Main Content

Tech Terms Explained: WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP, TKIP and AES

Tech Terms Explained

Too many acronyms will drive anyone crazy. Let's take a look at your router's encryption options and figure out what on earth they mean.



WEP (wired equivalent privacy) is now outdated and not a recommended choice for encrypting. You may see options for WEP 64 or WEP 128. These are also outdated and not recommended for encryption.


An outdated type of encryption utilized by WPA or WPA2. If possible, use AES instead.


The newest type of encryption utilized by WPA or WPA2. Use AES for the strongest encryption.


WPA (Wi-Fi protected access) is an older form of encryption that should be avoided if possible. If your router does not feature WPA2-PSK, then select WPA as an alternative. WPA-PSK (AES) is the strongest form of encryption here.


The most secure encryption. WPA2-PSK (AES) is the latest and greatest in encryption, but may not work well with older devices.


Often the default selection, WPAWPA2-PSK (TKIP/AES) features adequate security and functions across most devices.

Best Buy 2016-09-12T09:30:50-05:00

Was this article helpful?
Thank You! Your feedback was received.

Get Geek Squad® Help

Need help troubleshooting an issue?
Agents are available 24/7.

Chat with an Agent

Call 1-800-433-5778

Check This Out Next

Home Networking Security

You've just finished getting Wi-Fi working and while it seems done, a few simple steps can help keep your network secure from hackers and unwanted users.

5 Tips to Beef Up Your Home Network

An unprotected network is susceptible to hackers that may steal banking info and much, much more. Never fear! Network security doesn't have to be difficult.

Increase Your Password Strength

The difference between a hacker stealing your hard-earned cash and ignoring you completely could be as simple as five or six characters.

Popular Articles


Change Your Day for the Better

How Smart Lights Work ›

Are You Ready For 4K TV?

Streaming On Any Budget ›
Networking Buying Guide

This guide will assist you in selecting a router building an effective network and making sure you have a strong wireless connection throughout your entire home.