Wi-Fi internet is the best kind of internet connectivity there is when it comes to convenience. You don’t have to deal with any wires, and the setup is relatively straightforward on most devices. However, Wi-Fi internet is far from perfect, and we could sure use faster speeds and better security. But guess what: Come 2019, we’ll get both of those thanks to new hardware that will support both faster speeds as well as stronger security.
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced a new security standard, WPA3, which will be available on both personal and business Wi-Fi networks soon.
To get WPA3, you’ll need compatible hardware, including the Wi-Fi router at home or at the office, but also a compatible laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Current devices support the WPA2 standard announced all the way back in 2004, and they’ll stay on WPA2 security when connected to future WPA3 networks.
WPA3 will protect users against hackers better than WPA2. As The Verge explains, the new standard brings over enhanced protections against offline, password-guessing attacks. Should a hacker capture your Wi-Fi data to use it offline in an attempt to guess passwords over and over, WPA3 will render that data useless and only allow a single guess.
New WPA3 networks will also prevent attackers from compromising old data with the help of a new attack. If a hacker captures your Wi-Fi stream and manages to find the password, he or she won’t be able to read older data.
Finally, a feature called Easy Connect will let you connect the smart, internet-enabled home gadgets to Wi-Fi that don’t have any buttons or screens. A simple scan of a QR code found on a compatible product will be enough. That’s all great for the future of home networking, but you’ll have to wait for compatible hardware to take advantage of it.
Speaking of speed, the next generation of Wi-Fi devices will support faster Internet speeds as well, thanks to the new 802.11ax standard that’s currently rolling out in new products. Of course, you’ll also need support from your internet service provider. 802.11ax speed advancements are meaningless if your current plan won’t support those speeds.
The Wi-Fi Alliance expects the WPA3 rollout to go hand-in-hand with 802.11ax support next year. Once WPA3 adoption picks up, it’ll become a requirement for devices to be considered Wi-Fi certified.