What is WEP Network Security?

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Wireless networks are pervasive these days. It's hard to imagine going anywhere in North America that doesn't have one. In this lesson, we'll take a look at one of the related security technologies WEP, and how it relates to networks.

The Tale of Cables

Have a computer on your desk at home, or at work? If so, then you've likely encountered the tangled mess of cables that result. You've got cables for power, cables for your monitor, cables for your keyboard/mouse, and cables that connect you to your network or Internet Service Provider. At times, it seems like it all adds up to spaghetti! Would you get rid of the mess if you could? If you are like countless others, you would, in a heart-beat. Fortunately, you don't have to suffer, as there is wireless technology designed to get rid of the cables; and even more technology, called WEP, exists to secure it as well.

What is WEP?

Wireless technology was created to get rid of the cables, but provide the same set of features. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is a wireless security protocol defined for local area networks (LAN). It is part of the 802.11b specification. 802.11b is an extension to the 802.11 standard defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1999. The protocol describes the secure transmission of data through the air at 11Mbps, in the 2.4 GHz frequency band. This protocol is also known as 802.11 High Rate, or Wi-Fi.

What is Network Security?

Network Security is the area of general networking that deals with the protection of the hardware and software in a network. A network is a set of interconnected machines that pass various types of information between them. Security in a network is important because it ensures the usability, reliability, integrity, and safety of the information that is passed around. As you might imagine, this can be extremely important when sensitive information is involved. An example of network security can be seen when you log into your company's network in the morning. Entry of your user ID and password constitutes the first line of defense in most networks.

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