi-Fi encryption present out there.

The only benefit of employing TKIP is that users would not have to upgrade the legacy equipment.

On the other hand, the legacy equipment will eventually stop working; thus, you will need to replace the same.

So, no matter what equipment you purchase, it will employ AES. So, it is better to switch to AES if you want to keep your company’s data secure.

WEP, WPA2, WPA: What Do These Acronyms Mean?

Users come across the option for choosing AES vs. TKIP, with most Wi-Fi routers present out there in the market these days.

However, what about all the other acronyms that you see, such as PSK, WEP, WPA2, WPA, Personal, Enterprise, and so on?

Beginning with WEP, you should know that Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP is a very old protocol that has been shown as extremely vulnerable. That’s why it needs to be consigned to history. That’s where it actually belongs.

WPA or Wi-Fi Protected Access supersedes WEP, a new protocol that is relatively more protected. However, this protocol also cannot stand against competent cybercriminals. Thus, it is singularly ineffective.

WEP, WPA2, WPA: What Do These Acronyms Mean?

The most secure and newest WPA2 protocol has become the standard for all in the last decade. Thus, it remains the default security algorithm for all Wi-Fi equipment that was launched after 2006, when this standard became mandatory for all Wi-Fi devices.

The older WPA protocols were now developed to be compatible with earlier Wi-Fi hardware protected with WEP. Also, the WPA2 protocol does not function with earlier legacy devices and network cards.

WEP, WPA2, WPA: What Do These Acronyms Mean?

Difference Between Enterprise, WPS, and Personal

Apart from AES vs. TKIP, you hear various other confusing terms while setting up the router. As such, Enterprise and Personal modes are not very diverse kinds of encryption protocols.

However, these are mechanisms for authentic key distribution for distinguishing among end-users. The PSK or Personal Mode is developed for small office and home networks.

It does not need a verification server. Here, you just require a password to log into the networks.

Difference Between Enterprise, WPS, and Personal

On the other hand, Enterprise Mode is developed specifically for enterprise networks. Although it offers additional security, it even needs a more complicated setup.

This model needs an authentication server, like RADIUS, to verify every login and employ the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP). Both Enterprise and Personal Modes are present with WPA and WPA2.

Difference Between Enterprise, WPS, and Personal

Another verification key distribution system is Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS). However, this protocol is known to have various security issues, which include Wi-Fi Recovery susceptibility that allows potentially remote hackers to recover your WPS PIN.

Thus, hackers can easily decipher the Wi-Fi password of your router very easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the main difference between AES and TKIP? AES is a more robust and efficient encryption protocol, whereas TKIP, despite being less secure, offers greater compatibility with older devices.
  2. Is TKIP still safe to use? Although TKIP is less secure than AES, it provides adequate security for certain applications, particularly home networks. However, for more sensitive data, AES is recommended.
  3. Why is AES more secure than TKIP? AES uses a more robust block cipher encryption method, making it resistant to most practical attacks. TKIP, while an improvement over WEP, is still susceptible to various attacks.
  4. Can I use both AES and TKIP simultaneously? Some routers allow the use of AES and TKIP simultaneously for compatibility purposes. However, this could potentially slow down your network and reduce security to the lower TKIP standard.
  5. What should I do if my device only supports TKIP? If possible, consider upgrading your device to one that supports AES. If that’s not an option, ensure your network is secure in other ways, such as by using strong, unique passwords.

AES vs. TKIP: Where to Look for Reliable Encryption Products

Getting to know what you require to protect your company’s data with strong encryption is just the first step. Depending on your requirements, finding the right software could be daunting.

With more than five million SecureDoc users in over 80 countries, WinMagic has been offering a software fix for businesses of all sizes to keep data protected effectively.

So, use this program and enjoy a wonderful Wi-Fi experience with complete data protection! Hopefully, this blog helped you to distinguish AES vs. TKIP!


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