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Product Support for WPA

Some NETGEAR wireless Wi-Fi certified products support the WPA standard.

WPA requires software changes to the following:

Supporting a Mixture of WPA and WEP Wireless Clients

To support the gradual transition of WEP-based wireless networks to WPA, a wireless AP can support both WEP and WPA clients at the same time. During the association, the wireless AP determines which clients use WEP and which clients use WPA. The disadvantage to supporting a mixture of WEP and WPA clients is that the global encryption key is not dynamic. This is because WEP-based clients cannot support it. All other benefits to the WPA clients, such as integrity, are maintained.

However, a mixed mode supporting WPA and non-WPA clients offers network security that is no better than that obtained with a non-WPA network, and thus this mode of operation is discouraged.

Changes to Wireless Access Points

Wireless access points must have their firmware updated to support the following:

To upgrade your wireless access points to support WPA, obtain a WPA firmware update from your wireless AP vendor and upload it to your wireless AP.

Changes to Wireless Network Adapters

Wireless network adapters must have their firmware updated to support the following:

To upgrade your wireless network adapters to support WPA, obtain a WPA update from your wireless network adapter vendor, and update the wireless network adapter driver.

For Windows wireless clients, you must obtain an updated network adapter driver that supports WPA. For wireless network adapter drivers that are compatible with Windows XP (Service Pack 1) and Windows Server 2003, the updated network adapter driver must be able to pass the adapter's WPA capabilities and security configuration to the Wireless Zero Configuration service.

Microsoft has worked with many wireless vendors to embed the WPA firmware update in the wireless adapter driver. So, to update you Windows wireless client, all you have to do is obtain the new WPA-compatible driver and install the driver. The firmware is automatically updated when the wireless network adapter driver is loaded in Windows.

Changes to Wireless Client Programs

Wireless client programs must be updated to permit the configuration of WPA authentication (and Pre-shared key) and the new WPA encryption algorithms (TKIP and the optional AES component).

To obtain the Microsoft WPA client program, visit the Microsoft Web site.

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