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Encryption security on wireless network

Question : Does adding encryption security to a wireless network make it slower?

Answer : Because they send data over radio waves instead of wires, wireless networks free you from having to string your computers together with cables to share files or use the Internet. Computers equipped with wireless cards can detect nearby wireless networks and easily join them unless certain security features are enabled. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) are two such standards available on many consumer-oriented networking products.

With WEP or WPA enabled, users must provide a password to join the network, which can help keep people nearby from sharing your signal uninvited. (Of the two, WEP is considered a weaker form of security than WPA, as it has proved easier to crack by determined individuals.)

Turning on WEP or WPA encrypts the data sailing through the air between the computer and the access point, where it is decrypted on either end. All this encrypting and decrypting can take a little extra time, though, Depending on your hardware, you may notice your network operating more slowly when loading a Web page, for example when the security features are turned on.

For many people, the slight speed loss is an acceptable trade-off for more network security. You can decide for yourself, based on how many people may be in range of your wireless network and other factors.


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