Frequently Asked Questions Q: What is WEP?A: WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) is an optional IEEE 802.11 feature used to provide data security that is equivalent to that of a wired LAN, without privacy-enhancing encryption techniques. WEP ensures the wireless LAN link is as secure as a wired link. According to the 802.11 standard, WEP data encryption is used to prevent the following:
WEP allows the administrator to define a set of respective "Keys" for each wireless network user based on a "Key String" passed through the WEP encryption algorithm. Access is denied to anyone who does not have the required key.
As specified in the standard, WEP uses the RC4 algorithm with a 64-bit or 128-bit key. When WEP is enabled, each station (clients and Access Points) has a key. The key is used to encrypt the data before it is transmitted through the airwaves. If a station receives a packet that is not encrypted with the appropriate key, the packet is discarded and not delivered to the host; this prevents unauthorized network access and eavesdropping.