WPA3 unveiled at CES 2018: You can use public hotspots without any worry


At the CES 2018 tech show, Wi-Fi Alliance, the consortium of companies that sets the standards for consumer Wi-Fi came up with a new version of WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) protocol. This new protocol is claimed to be used to authenticate devices connected to a network.

WPA3 unveiled at CES: You can use public hotspots without any worry


The existing standard, WPA2 is there since 2003. In the last few months of 2017, a massive vulnerability called KRACK (key reinstallation attack) affected almost every Wi-Fi enabled device such as smartphones, PCs and routers.

The latest protocol, WPA3 is designed to make the Wi-Fi networks more secure, especially in circumstances where the Wi-Fi access points are used without the network passwords including public hotspots. Even the traffic streams between the access points and the devices of end users will be encrypted individually to improve security and privacy.

Though the complete details are not let out, Wi-Fi Alliance has stated that it aims to simplify the process involved in choosing and setting up strong passwords on devices that do not have a display. This is important and has become a concern in the current era where the appliances and sensors are also connected to the internet.

A 192-bit security suite has been incorporated in industrial and government applications and sensitive corporate that has to comply with the legal security requirements. It is important for the Wi-Fi devices to be updated and recertified by Wi-Fi Alliance or just replaced to support WPA3. It remains unclear if the backward compatibility will let the older devices to function properly with the latest protocol.

Wi-Fi Alliance has revealed that the rollout of the latest WPA3 protocol will happen sometime this year but the specific timeframe for the same is yet to be revealed. The same will come to light only when the hardware and software vendors release their plans.


Besides the WPA3 protocol, Wi-Fi Alliance is also prepping on the emerging Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and 802.11 ax standards. These standards are designed to support multiple access points covering larger areas and will help users manage traffic and prioritizations between the devices on the same Wi-Fi network. Though the 802.11 ax is likely to be rolled out this year, it might not get enough traction until the next year.

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